Extra! Korea

June 20, 2010

American agency plans to create K-pop girl group and send them to Korea

Filed under: music — extrakorea @ 6:30 am

You’re probably aware of the fact that K-pop (Korean pop music) artists Se7en, Rain, BoA, and the Wonder Girls have all attempted to become successful in America’s music market with, at best, mixed results (at least, so far).

Now, a U.S.-based agency, West Side Entertainment, is going to try the same thing, but in reverse. They plan to create a K-pop girl group and then send them to Korea.

“The fact that many Asian entertainment companies have been coming to the U.S. to buy music and work with U.S. producers has given us the desire to reverse the trend and create a group from Hollywood and send them to Korea to cater to the music industry out there,” Stephen Um from West Side Entertainment told The Korea Times.

[ snip ]

The five-member group will consist of two Korean Americans, two Koreans and one Korean-Japanese.

[ snip ]

“In any market, a singer must have decent vocal strengths and have looks that are marketable. In America, fans are more focused on vocal talent and distinct personality. However, it seems that in Korea, even with talented vocal strength, people seemed to be more impressed by a singer’s or group’s visual style and catchy dance routines. Consequently, our group will be designed to focus on these attributes in Korea as well,” he added.

(emphasis mine)

So in Korea, unlike in America, there’s more emphasis on looks than on talent? You could have knocked me over with a feather.

“In the past, idol groups were associated with pretty looks but now, talent is included in addition to looks.”

“In the past …”? Girls’ Generation and the Wonder Girls each have only one member that can really sing well (Tae-yeon and Ye-eun, respectively). That’s not a good ratio (1:9 and 1:5, respectively).

The agency will hold an audition in September in Korea and the exact date, location and time will be announced shortly through media outlets.

If the auditions are in Korea only, then how will they get the two Korean-Americans that they want? Even JYP, SM, and YG Entertainment hold auditions in other countries.

“We are looking for girls who can turn heads with their looks and also melt hearts with their voices. From our experience in America, we know that this dream will not be easily achieved so we look toward working with girls who can grind it out, stay focused, and give it their best to make the fans happy,” Um said.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hmm… At first glance it sounds like people who can actually sing might have a chance… If they look outside the country, they lose that submissive, ‘I’ll do anything to be famous’ persona that is seemingly guaranteed amongst this subset of the population.

    Still looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

    Comment by Chris Backe (AKA Chris in South Korea) — June 20, 2010 @ 4:37 pm


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