[poll] MTV USA: Which Asian pop star/group has the best shot at mainstream success in the U.S.?

Cloud cover by: Stephe, Managing Editor ^@@^

Utada? BoA? Rain? Girls Generation (SNSD)? Wonder Girls? Se7en? Go let them know what you think, KPop and Rain fans. Tweet and Facebook away! Give this some buzz!

We love what what Sterling said about Rain—it is so true, especially in light of the fact that each time he’s been poised to break into the U.S., either outside interference or a wrong decision by the Powers That Be was what headed things off, NOT Rain’s performance or abilities. In fact, we really like what this article says about all of these artists and we appreciate this write-up.

The door has been opened wide for Rain to further make his mark in the U.S. via Hollywood, as an actor, after his military service is done… but his music career is far from over. And if any Asian artist can do both here, he is certainly the one.

— Stephe @cloudusa.wordpress.com / cloudusa.org


MTV Newsroom Blog 11/3/2011 — by Sterling Wong

With Girls Generation On The Verge, Here Are Five Other Asian Artists Who’ve Set Their Sights On America

We’ve blogged a couple of times about the much-loved, nine-member Korean girl group Girls Generation these past few days. The all-singing, all-dancing group is now on a promotional tour of the US, having already achieved mega success in Korea, Japan and the rest of Asia.

“Be careful world we’re on the way!” band member Tiffany told our very own Christina Garibaldi when the girls popped by the MTV Newsroom. Yes, it seems like now that they’ve conquered Asia, the girls have set their sights on winning over America, having recently signed with Interscope Records (maybe they can rope in label mate Lady Gaga for a collaboration).

» (You can see that interview video on MTV HERE.)

Judging by the music video of the group’s catchy Teddy Riley-crafted English single, “The Boys,” the girls certainly have the hooks and the moves to make it big stateside. But the task the girls face is an uphill one. The American market is a tough one to crack for foreign artists. Many highly successful Asian acts have tried their best to make it here, but despite their best efforts, there still isn’t a nationally recognized mainstream Asian pop star. If Girls Generation is to succeed, they’d do well to study the attempts by these five Asian artists to break the lucrative American market in the past few years.

Read on for more and vote in our poll for who you think will be the first Asian artist to break in a big way in America!

Utada (Japan)
It’s an understatement to say Utada Hikaru has had an impressive career. Her debut album First Love, is the bestselling albums of all time in Japan, and she has sold over 52 million records since she broke onto the Japanese music scene in 1997. The American-born Utada was probably the most likely to break America with her R&B sensibilities. The 28-year-old certainly tried her best, releasing two albums here, Exodus in 2004 and This is the One in 2009, both of which were met with indifference from the general public. With the quality of Utada’s music, though, we’re still hoping that she’ll make it some day!

BoA (Korea)
Ciara must be glad that BoA didn’t take off here: The 24-year-old Korean can definitely cut a rug as well as Ciara does, as she displays in the video to her 2008 English single, “Eat You Up.” BoA was the first Korean artist to break through the tough-to-crack Japanese market, but unfortunately, the US proved a step too far as her self-titled album, released in 2009, failed to gain traction here. Realizing that she was neglecting her core Japanese and Korean markets, BoA decided to abandon her US ambitions for the time being and concentrate on her fans back home. But now that Girls Generation is breaking big, maybe it’s time to give it another go?

Rain (Korea)
It’s common for many Asian artists to straddle film and music careers, and Rain is an expert juggler of both. The 29-year-old Korean is perhaps the biggest heartthrob in all of Asia and he even made it onto People magazine’s Most Beautiful People list in 2007. Rain made a foray into America though film instead of music. “Speed Racer” underwhelmed, but the kickass star did win the Biggest Badass Award at last year’s MTV Movie Awards. Rain is currently serving his mandatory service back home in Korea, so any US ambitions have to be paused for now, but perhaps he’ll attempt to conquer the English music scene when he makes his comeback.

» (You can see the Rain and James McTeigue Ninja Assassin interview in Sterling’s article HERE.)

Wonder Girls (Korea)
Fans of the Jonas Brothers will probably be familiar with this Korean five-piece girl group. The quintet was the opening act of the brothers’ 2009 world tour, where they performed their first English single, “Nobody.” The song made history when it became the first from a Korean group to make the Billboard Hot 100, but plans for an album release here were halted when a member of the group, Sunmi, left. News about a full-length English release has been sporadic since, but with the girls still red hot all across Asia, it’s probably a matter of finding some time so they can concentrate on promoting their music here.

Se7en (Korea)
Yes, it seems like it’s the Koreans who are intent on breaking America. Se7en, like Rain, is renowned for his dancing prowess. For his English debut in 2009, the 26 year-old took the hip-hop direction, working with Amerie, Lil’ Kim and Fabolous. Se7en’s first single, “Girls,” on which Lil’ Kim guested, dropped in 2009, with the video also getting a BET 106 & Park premiere. Due to the poor reception to the single, plans for Se7en’s English album were scrapped, and the star turned his focus back to Korea and Japan.

Which Asian pop star/group has the best shot at mainstream success in America?

• Girls Generation
• Utada
• BoA
• Rain
• Wonder Girls
• Se7en 

» Go to Sterling’s article in the MTV Newsroom HERE to place your vote, support your choice, and speak your mind! 🙂

~ by Cloud USA on November 3, 2011.

10 Responses to “[poll] MTV USA: Which Asian pop star/group has the best shot at mainstream success in the U.S.?”

  1. I love Se7en. He could definitely make it in the US. His people really dropped the ball when he was here. I heard some of the tracks off his unreleased US album, and I was really impressed. His vocals, english and stage presence were flawless when he performed in the states. I hope he gives the states another chance. I hate when people use the term ‘failed.’ Everything in life is about timing. Perhaps it just wasn’t Se7en’s time yet.

    Personally I think Rain has a better chance at making it in films in the US than in the music game. The music industry is really hardcore, especially the R&b/Soul audience. We’re a Tough crowd to impress. He’s really going to have to work on his English and get some top producers and bring something new to the game. Dude is going to have to step his game all the way up.

    Rain is a very hardworking driven person. Once he sets his mind on something, he makes it happen! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see 🙂


  2. Girls I just got through looking at some of se7en’s videos. Girls I like his sound and moves. Now I will say he does not dance as good as my Rain or sing as good but I really could jam to his music. Do any of you like him?


    • *raises hand* I certainly do! He doesn’t hit me has hard as Rain does, but Se7en is definitely talented, sexy, and has a great sound. Woowee! (That jawline is the bomb too, haha. He and Rain are like the masters of the Jawline LOL)

      Stephe ^@@^


    • Gee,

      I like Se7en. I think he’s really good. I don’t compare him to Rain just like I didn’t compare anybody to MJ. But I definitely like his voice. He’s what I call a “melody man.” Why HE didn’t make it here, I don’t know. It certainly wasn’t a matter of his English either, at least judging by his song “Girls” featuring Lil Kim. So other factors must be a play. But yeah, I can definitely listen to some Se7en.


      • Yeah, factors like no one really knew he was here until he was headed back to Korea. Talk about not enough marketing. How frickin’ lame was that? 😦

        Stephe ^@@^


        • Well then I say Se7en try it again. I know about you now cutie, I didn’t know about you back then. His music, I could see myself buying. People here are definitely becoming more aware of K-Pop, although not all of them are pop. Se7en, like Rain, is R&B. Maybe if their management gives a damn enough, they would get over here and really get to “schmoozing” whatever exec they need to schmooze in the Specific market their artist will more than likely be able to reach. Set’em up so they can knock’em down. You know.


  3. Just left my vote and we know who for. You know I’m inclined to say this one thing. Someone said in a recent comment (can’t remember who…damn…getting old), that the “squeaky wheel” that will get the most attention is the one who “greases” the most palms at the radio stations (I’m paraphrasing of course) to get their music played in heavy rotation. I’m inclined to agree. There are some songs I have floating around in my head right now and I’m like why the Hell am I singing this damned song. It’s because I’ve heard it 9000 times in one hour. Doesn’t mean it’s good, just means if somebody hears something enough times…. oh you’ll like it….Or Else!

    Also, who makes it depends on what audience they’re being marketed to maybe (IMO). Teens? Adults over 30? Also it will depend on how much of their music will contain English or not I think, as well. I’m American and I know how we think. You will always have that segment of the population that just will not get into music that is not sung in English. Maybe this is changing, I don’t know. Personally, I like music that makes me feel something doesn’t have to be in English, but that’s me. I’m just one person. Time will tell I guess.


  4. all of the above have tried and failed…maybe it’s time for a new thing…2NE1 and Big Bang maybe the ones to do it if any one can….BI still has too much trouble with his English, that won’t do so I don’t hold too much hope for him 😦


  5. You forgot 2ne1. They’re awesome. I listen to them everyday on my Pandora!


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