With the UK taking more notice of Kpop, we look into the efforts that Kpop is making to appeal to the masses. As MASSIVE as the Kpop movement is, it is wrong to just assume that anyone into Korean culture would instantly know of Kpop. A lot of the time the language barrier is quite a big issue for music lovers as mentioned before in our Kpop and British Radio post. But that’s not to say it’s completely impossible as there are a few foreign language songs that has managed to score Top 20 hits in the UK charts. Dare I remind you of a certain song that started with a Mii-a-hee, Mii-a-ha, OK, I think I will stop there. But as a nation that treasures great song writers such as Gary Barlow, Adele and Oasis, we want to have emotional songs that we can relate to, so even if there wasn’t a language barrier, would Kpop be successful in the UK?
Recently Kpop is really pushing the Hallyu wave. It started with the Wondergirls creating an extra 2 versions of their MASSIVE hit Nobody in English and Mandarin and again for their following single. Now Iconic Girlband SNSD has also called in the big guns for their latest single. With the help of Teddy Riley, they produced both a Korean and English version of their latest single.
Simon and Martina, both extremely familiar to the Kpop world and as fellow English speaking foreigners, gives us an interesting take on the English version in an episode of their regular Music Mondays.
As excited as we were about a English version, it did make us wonder if infact having it in English would make it any more attractive to the general British public. This song was especially produced with a English version in mind so it would have been especially written to make sure it would be suitable in English. Infact you can see that the English words in the Korean version does not always match the actual English version so it’s clear that extra effort was put in and its not just a direct translation. But with lyrics such as Total emergency, I’m hearing the phone ring, I’m taking this from the start, will this be able to change the minds of lyric loving Britain about Kpop? Is Korea creating the right kind of English Kpop to appeal to the greater international audience? Infact, should Kpop really be the genre of music leading the Hallyu wave? Pop music has always been heavily ridiculed in Britain by those serious about their music. Should Korea look into trying to push out a different genre of music to get people to take notice of Korea as a music super power?
This significant Hallyu wave was partly bought to you by CJ E&M and according to allkpop, the concert was a HUGE success and sounded just as energy packed as your standard idol group concert. Read more about the event here. And with some well written and sung English like this:
This article raises an interesting point. How will British audiences react to a “foreign” star singing in their language? And could they be seen as a big player in a foreign market? Does anyone remember fellow Asian rapper Jin who tried to make it big in the US? Jin is a multi lingual rapper and even got a role in the movie 2Fast 2Furious. He became a big hit in the Asian American community, but never quite made it in main stream America.He has since moved on to concentrating on the HK music scene making rap popular again. This brings us back to a recent post about a exhibition at the London Korean Culture Centre. No matter how integrated a “foreigner” is in a society, will they ever be fully accepted into the society? Or forever be looking into the society from their goldfish bowl? Thats deep.
More on Tiger JK on LA Times website HERE