K-Pop Groups Debuting in the US: Will K-Pop Lose Its Essence?
As far as I (a die-hard K-Pop fan) can tell, K-Pop groups have an essence of their own and a common essence as a whole. Each group has their own characteristics. For example, 2PM is referred to as “Beastly Idols” for their looks as huge men with great bodies, but also they are known for their softer side and love for their animals. Super Junior is known for their different personalities and ideas, but also as a hardworking group with non-stop activities all the time. That’s the characteristic essence of the group. The common essence that all K-Pop groups share is the unconditional love towards their fans, the special meanings in their songs, their style, and of course the language.
It has been said before that K-Pop is loved because of the differences it has from regular music. It develops a novelty, not just in the language (which is a super extra plus) but also in the choreography, image, and almost perfect music video scenarios.
So, what if K-Pop groups start debuting in the US? Will anything change? Will they lose what makes them so special to K-Pop fans? Is it really a good idea?
First, it feels good to see K-Pop almost everywhere. From Romania and Germany to Chile, Peru, or even Colombia, K-Pop is getting stronger nowadays and it’s a really good opportunity for fans living outside of Asia to see their favorite groups on stage. It’s also a great opportunity for K-Pop groups to take their music outside Korea. However, I feel that once everybody gets to know about K-Pop, they will like K-Pop “just because” and not for the reason that they find something special in it.
Secondly, if K-Pop gets into the American industry, what will happen then? K-Pop might just turn into Asian singers singing songs in English, dancing American style with movements beyond imagination and less clothing which will give the result of just Pop, not K-Pop. (Sorry if I’m being harsh but honestly, that’s what American Pop music has turned into these days.)
Is this a great chance for K-Pop to become more popular? How will it change K-Pop, something that we are all used to and we have grown to love the idea of? Would it just become electronic pop featuring American artists (such is the case for Se7en in “Girls”). Can fans get used to the idea that our beloved K-Pop has turned into American mainstream?
Honestly, I know we all want our artists to step out of Korea. It’s exciting to feel that the artist can be closer to us. But if artists’ agencies want to make it big, I think they should stay true to K-Pop roots and not change the artists’ essence. It might become dull seeing them dance and sing in English when at first what made them so special was the language barrier that we all recognize as something new and awesome. It wouldn’t be something Korean, it would become just Pop.
I admit that it is a great idea to meet American producers to get help from them. Such is the case for 2NE1 with Black Eyed Peas‘ Will.i.am, Taeyang and The Underdogs, Big Bang and Ludacris, or SNSD and Teddy Riley. It is great for them to get a little help from American producers, but in the long run, will this help allow for adequate growth for the artists?
It’s good to know that Wonder Girls made it into the American market without changing that much and now SM Entertainment is willing to take SNSD to America’s steps as well. Will it turn out good for the girls? Let’s hope that they don’t change their K-Pop roots and stay true to what they are. Why isn’t Super Junior given this chance as well? That’s a chat for another time. See you all next time and let me know what you think down below!
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