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Evolution of K-Pop: How Do We Define K-pop Analyzed by Youngdae Kim Updated: 2021-08-19 17:05:01 KST

A Japanese girl group produced by JYP Entertainment, American dramas produced by Studio Dragon, and cartoon series by American artists distributed through Naver Webtoon and Kakao Webtoon, the future of the evolution of K-culture is dazzling.
Rather than discovering and introducing artists from Korea, companies are now working with people overseas to create and produce content.
In this process, many believe that the "Hallyu"or the Korean Wave aspects will be naturally transplanted into the international cultural industries.
Starting off with K-pop, JYP Entertainment has created a Japanese girl group called NiziU that is a sensation in Japan. SM Entertainment and HYBE will also be launching idol groups in the overseas markets. Can this be considered K-pop?
If Korean movies and dramas are being produced overseas with foreign actors acting in a foreign language, can this be considered K-content?
To talk about this complex issue, we have our regular guest, music critic Youngdae Kim, joining us in the studio.



So today's topic may be rather philosophical, but it's something that definitely needs to be addressed at some point.

Labels like JYP have successfully produced bands such as NiziU, consisting entirely of Japanese members and singing in Japanese and they're also planning to create a similar Japanese boy band. SM Entertainment and HYBE are also planning to create an all-foreigner K-pop band overseas through audition programs in the target language. All of this is part of an effort to make K-pop go global. But the question is, will this be considered K-pop?

We've already had a few foreign artists succeed in Korea through K-pop such as Eric Nam or Henry Lau, better known as Henry. Both are K-pop stars but the former is American of Korean descent and the latter is Chinese-Canadian. They both speak Korean and they sing in Korean. Had they sung in English from the beginning of their careers, would they have been considered "K-pop" artists?

In one of the interviews, Eric Nam brought up an important point. He said, "K-pop is not just groups and incredibly produced highly choreographed pieces. It needs more representation." K-pop literally means Korean pop music, but how it's viewed overseas is mostly idol groups dancing in unison. Do you think K-pop is K-pop because of the strictly choreographed group dance moves? Without it, will solo artists be able to gain as much popularity overseas? What is the essence of K-pop?

Aside from the music industry, what about in film and TV? Studio Dragon, a major local drama production, is producing a 10-part American TV series called "The Big Door Prize." This is the first American drama produced by a Korean production and it is just first of the dozen more in the pipeline. Will creations such as these also be considered "K-content"? To what extent can we claim the "K"?

That was Youngdae Kim with us breaking down the essence of what makes Korean content. Thanks for joining us.
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