LA Times: “K-pop enters American pop consciousness”
Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, GD&TOP (Big Bang), JYJ, Wonder Girls and others from South Korea are expanding audiences in U.S. beyond Korean Americans.
August Brown of the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest distributed newspapers in America, recently wrote an in depth article on how K-pop is slowly penetrating the American pop consciousness.
The article talks about how the Internet is the driving force in spreading Korean pop culture and the shift of focus in Korean media companies. How they’re thinking beyond the domestic market and trying to directly reach the global market. You can read the full article here and a few excerpts below.
K-pop artists pull from techno, hip-hop, R&B and top-40; singles are often focused vehicles for elaborate music videos and rarely less than bonkers good fun. Traditional Korean culture can be patriarchal, but K-pop’s most famous acts, whose members often have roots in California, are groups of women deploying butt-kicking superhero imagery.Poised at the intersection of two countries’ fast-moving pop cultures and cutting-edge media technology, the sprawling genre colloquially known as K-pop has operated outside the American pop limelight. But that’s changing. A-list producers like will.i.am, Diplo and Kanye West are lining up to work with South Korean artists like 2NE1, GD&TOP and JYJ.
K-pop comes alongside a tide of Korean filmmaking (the cult-favorite films of Joon-ho Bong) and culinary interest (L.A.’s Kogi truck, progressive Korean barbecue joints like LaOn Dining) turning heads in L.A. and in the U.S. As K-pop makes its first big moves into America this year with English-language tracks on U.S. major labels, a big question is this — does this music, at the vanguard of global pop, even need mainstream America at all… Songs and especially videos were quickly passed over high-speed Internet and mobile devices several times faster than what’s available in America. Sites like AllKPop and magazines like KoreAm chronicled the exploits of the young, fashionable and lightly transgressive stars — when GD&TOP and pop singer Hyuna saw singles banned by South Korea’s major broadcasting networks, that made for delicious scandal. In August, Billboard launched a K-Pop Hot 100 chart to track the genre’s sales… For artists with roots in both countries, K-pop’s late rise in America (and what it means for Korean culture everywhere) is sweet but just the start. “Coming back to America to pursue music is a dream,” Tiffany said. “Not just because it’s America, but because this is just the beginning.”