Alternative acts aim to spread their sound abroad

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Alternative acts aim to spread their sound abroad

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Electro music duo Glen Check

The international popularity of acts such as Exo, Girls’ Generation and Super Junior has overshadowed the fact that there’s more to modern Korean music than K-pop.

The Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca) has therefore selected 12 domestic non-mainstream acts with distinctive styles and provided each with an opportunity to perform at one of three concerts overseas - Canadian Music Week (CMW), Music Matters in Singapore and Midem in France - to prove that Korean music is more diverse than it may seem.

According to Song Sung-gak, the president of Kocca, which spreads Korea’s cultural content overseas, the organization wanted to help passionate and talented musicians branch out abroad.

“We want to discover and support talented musicians, which is one of the reasons for the existence of Kocca,” said Song during a press conference on Thursday.

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Rock group Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio

The 12 acts, which include rapper Verbaljint, hip-hop musicians The Quiett and Dok2 and ska-reggae group Kingston Rudieska were chosen from a pool of musicians not under to Korea’s three biggest entertainment agencies: SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.

“This is because these three agencies have enough capital to provide their artists with an opportunity to enter the foreign music industry,” said Song.

“It is the first time for our band to participate in an official foreign concert so we are very nervous and excited,” said Choi Chul-wook of Kingston Rudieska during the press conference.

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Funk-soul band Sultan of the Disco and

“Our goal is to popularize ska and reggae music. We want international reggae artists to recognize Korean reggae artists and we also want Korean people more enjoy listening to reggae music.”

In order to branch out and enjoy success overseas, musicians need to constantly develop themselves, according to the acts themselves.

“To be loved by fans for a long time, we have to be able to communicate in English. Or else, all we can say on the stage is ‘hi’ and ‘hello,’?” said Kim Nae-hyun of Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, a band that attended the press conference.

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50s-style group The Barberettes will perform at music festivals overseas as a result of efforts by the Korean Creative Content Agency. Provided by Korea Creative Content Agency

“Also, we have to work on releasing albums in foreign countries to make ourselves not forgotten by our foreign fans.”

The three international events these musicians will participate in are large-scale music festivals.

CMW is Canada’s biggest music festival, which will be held for 10 days from May 1 to 10 in Toronto, Canada.

The festival is celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year. Artists from 30 different countries will participate in 1,000 showcases at the event.

Music Matters Live is a festival held in Singapore that started in 2006. It will continue for four days from May 20.

Midem, a French music festival, has a long history of celebrating diverse music genres. The festival first started in 1967 and invites musicians from 75 countries to play in its location in Cannes.

Midem will be held for four days from June 5.

BY JIN MIN-JI [estyle@joongang.co.kr]
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