U.S. Music Industry Leaders Discuss BTS’s Success And Possibility Of K-Pop Becoming Mainstream
U.S. music industry leaders presented their insights on K-pop at MU:CON Seoul 2019.
MU:CON Seoul 2019 took place on October 1 at 11 a.m. KST at the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center in Gangnam District, Seoul. Nicole Frantz, Creative Director of Capitol Music Group and Phil Quartararo, CEO of Tripod Partners, were at the convention to discuss K-pop’s current status and its future in the global market.
Nicole Frantz will be collaborating with SM Entertainment to undertake projects with SuperM and NCT 127. She began, “K-Pop has a significant influence on the trend, and it’s a genre that’s leading the global music market. I believe that many Americans who haven’t experienced K-pop yet will enjoy it plenty once they experience it.”
Regarding the SuperM project, she said, “I saw the potential for growth in K-pop. [The SuperM project] will succeed. With the music and performances we have, we can put fans’ worries to rest and bring them together. I don’t think we need to be too concerned.”
Phil Quartararo, who has held positions as CEO at Virgin Records, Warner Bros. Records, and EMI, has played a key role in the successes of Janet Jackson, Madonna, Linkin Park, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He shared, “For the last five or six years, the American music market has been regarded as flat and lacking in originality, and young fans who were unable to find something special [in the American market] have been starting to show interest in K-pop. K-pop shows the passion of people around the world. Its success doesn’t owe to the fact that it originated in Korea, but to the fact that the music is good. BTS has succeeded, but it’s now time to break stereotypes. It’s important for people to become interested in K-pop through BTS and then become interested other groups. BTS isn’t the end. There are many other groups behind them with the potential to find even greater success.”
He continued, “20 years ago, a famous Latin music company asked, ‘Is there a possibility of Latin music succeeding in the American market?’ and now, Latin [music] is dominating the American market. Because K-pop has a competitive edge, it has ample potential to succeed.”
He also mentioned BTS, Wanna One, and Red Velvet as the K-pop artists he is currently working with or has worked with. He said, “BLACKPINK performed at Coachella. Just like I focused on the Spice Girls in the ’90s, I’m now focusing on BLACKPINK. I think they have great potential, and we need to build a bridge for them to enter the [American] market.”
MU:CON is a music convention that aims to facilitate the expansion of Korean mainstream music into global markets by constructing a network between global and domestic music industries and stimulating communication between those who work in the industry.