[article] Let’s talk about PSY, Rain, Wonder Girls, Jay Park, K-Popping and Eat Your Kimchi.

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

A really nice write-up, and food for thought!


Idolator Music News 9/14/2012 — Written by Christina Lee

“Gangnam Style”: What It Is And Why America Was Bound To Fall In Love With It


South Korean rapper of the moment PSY says he never imagined that “Gangnam Style” would be viewed more than 150 million times on YouTube. The video’s viral success was an even bigger surprise to the Korean music industry, whose chief export had been (until a minute ago) young, eager, camera-ready pop groups perfected by years’ of media training, gunning for crossover fame overseas in the United States. Compared to those svelte 20-somethings, Psy—age 34 and of average size—considered himself to be an industry misfit. To further prove his point, he’d learned to dance to “Single Ladies” for live shows.

It’s fitting, then, that when Schoolboy Records manager Scooter Braun announced that Psy would join Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen on his roster, he made one particular goal known: Psy will be “the first Korean artist to break a big record in the United States.”

To US ears, “Gangnam Style” may sound like an LMFAO collaboration beamed from overseas. To first-time viewers of his music video, as Britney Spears and Ellen DeGeneres can now attest, PSY’s Running Man-meets-rodeo king choreography looks easier to nail than it actually is. As immediate and infectious as “Gangnam Style” may be, thousands of YouTube users have attempted to dissect nearly all aspects of the sudden hit and its accompanying, ridiculously viral music video: its rhythm, its apparent symbolism, if not its actual lyrics. (Despite its title being clearly displayed, English-language listeners — Usher included — apparently heard it as “Open Condom Style.”) But to PSY, “Gangnam Style” is simply a way of life, at least in Korea. Named after one of Seoul’s most affluent districts, this song off his sixth (!) album is about a couple “acting noble at daytime and going crazy at nighttime,” as the rapper told Ryan Seacrest.

PSY’s crossover success reminds of all the Korean artists that have previously set their sights for US fame — and also the US artists who then looked to the K-pop industry for inspiration. Let’s talk about them.

Number of times Rain topped TIME’s 100 poll: 3
In 2006, JYP Entertainment’s first crossover hopeful Rain performed two sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden and one in Las Vegas — the sort of events that surely cemented his #1 spot in TIME‘s annual reader poll of most influential people, before he’d top it again in 2007 and 2011. The incredibly eager support from his fans (nicknamed his “Clouds”) once even helped Rain edge out Stephen Colbert for the poll’s #2 spot in 2008, a score that Colbert tried to settle via dance-off. Rain’s one failure: not recording an English-language album before he began his compulsory military service, as required of all Korean males.

Rain, “It’s Raining”

» You can continue reading Christina Lee’s article about PSY, Rain, the Wonder Girls, Jay Park, K-Popping in general, and Eat Your Kimchi in its entirety on the Idolator news site HERE. Enjoy it! ^@@^

~ by Cloud USA on September 15, 2012.

2 Responses to “[article] Let’s talk about PSY, Rain, Wonder Girls, Jay Park, K-Popping and Eat Your Kimchi.”

  1. And as far as Asian “fandom” goes, the artists themselves have to really establish just how far they want to go for international success. Because there will come the proverbial “fork in the road” when they’ll have to decide….”Okay, if I/we do this there’s no turning back and I may lose some Asian fans”….and they (the artist) have to be okay with that. It’s kinda like falling in love with somebody your parents don’t like. Do you give in to the parents’ wishes and stop seeing the person you love to make mom/dad happy, but you’re miserable? or Do you say mom/dad I love you but I really want to make a life with my boo? This may mean mom/dad might disown you, but it’s the risk you’re willing to take to be happy.

    For those artists who want to break out of the Asian market, these may be the questions. Honestly, if they’re your fans they should be your fans regardless or they never really were in the first place. If success is to be yours in a new market, then a new fandom will come along with it. So, I would say follow your “musical heart” and do what moves you within and that may mean some people/dead weight may have to go. Be it management or fan girls.


  2. I think it’s very interesting that Korean music is becoming more and more popular over here. Several reasons, I’m sure, as to why but it seems to me that the Korean entertainment establishment while pushing its artists to such heights they really don’t want them to break out of the Asian market. They really don’t. Because if their artists break out of their “bubbles” then, that means others can “break in” and I don’t think, socially, they are ready for all that will inevitably come along with having a country become more diverse.

    I’ve been watching Micky Yoochun in K-dramas here lately and I’ve just recently gotten into JYJ’s music and reading about all the brou-haha surrounding their lawsuit from their former company. Now that JYJ is making moves trying to get a foothold in the American market, their former company seems to be playing serious hardball with them. Court injunctions to stop record sales, documentary that can’t be shown, Visas mysteriously being denied for travel to the States where concerts were to be held. I’m like damn they are gone from your establishment let them go. Clean break, they go their way…you go yours.

    The PSY phenomenon has been like an avalanche over in Korea. They are shocked by it. I don’t get Korea sometimes. It’s not like the establishment is living completely in a bubble. Social media has taken over The WORLD. Nobody has to wait for years anymore, success for some is in the click of a button. Just that fast. They keep pushing their artists BUT for Asian success only. However, the world wide web means that other countries see and key in on your artists as well. Foreign fans want to know them, buy their wares other professional musicians see them, admire their talent and want to work with them. There is major money to be made and the possibility for Asian artists to reach even greater international fame and “cracking” the ever elusive U.S. market. Asian entertainment companies are still limiting their artists even in the wake of all this new found popularity/success.

    Don’t be Stingy Asia!


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