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05FF-K-pop

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05FF-K-pop

  1. 1. feature 000000 www.femalemag.com.my www.femalemag.com.my Love it, hate it, too afraid to admit it. RachelLaw says you can’t escape the Korean pop culture wave. PHOTOGRAPHYTPGNEWS eady or not, Korean pop music has already pulled the veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) on us. Unlike Bieber fever, the K-pop phenomenon has captivated both men and women alike: the fairer sex covet pretty faces and stick-thin silhouettes while men aspire to own the masculine physique and styled hair of their celebrity counterparts. I think the latter would even turn gay for Big Bang’s Tae Yang. I approached a friend regarding the fad; lo and behold, she started spilling the A to Zs of her knowledge and passion for it! Her daily life revolves around K-pop; she checks out the latest news and music videos, translates and learns the lyrics to her favourite songs, and if she has time, masters the dance moves in the music videos too. As with most K-pop fans, she goes on K-drama marathons, and her latest gadget is a Samsung smart K-razy for K-p p! Say what? Hallyureferstoa surgeofinternational visibilityofthe Koreanculture. phone endorsed by her beloved K-pop group, Infinite. My friend, by the way, is only 15! Hallyu-ing the world? Asia is certainly riding the hallyu (Korean wave) despite the fact that a majority of the people in Asian countries do not even speak or understand Korean. In fact, K-pop has been overshadowing its Japanese counterpart, which ruled the air waves in the ‘90s with kawaii (cute) bubblegum pop and poignant, slow ballads. Now that they’re topping the music charts of the world’s second largest music market, tell me how is language a barrier? Slowly but surely, the wave is seeping into Europe and the USA, home of the biggest music industry in the world. You know that K-pop wants a slice of the American pie when one of its top groups of the moment, Girls Generation (also known as SNSD), made its USA debut on The Late Night Show With David Letterman just three months ago and the Who are the two members of Girls Generation who grew up in the USA? A. Taeyeon and Jessica B. Tiffany and Jessica C. Tiffany and Sunny This group recently replaced Girls Generation as the brand ambassador for home-wellness appliances manufacturer Coway. A. 2AM B. 2NE1 C. 2PM Which group was stranded in Cebu in the Philippines, while filming a music video because of a typhoon? A. FT Island B. KARA C. SHINee RESULTS!5-6 correct answers >> K-frenzied! K-pop is not just a music genre to you, but a lifestyle. You literally watch, listen, dress, speak and dine like a Seoul-cialite! 3-4 correct answers >> K-popped! Brownie points; you are aware of this pop culture paradigm shift. You may not be a fanatic, but you keep an open mind and heart towards a foreign culture. Kudos! 0-2 correct answers >> K-what? We can’t know it all and surely, it’s alright to not jump on the bandwagon. But if you mindlessly hate something that you don’t even know, shame on you! Quiz: Do you know your K-pop? The following acts have performed in Kuala Lumpur except... A. B2ST B. 4Minute C. Se7en How many members were there in Super Junior originally? How many ‘active’ members do they have now? A. 12, 9 B. 15, 9 C. 9, 5 Which of these songs is performed by former 2PM member, Jay Park? A. I Don’t Care B. Girlfriend C. Mirror, Mirror Answers1)B2)C3)A4)C5)A6)B wonder girls Girls Generation big bang 2NE1 R Did you know? GirlsGenerationtopped ForbesKorea’s‘Power Celebrity40’forthesecond consecutiveyearin2012,and islabelmatestomegastars LadyGaga,Madonnaand NicoleScherzinger,under InterscopeRecords.
  2. 2. feature 000000 www.femalemag.com.my www.femalemag.com.my Mei Hsuan, Accounts Executive, 21 What do you love about K-pop? “It’s a refreshing change from mainstream American and British music we listen to on the radio. Many would argue that if we don’t even understand the language, it’s absurd to be so immersed with K-pop but lyric translations can be found everywhere on the Net.” When and how did you get sucked into the wave? “A few years back, after watching several Korean dramas. Undeniably, the soundtracks were amazing and I contracted K-pop fever without realising it!” Prospects of K-pop as an international culture? “Yes, it will dominate the West. A survey by tvN e-news concludes that K-pop’s dance style and music, along with attractive looks, do captivate Western youth and thus, leads to a huge frenzy.” Liyana, Student, 24 When and how did you get sucked into the wave? “I first heard about K-pop about three years ago. My roommate showed me reality shows featuring Super Junior and their music videos. I’ve been addicted to K-pop ever since!” Your favourites and why? “My favourite group would be Big Bang! Its music and style are different from other groups. The boys are good looking and have wonderful voices. Just perfect!” Love it and proud of it or hate to admit it? “I absolutely love it and proud to say that I’m a fan!” Weng Lum, Management Consultant, 24 What do you love about K-pop? “I like that it is always changing; new materials, concepts and visuals are thrown right in your face. Contrary to popular belief that it’s a rip-off of American pop, I think they manage to keep it fresh all the time. Just pay attention to the details.” Love it and proud of it or hate to admit it? “Definitely the former. Takes a real man to know and admit what he likes.” Prospects of K-pop as an international culture? “I think K-pop isn’t so ‘K’ anymore since they started releasing English and Japanese songs, which is quite sad. K-pop made waves on its own merit despite being presented in a language that not everyone understands. If it can still hold on to its identity and style, K-pop will do well in both the East and the West.” Kit, Film student, 22 What do you love about K-pop and how big a fan are you? “I like how catchy the music is, no matter the genre. Also, the female artistes are really pretty. I support the groups that I like by purchasing their albums and official merchandise.” When and how did you get sucked into the wave? “It all began when Wonder Girls got big with its hit Nobody. I started reading about the group, then listened to its music on YouTube. One music video led to another…” Your favourites and why? “My favourite or as K-Pop fans call it ‘bias’ would be SNSD (Girls Generation), simply because the members have melodious voices and signature dance moves. A good balance of good vocalists and good dancers.” Onhighfever!Five K-pop fanatics confess their love for these Asian sensations! nine-member girl group performed its US maxi single The Boys. The group subsequently performed it on morning show Live! With Kelly. However, it was five ‘wonderful’ Korean girls who broke into the USA first. In 2009, the Wonder Girls kick-started its American adventure by opening for the Jonas Brothers World Tour and releasing English versions of the smash hit Nobody and Tell Me. Since then, the five-member unit has made history by being the first Korean act to get on the Billboard Hot 100, launch a 20-show tour in the States and release a television movie The Wonder Girls for TeenNick, early this year. Meanwhile, hundreds of fans outside Asia and the USA demonstrate from time to time their love for K-pop music and culture by organising flash mobs. If you log onto YouTube, search results will give you videos shot in cities and countries all over the world including Dubai, Dublin, Sydney, Melbourne, Bergen, London, Russia, Vancouver, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Rome, Poland and even the Ukraine! A 50-participant flash mob in Times Square, New York, danced to favourite K-pop tracks... in the rain and snow! Of kimchi and (lots of) ka-ching! While the rest of the world is overwhelmed by a culturally different kind of flashy, catchy pop, the dough is rolling in for South Korea. Truth is, K-pop and K-dramas are not mere forms of entertainment. The couple work hand-in-hand in soft selling the Korean culture to its consumers, yet the impact is solid. If you devote yourself to indulging in Korean entertainment, somewhere along the line you would want to speak, dine, shop, make up, dress and travel à la Korean. Consequently, the tourism sector in South Korea has been Madstats!In Forbes Korea’s Top 40 ‘Power Celebrities’, ½ of the top 20candidates are K-pop groups. The list is based on income, influence, fame and expertise. Only 4K-pop groups made it to the list last year. The Korean government reported a 303%increase in exports of smart phones to South America. The Korean music industry earned US$177million (RM530million) last year, almost six times the amount garnered in 2009. Television dramas earned US$252million (RM755million) last year, a $67 million increase from 2009. Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange ranked Korea at number 15, three positions higher than 2011. In 2010, 923 K-pop official music videos on YouTube received a total of almost 800 millionhits! (Source: Financial Times 2012, Kpopstarz. com, 2012 and The Korea Daily, 2011) experiencing a tremendous boom. BBC News reports that the numberofpeoplewhovisitedSouthKoreatoattendalbumlaunches, concerts and award ceremonies doubled to 34,000 in 2010. Case in point, when male group JYJ (Jaejoong, Yoochun, Junsu) held two large-scale concerts in the same year, a tourism magazine speculated the presence of more than 20,000 Japanese visitors and 2,500 hallyu tourists. True enough, Daily K-pop News reported that over 3,000 international fans flocked Seoul city. A tourist agency representativeatthe concert venue said the immense crowd made it difficult for travellers to book hotel rooms in the city. “This concert would probably have raked in an economic value of between US$800,000 and US$8million (RM2million to RM24million),” he added. In addition, travel agencies began to take advantage of the success of major hit K-dramas like Winter Sonata (2002) by offering themed group tours, where tourists get to visit the locations featured in these dramas. In fact, in 2005, Hangerye Daily published the rising numbers of Malaysian tourists to South Korea, a whopping 34,000 increase between 2001 and 2003. Verdict After my research on K-pop, with lots of music video viewings in the process, I’ve concluded there’s no escape from this fad. K-pop fan or not, you probably own a bit of Korea, be it a Hyundai hatchback, Samsung tablet or The Face Shop sheet masks. So go ahead, embrace it. I won’t judge, I promise! K-Pop groups look and act like real adults, whereas J-Pop outfits often emphasise adolescent cuteness. PatrickSt.Michel,TheAtlantic2011 Trivia! ProducerandBlackEyedPeas memberWill.I.Amiscurrently workingonaUSdebutalbum forhip-hopgirlgroup2NE1 (pronounced‘toanyone’).The latterwascrownedbyMTV Iggyas‘BestNewBandInThe World2011’! Era, Student, 22 What do you love about K-pop, and how big a fan are you? “K-pop is really catchy, and I love that. I even tried to learn the language! And of course, I attended several K-pop concerts in KL.” Your favourites and why? “Super Junior, because the group’s funny and its members have unique personalities, so evident in variety shows. It produces really good music and each member is equally talented. My favourite has got to be Kim Heechul.” Love it and proud of it or hate to admit it? “The former!” wonder girls 2NE1

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