Extra! Korea

August 21, 2009

Chosun News tells the Jonas Brothers a big fat lie

Filed under: Uncategorized — extrakorea @ 4:11 am

In a backstage interview with the Jonas Brothers (Hat Tip), Chosun News told them, “You have a lot of fans in Korea.” What a big, fat lie. When it was announced that the Jonas Brothers would take the Wonder Girls on tour with them, many Korean fans said, “Yay! They’re going on tour with the Jonas Brothers! Yay! … Who are the Jonas Brothers?” Almost nobody had heard of them in Korea up until that point. If the Jonas Brothers came to Korea, they’d be lucky to sell out a Starbucks coffee shop. The big Korean music companies (JYP/SM/YG Entertainment, etc.) and TV channels* have effectively shut foreign music out of Korea. Only very recently have I heard anyone listening to the Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow, and why? Because 2NE1’s Minji performed a dance to it.

* KBS, SBS, and MBC broadcast Music Bank, Inkigayo, and Show! Music Core, respectively.


  1. It sounds like you’re criticizing Koreans for not knowing about foreign acts, but it’s not an obligation on the part of Koreans to be exposed to international groups. To be fair, more Koreans know about foreign artists than English-speakers know about Korean artists.

    Comment by Alex — August 21, 2009 @ 4:53 am

    • Of course everyone tries to protect and nurture their domestic talent. Everyone, that is, except Canadians. Our artists need to achieve success in other countries before we start to appreciate them, so in that sense, I wish Canadians were more like Koreans. We could learn a lot from them.
      My big beef is the fact that they told a blatant lie to the Jonas Brothers.
      Also, the fact that most Americans know little about Korean artists might not necessarily have to do with closed-mindedness or an Ameri-centric mindset, but with the fact that, to be blunt, Korean music may not have the quality* to make an impression. Try to sell soju in France.

      * By “quality,” I mean innovation, the offering of something new or different. Koreans like BoA, 2NE1, Big Bang, and TVXQ (a.k.a. DBSK) certainly have world-class dancing and/or singing talent.

      Comment by extrakorea — August 21, 2009 @ 6:20 am

  2. What? You mean 2NE1 didn’t write Boom Boom Pow?

    Comment by roboseyo — August 21, 2009 @ 5:36 am

  3. How do you know about it?? I’m from Korea and we do have a lot of fans…If you don’t know, just don’t say anything!!And don’t say our news said a lie… Cause you’re telling a lie,too….

    Comment by Caroline — August 23, 2009 @ 7:31 am

    • How do you know about it??

      Because I live in South Korea, that’s how.

      I’m from Korea and we do have a lot of fans…

      Nonsense. This past weekend, I went to a music store in Yongsan, and there weren’t even any Jonas Brothers albums on sale.

      If you don’t know, just don’t say anything!!

      I do know. And don’t tell me to not say anything. Haven’t you ever heard of freedom of speech?

      And don’t say our news said a lie…

      Why not? They did, and should be held accountable. And your use of “our” suggests that you think that Korean news agencies should not ever be criticized because … they’re Korean. Whether they’re Korean, American, or whatever, any news agency that lies should be criticized. Why do some people feel a need to stick by certain people just because they’re of the same ethnicity? The truth should be a higher ideal, one that transcends nationalistic boundaries.

      Cause you’re telling a lie,too….

      No, I’m not. Actually, you’re the one who’s telling a lie. Either that, or you’re astoundingly ignorant about South Korea.

      Comment by extrakorea — August 25, 2009 @ 5:47 am

      • I wouldn’t say he’s ignorant about Korea, he’s just blinded by Korean nationalism.

        Why should Korean stars be known to Americans? They have really nothing unique, culturally or artistically, to offer Americans. Sorry Koreans, but that’s the way the world outside of Korea works whether you realise it or not.

        As for your comment about Canadian artists having to make it big before becoming popular at home, I have to say you are only partially correct.

        Exceptions- The Hip, Triumph, Kim Mitchel and a few others are bands that made it big in Canada.

        To a certain extent The Guess Who were big in Canada, but even bigger after 1970 when they did become popular in the US with American women.

        Anyway remember, most Koreans think that if you are critical of any little thing about Korea/Koreans, you are wrong and should shut up.

        I once remarked in one of my adult classes about how Park Chun ho was snet to the minors to recover from injury and one of my students freaked out saying that I was being negative about Koreans-and this was all fact!

        Don’t give them too much credit.

        Comment by Larry — August 25, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  4. Uh… well hi, I actually DO live in South Korea.
    I’ve been to a couple of music stores these past couple of weekends, and people actually were buying the Jonas Brothers CD’s.
    I go to an international school, which, of course, has lots of Jonas fans too. Not all people who live in Korea are Koreans, you know. So who are you to say that no one will come to a Jonas concert if they come to Korea? Even if no one attends, heck, that’s great! My friends and I will be the only ones there, and that’d be better than a crowded room, right? Woohoo!
    Please. Why do you even care?

    Comment by Sophia — August 29, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

    • I go to an international school …

      Well, that explains everything. You don’t live in the same Korea as other schoolkids. In a normal classroom, very few students know about or like the Jonas Brothers.

      I’ve been to a couple of music stores these past couple of weekends, and people actually were buying the Jonas Brothers CD’s.

      That’s pretty amazing, considering that most music stores in Korea don’t even sell their albums. That must be like sighting Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster.

      Comment by extrakorea — September 1, 2009 @ 7:43 am

      • However, it’s Korea, all the same. The news said, “You have a lot of fans in Korea”, not “You have a lot of Korean fans”. Correct? And if you’ve been paying attention to the TV, the Jonas Brothers have been appearing on a couple of shows, since it’s becoming known that the stupid Wondergirls are touring with them. So it’s probable that people may have become interested in them through tv shows.

        Le gasp, really? I wonder what music stores you’ve been to. Have you been to the one in Yongsan? I was just there yesterday, actually. And believe it or not, they WERE selling Jonas Brothers CD’s. NEWS FLASH for you, huh? Should I take pictures for you to prove it?
        Have you also been to the one in the Kyobo bookstore? They not only sell Jonas Brothers CD’s, they actually have it as one of the preview CD’s you can listen to before you buy it! While I was browsing around looking at some albums, I saw plentyyy of people go over to that machine to listen. These two music stores are some of the biggest in Korea, I know. If you haven’t seen it still, you’re missing out on some Loch Ness Monster madness!

        Comment by Sophia — September 1, 2009 @ 7:50 am

  5. I’d rather listen to Korean music than American. At least Korean acts are far better to look at. And I come from a country that is in awash with American music. The snobbish cultural attitude of Americans that the rest of the world has nothing to offer them, are world famous.

    Comment by NO — August 31, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

  6. unfortunately, my nephew in korea knows about the jonas brothers. he’s 13 and is a big fan of them, hillary duff and whatever products that come out of the disney channel. so, there’s at least one fan. anyway, i’m sure there are fans in korea but like you, i have my doubts if jonas brothers could sell out a starbucks shop in korea.

    Comment by seoulmilk — August 31, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  7. you are so mean…. Korean do listen to foreign artist’s songs!! they listen to Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, WestLife….. and many others!! that’s how Korean Artists sometime cover foreign artists song…
    “shave effectively shut foreign music out of Korea” my ass, you know [nothing]

    Comment by Suju — October 14, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

  8. ummm..l am korean.. i go to public korean school. I love jb and actually there are kids who like them, too
    there just are fewer fans than US cause we listen to korean musik
    oh the wondergirls r so so so dumb why r they touring with JB??
    cause they need to sell their album of sth??

    Comment by Jennie — October 20, 2009 @ 6:24 am

  9. lol. This is BS. I’ve heard many Korean people listen to western songs all the time.

    Comment by Chad — July 6, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    • You heard wrong, Chad. You clearly do not live in South Korea.

      Comment by extrakorea — July 7, 2010 @ 1:47 am

  10. I think the fact that Jonas Brothers doesn’t have that many obvious fans in Korea has more to do with them than the fact that SM/YG etc have shut out Western music from Korea. I mean, Korean people have been listening to Western pop for forever. The Beatles were famous in Korea. I remember Hanson had a concert in Korea a few years ago when they weren’t even bing promoted in the US. I don’t know what kind of people Jonas Brothers are, but they surely do seem to lack appeal to foreigners. And do not forget the whole slant-eyed photo thing. It may not be a big deal in context, but I feel it does tell somewhat about what kind of people they are. If you are that unaware, then I don’t think you desereve to be globally famous. And it’s obvious they’re NOT.

    Comment by Sharon — December 17, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

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