Inspired by the conversation Destiny, Phio and I had over in the Choreography thread, I decided to create a thread about K-pop's emerging popularity in the West. For decades now, Western music (predominantly American ones) have had huge success exporting their songs overseas; artists such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and The Beatles are known globally. However, this is only a one way street since the average North American wouldn't be able to name a single musician from Asia.
Flash forward to 2012: Korean artists in particular are trying their best to make a name for themselves in the United States. Many groups have appeared in well-known talk shows, but it wasn't until the unexpected boom of PSY's Gangnam Style that it seemed possible that non-English music could be popular in the States (and the rest of the world) as well. Here are some questions to think about:
- Do you think the popularity of Gangnam Style will open the doors for other Korean or Asian artists?
- How popular will K-Pop be in American/Western markets in the future?
- People have listened to English songs on the radio without understanding the lyrics so will there be a time where the reverse is possible?
ABC's Nightline did a segment on K-Pop, which you can watch here:
I think PSY became a sensation because of his choreography as you mentioned. It was just so different, and people wanted to know what was so popular about it. If other artists want to be just as popular, they'd have to do something different than what's already heard on the Billboard Charts.
Awesome thread, Asa-chan. FYI, Indonesia is also facing a huge Hallyu wave.
For me personally lyrics doesn't matter; I'm looking for an oustanding musical arrangement regardless of words used. But with internet translations are easy, and Korean lyrics are also wonderful when translated. <3
It's a shame though that the song is reduced to it's dance, seriously. This is were I have to disagree with phio and say that lyrics do matter to me.
I'm very curious how much people actually know that PSY is parodying the new generation of rich south korean children who don't have to work and enjoy their life in the high society. Gangnam is a district in Seoul (capital of SK) most known for it's luxurious establishment, the place where the rich and famous koreans usually go to. If you know all that you realize that his dance actually symbolises the young sons and daughters of rich famous koreans acting all high and mighty even though they never did anything to get all that money.
And it's even more funny to see all the people dancing it even though they know nothing about the background
To be on topic, I don't believe it will give K-Pop a permanent boost, it's more of a "short" wave PSY's song created. I wouldn't mind if I'm mistaken because I believe J and K-Pop deserves more attention but at this point I believe the chances are rather slim =/
IIRC the reason why Gangnam Style became a hit was because K-Pop fans were sharing it on social networking sites so the fandom was there, but it took a while for K-Pop to become "mainstream".Quote:
It depends on the artist for me. If I'm listening to an fun, mindless pop, I take preference on the beat; if I'm listening to a mellow ballad, then I pay more attention to the lyrics.Quote:
I think there's a starting point with Hyuna from 4Minute who appeared in the music video. She was singing the spin-off version so newbies who can't get enough of Gangnam Style can see what she or her band has to offer.Quote:
Yeah, the music has beats you'd normally find on the radio, but the the horseback riding dance move is pretty unique.Quote:
I knew that the lyrics were commenting on a certain lifestyle but was unfamiliar with the part I bolded... everything makes sense now! I love how things seem disjointed until the little bits and pieces are really put together.Quote:
PSY signed on with an American record label that manages Justin Bieber so he may not be gone entirely. I guess we'll have to wait a few months to see if his popularity has benefitted other artists.Quote:
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3. It's totally possible, but I don't think it would be a widespread phenomenon. I believe the reason why English songs can be listened even if the listener does not understand the lyrics at all is because it's the number #1 international language. I cannot give a strong argument on this one, but I think since you're commonly exposed to English almost everywhere, you're getting used to it, thus when you listen to an English song you don't get the feeling of hearing "alien" sounds from the song .
Last edited by Doraku; November 07, 2012 at 06:49 AM.
Well, I think in our country it was Super Junior who brought K-Pop to the mainstream audience. If I'm not mistaken, they have their own TV show or something, and everything starts from there.Originally Posted by phio_chan
PSY is different because he made headlines during the time when K-Pop is already popular and trying to make a name for itself in the US. Perhaps no K-pop artist will achieve the status of Lady Gaga or even Lana Del Rey, but do you think another Korean song will get played as a Top 40 radio hit?
I live in an English speaking place so hearing English lyrics is the norm here so it was interesting reading your thoughts since you have a different perspective. It's really a pity that this is a one way road since there are many wonderful non-English bands/artists around the world.Quote:
The Hallyu wave has been big for several years now. It all started back around 2006 I think, with the rise of Super Junior, Girl's Generation, DBSK/TVSQ, Wonder Girls and Big Bang, who all slowly started to spread out through the Asia region at first. DBSK/TVSQ had the most impact within the Asia region at first, to the point where it was being called by it's Chinese variation of its name rather than its original Korean group name.
Wonder Girls has been active in USA for over 2 years now, they've got a couple of English albums released by Sony (Might have to double check that), and they've also released their own TV show and movie as well. Girl's Generation starting to exert a lot of influence in USA as well, as early as 1.5 years ago. SNSD, Wonder Girls, Big Bang and Super Junior all have an insane market share in the Japanese pop scene, SNSD are now releasing primarily in Japan, singing mostly in Japanese.
Not to mention all of the Kpop festival and concerts worldwide, which have been occurring since a couple of years back, and even in Australia, we've had two massive festivals in Sydney, which sold out of tickets in less than a week. Where PSY has excelled in such a short amount of time, compared to the rest, is exposing the culture of South Korea to the world through merely one song; I mean, this song is INSANELY popular, he was invited to a music festival in Australia which tours nationwide as a major act merely for Gangnam Style. To top it off, he's been incredibly popular in S.Korea for quite some time now, and Gangnam Style is actually a song from his fourth album, which emphasizes that he's not just some new artist with an one-hit wonder; he's an established artist who just so happened to hit the jackpot with a really catchy song.