Big Bang and 2NE1 Evolve the International Face of K-Pop


K-Pop has been laying down its foundation and quietly deepening its roots within the global music industry. SNSD and Kara in Japan, Wonder Girls in America, the whole SM Family and JYJ in Europe, it is without a doubt that K-Pop has increasingly globalized. 

The driving force behind the mass accumulation of fans for K-Pop are the large entertainment companies that train and invest in their idol groups for a long period of time. Powerful performances and amazing vocal abilities have widely captured the hearts and ears of those who are tuned into mainstream K-Pop culture and have even contributed to the universal pop genre with new sounds and a distinct style. Social networking services have helped disperse K-Pop to different countries all over the world. 

In the midst of the K-Pop diaspora all around the world, YG‘s Big Bang and 2NE1 have made a big jump in receiving awards in renown American and British music award ceremonies. They have proven that other genres such as hip hop (a little different from general K-Pop market)  are also making waves and becoming a competitive force in foreign countries. 

Already known for their record selling music as a group and solo artists on iTunes, Big Bang received the award for “World Wide Act” at the MTV Europe Music Awards

Big Bang, representing the Asia Pacific, was up against other global artists such as Lena representing Europe, Britney Spears representing North America, Abdelfattah Grini representing the Middle East and Restart representing Latin America. Competition seemed tough, but Big Bang came out on top. The fact that they surpassed Britney Spears in this category is a huge feat, and proves that K-Pop stars are no push overs in the global market. Although a scattered one, Big Bang’s achievement proves that K-Pop has a solid fan base all over the world. 

On November 11 YG’s representative girl group 2NE1 received the honor of the “2011 Best New Band in the World” award at the MTV Iggy Awards. Starting in October, there was a six week voting process for world renown bands, and 2NE1, receiving the most number of popular votes dominated for the win. 

Similarly to Big Bang’s feat 2NE1 surpassed other global musicians that represented nine different countries such as America, Mexico, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Venezuela. Not only did fans from Korea pitch in to vote, but fans from all over the world made this possible for 2NE1. Most of 2NE1’s votes came from America and the Philippines, not Korea. 

Big Bang and 2NE1 are both groups that have their own style of music and sense of expressing themselves, something that is different from the milieu of other K-Pop groups. They have something more to offer other than another group of cute and sexy girls/boys that come with catchy tunes. 

Their achievements in the global market reached another milestone for K-pop as a whole, as well as open the world to a different face of K-Pop. The day K-Pop sits down with a confident niche in the global sphere doesn’t seem too far off.