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Finding the next K-pop star at the 16th Kyunghyang Applied Music Concours Updated: 2022-08-05 15:09:08 KST

The Korean pop music industry is constantly holding auditions to find new faces.
There's a lot of focus on style and image.
But there's one audition program whose focus is musicality and expression, much like contests held in the classical music world.
Our Song Yoo-jin has this report.

In South Korea, a concours, which is French for 'contest' usually refers to a classical music competition.
But the Kyunghyang Applied Music Concours is different.
It's Korea's one and only applied music concours, a competition for modern, popular music.
Hosted by the Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper, it aims to discover the next big thing in K-pop by giving artists a stage to showcase their talent.
Around 11-thousand contestants have taken part in it since 2007.

But with numerous K-pop auditions already existing in the country, what's so unique about this one?

"While most auditions focus on whether artists have popular appeal and go well with the latest trends, we prioritize participants' potential to grow as professional artists and their passion towards music."
"Contestants can receive fair and objective evaluation as we have a talented pool of judges consisting of professors of applied music and K-pop musicians."

Popular Korean singer Seogi, singer and musical actress Son Seung-yeon, and guitarist Kim Jin-san all started their musical careers through this contest.
And to dig out more hidden talent, this year's finals took place on Tuesday.
45 out of 6-hundred participants were selected to compete in either vocals or composition.
The competition is nerve-wracking, but contestants say the experience will help them realize their dreams.

"I got so nervous and made so many mistakes.
I'm a little bummed out because this was not my best performance, but it also made me think that I should practice harder."

"I decided to sign up because I want my voice to be heard by as many people as possible.
I think this marks my first step in becoming a singer."

As well as prize money, the winners are also given the chance to perform in a special concert.

"Performing on stage as much as you can is very helpful for prospective musicians.
So every year, we organize a special live concert where award winners get a chance to perform."
The concert will take place later this month, after two weeks of professional training.

Song Yoo-jin, Arirang News.
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