After a brief hiatus we are back with a new question for the “Let Me Kpop A Question” segment and that would be “Is K-Pop the Next International Music Trend in the American Music Scene?”
K-Pop on it’s own has become an international powerhouse in the past few years. K-Pop also has some of the largest fandoms in the world, every fan whether they are an ELF, an EXOtic, or even a VIP, can tell you that their army encompasses the globe.
The United States has one of the biggest music markets in the world next to the Latin Countries. Top artist’s such as Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, among many more, have made their way onto the international music scene with little difficulty. The U.S has many trends when it comes to music, especially the significance to its rhythm. Here’s some music that has been inspired by international styles off the top of my head. The 60’s, which was the Love and War era, with the arrival of The Beatles from England, the 70’s-80’s saw grungy Punk styled Rock make it’s way onto American soil from across the pond as well, with Punk bands such as the Sex Pistoles, The Rolling Stones and Adam and the Ants.
Then the 90’s took Spanish guitars and added it to R&B songs and Pop singles. Proabably the most famous one would have to be the Macarena, you know that really silly dance they still use it weddings. The 2000’s arrived while we still had Latin aspects in music but J-Pop also made its way on to the music scene. Inspiring artist’s like Aqua, who if you have seen their music videos, it’s pretty clear that J-Pop was a definite inspiration for them with it’s fun fashion and out of this world pop culture. Europe made it’s return once again with Sinead O’Conner and the wonderful club infused house music aka Techno.
With all that being said and K-Pop garnering more and more attention every year, this past year alone saw so many K-Pop related things appear in the American media, is it possible that with so many entertainment agencies striving to garner international recognition, their main target the American music scene, that K-Pop could be the next big thing?
The most recent example, of course, is SM Entertainment’s very own BoA, who made her Hollywood debut with the dance flick “Make Your Move” this year. The film garnered good reviews for the actors chemistry, including a write up in the New York Times.
SM Entertainment has already broken onto the American music scene enough to grab NY 1’s attention with SMTOWN, it was then that SM held that spot for international success in America with Girls Generation and Super Junior. Last year Girls Generation took home the award for best music video for their music video ‘I Got a Boy’ at the first annual YOUTUBE Awards along with being the first Asian act to win an award. Of course it raised a lot of hostility to the opposing fandoms but K-Pop lovers took it as a humbling win.
Now onto YG Entertainment, if I could describe YG’s rise on the music scene it’s Gangnam Style. The catchy choreography and phrase “Oppa Gangnam Style” became the biggest craze since the Dougie (I am out of it when it comes to American music.) The catchy tune shined light onto the world of K-Pop and gave YG Entertainment some leg room to work their magic. Gangnam style ranked in millions views and earned Psy tons of publicity appearances from the American Saturday Night Live to ELLEN. Then to since if their success was for real, released ‘Gentleman’. Tons of U.S. labels wanted to sign him.
Out of all this, none could grab as much international attention then BIGBANG and 2NE1. These two groups are YG’s pride and joy. BIGBANG is well known in the U.S. but not as much as its members Taeyang and G-Dragon. Taeyang earned a lot of curiosity when the impressive practice video for ‘Ringa Linga” was released for the choreography and working with famous choreographer Parris Goebel, who worked with international star Jennifer Lopez. Then was followed by Rihanna following Taeyang’s Instagram. G-Dragon collaborated with Hip-Hop royalty Missy Elliott for the English version of the traditional Korean song ‘Niliria’ off his second solo album ‘Coup D’Etat. This collaboration was the result of many secret trips to LA the year before and of course hanging with Pharell. Then last but not least is 2NE1, for YG this has been the year of the ‘BlackJack’ , the group got a lot of attention for their ‘ALL OR NOTHING (AON)‘ tour especially from BILLBOARD. They wrote that the girls were destined for stardom, something the world has never seen. They were even featured on ‘The Bachelor’ and their album was an instant hit. They were featured on Will.I.AM’s album.
Rain, Wonder Girls, among many other groups have made appearances into the American pop culture not just through music but also film. Right now K-Pop is making its way onto American soil especially with K-idols rubbing elbows with Hollywood royalty whether at a red carpet event or in a music studio. I remember reading somewhere on Tumblr that if a Korean artist had the chance to work with a singer like lets say Justin Beiber, international fans will see it as our little world being tainted while Korean fans will feel grateful that their artist is getting the attention they deserve and the idol would of course feel honored for such an opportunity.
Many American artist are tapping into K-Pop such as Skrillex who worked with 2NE1’s CL and BIGBANG’s G-Dragon on a track ‘Dirty Vibe‘ for his latest album ‘Recess’. Will Smith has shown interest as well when him and his son made a visit to YG’s studios. Lady Gaga as well, especially since Crayon Pop is touring with her right now. Many artist though American or not have revealed that they are a fan of Korean pop music including Lorde.
As K-Pop fans how do you guys feel? I mean if K-Pop becomes popular on the U.S. market does it mean that the Korean music industry open up to those of non-Asian decent. I mean if they did that would open up doors for them and does have major business benefits. To close this off here is a fun fact, many idols are in fact from the U.S. mostly California. My favorite is 1TYM‘s Teddy because he’s from New York even though he moved to California later on.
The Jung sisters SNSD’s Jessica and f(x)’s Krystal
Yoon Mi Rae and Tiger JK
2PM’s Taecyeon to name a few.
Is K-Pop America’s newest music phase? Do you feel as a fan there are conflicting emotions towards your artist becoming well known? Do you hope that this is a phase and that it will eventually phase out or more people to fangirl/fanboy with? comment your feelings below.
Article by: Izzy Lopez
Edited by: KareBare
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