K pop is not a music first of all but a production model.
PSY whose real name is Park Jae-Sang has nothing to do with this system. He created himself on his own in the year 2001 combining Eminem and Jackie Chan for his alter ego. K-pop is object of ridicule for him and an inspiration for parodies. Gangnam Style is one of them. PSY writes his repertoire by himself and managed to try everything for 11 years from ballads to dancing nu-metal. We Are The One song is his main stadium hit song. In reality, it is a football chant for Korean fans, which was written in 2006 before World Football Championship.
Before Gangnam Style Gee by Girls Generation was the most popular Korean song on YouTube. A song, a video and the band itself is a top of industrial approach in Korean music production; Nine perfect girls, catchy song made of exclamations, Korean girls sign language, specially made choreography for a song. Girls Generation native agency SM Entertaiment is the biggest and most influential in the country is known for its “scientific” approach to pop idols creation but to sell Girls Generation successfully in the USA did not work out.
There are more than 100 active pop-projects in South Korea at the moment, which release singles and mini-albums every 8-10 months and appear on TV nonstop. A beginning band is hard to stand out in these circumstances if producers are not astonished with some genius random idea. For example, girlish R’n’B-quartet Secret came up with a retro conception last year, which was a wild Korean stylization to American pop-music of 50`s.
Korean-Canadian rapper Daniel Armand Lee known as Tablo as a pop idol went through a training in entertainment agency and debuted in Epik High hip-hop trio. He wrote lyrics about social injustice and existentialism. It is difficult to be gangster for Stanford graduate. Epik High was famous almost like boys band, at this at some point the band separated from the agency and organized its label. Overall, hip-hop in Korea lives apart from the rest of commercial music but the country is small and there is no chance to escape from K-pop. This is how an independent rapper concluded a contract with major of YG Entertainment as a result. YG is the second agency in size in South Korea, house of idols Bigbang and 2NE1. The main difference from JYP and SM is that they call their idols artists. Interestingly, PSY is also associated with YG and seems like that this agency namely has the key to the world`s domination.
Pop idols in agencies are taught dancing, singing, Japanese, English and Chinese. Those children who have at least some abilities to dance, or sing or charisma go through a course of acting talent. Far from every band happen to appear on cinema. There is no need because of the audience, which go to the cinema is older than the target audience of pop music. And the agencies themselves do not do anything particularly for them to show up in the cinema, in TV-series, -shows are more popular, and there is more money in advertisement.
Lately, there are more girls bands than boys bands produced by entertainment agencies. There are more people who listen to girls, they are listened by children, teenagers of both sexes, soldiers and medium-level managers. Boys may be taken to the army any moment for 2 years and so long a well-paid pop project. Bigbang is the most popular band today. It is hard to call it typical though.
Itaeton freedom is Gangnam style of the previous year. It is also a parody song with geographic name recorded by comical duet UV, successors of PSY. It is not clear what prevents this track from becoming a world-wide hit, perhaps, lack of she-dancers. JYP is better than anyone else who copies Michael Jackson, founder of JYP Entertainment who is the third in size in South Korea. He is an author of just about quarter of all modern Korean pop songs, made an actor and a singer Rain famous and even wrote a song for Will Smith (I Wish I Made That from Lost and Found album). JYP was not very successful at starting two projects of his own in the USA, which are Rain and Wonder Girls band. He was put on the spot, curiously enough, striving to adapt himself to American tastes.
IU singer made first appearance on the stage at 15 playing the guitar sometimes is fantastically popular. Yes, she is Korean Justin Biber. In very deed, IU is probably the most original pop idol in k-pop. Due to appearance and vocals, she was tried to be imposed many concepts. At first, those were ballads with Gothic videos and pedophile dance pop. Now, a special music style was made up for IU reminding second thoughts through Disney cartoons of ABBA songs.
2NE1 was created with the help of Korean conveyer. They also went through qualification, years of training and projection of the image in the agency YG Entertainment. Totally different project than Girls Generation came out. Instead of Smith, Heo came out. 2NE1 were made out of clean girl-power in accordance with TLC sketches. Perhaps, they will answer the question when to wait for the continuation of Korean invasion into the USA.
Lyrical heroine of Gangnam Style song, redhead rapper HYUNA is also an international star. It is unclear for now how everything will turn out for her. Her recent video Bubble pop was ban for show on television in Korea as one to immortalize youth. Even public performance of the song and choreography to it were banned. Shoot, kill, throw Molotov cocktails in the videos are allowed, twist of Hyuna is forbidden.
Korean show business becomes more and more popular supporting by such multi corporate enterprises as Samsung, Hyundai, LG and others and it only looks conservative comparing to western ones. Covering is more exotic but content and tendencies are just the same.
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