K-pop is ready, more than ever beforePsy has come back as gentleman. It seems like yesterday he came up with the brilliant “Gangnam Style” music video that almost everyone in the entire world rave about. Now, nobody can deny the power of K-pop music - even Koreans who had doubts about K-pop actually having that much of a popular appeal to foreigners and ultimately becoming part of the mainstream.
K-pop has long since conquered Asia and it is still growing in success. K-pop is spreading fast with young idol groups singing trendy and catchy-phrased songs. There have been several attempts by the large entertainment companies trying to get to the other side of the world, like America, but they did not get what they had gotten from going out to Asia. Nonetheless, instead of “digging the same well over and over again,” K-pop should look above horizon where new continent awaits.
When Rain, Hallyu’s first generation singer, was selected as one of the top 100 most influential people in Time magazine in 2006, he tried to make that opportunity a chance to get closer to America. He was harshly criticized because his music was basically an imitation of American pop music. It is no wonder that Rain could not find the way through America, hometown of pop music. It is exactly the same case with many other Korean artists such as Girl’s Generation, 2NE1, JYJ and the others.
K-pop has a real shot in this game. Just because there have been several downs in the past, it does not mean we don’t have any chance now. For example, Wonder Girls are one of the groups predicted for future success with the right marketing strategy and music. It shows that they have carefully re-evaluated their past works.
Also, with overflowing usage of social network systems, it is even easier for people around the world to listen to music and watch the videos. It is time to take action with the burst of gentleman Psy, not the time to step back with the fear that we might lose again.
Though many people doubt the idea of crossing the Pacific, K-pop should not be hesitant about throwing itself into the wide world because now we know what works and what does not. It is up to the producers to actually tackle America again - while it still seems a bit like a tough game for outsiders to soak into the different culture. Well, the game is there to play, or otherwise, why would the game exist in the first place? Every chance has its own risk, and one thing for sure is that K-pop is ready, more than ever before.
by Jung Da-jin, Student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies