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South Korea's K-pop spreads to Latin America


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When I came back from Orlando,(Florida) to Puerto Rico about 6 months ago, I started to notice local channels displaying K-pop music videos and some songs in the radio also. Their dream of spreading their music is coming true, its very hard to enter the American Market, but entering the Latin Market its a bit harder. I wish J-Pop would do the same, at least I have knowledge about some artist especially from the old days (i think they were the best times): Seiko Matsuda, Akina Nakamori, Kudo Shizuka, Ryoko Shinohara, Moritaka Chisato and so on...****

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K-Pop is getting popular all over the world along with Korean TV. Many people who are not Korean speaking are subscribing to Korean cable in the US because of this phenomena. They recently had a K=Pop audition and talent show in Los Angeles and it drew more non-Koreans than Korean kids themselves. Lots of people from China and Japan now want to get into the Korean entertainment market both in film and music. There are some American Hip-Hoppers also coming out on SBS, KBC and MBC. I don't think the locals have to worry too much about foreign talent they have plenty of their own. When you can export talent like Hiromi or Aki Takase in areas like jazz, pop is no problem. The Koreans are also getting into jazz along with K-Pop and it has a special feeling to it. The East Asians are finding a very personal and popular voice in modern music. That's great!

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Who in their right mind would want the likes of manufactured K-pop and J-pop groups to spread to other countries ?

You wouldn't advocate the spread of rabies, typhoid or venereal disease, would you.

The musical and artistic equivalent of the pox.

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I really doubt that it could enter the American market... actually pretty much no non-English music can enter the American market.

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@ Thomas Anderson

That's a pretty ignorant and borderline racist statement. Ever heard of the Wondergirls? Their song "Nobody" made it to #76 on the US Billboard 100 chart. Girls Generation? They made it onto Letterman. Ever heard of Andrea Bocelli? What about Japan's very own "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto, which not only entered the US Charts, but managed to reach the top of the Billboard 100 back in 1963?

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You don't have to like them, but that doesn't mean that they will or will not succeed. Your tastes in music are just that. Your own. Accept the fact that others may be, and most probably are, different from you.

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YMO did it years ago dude!

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That the lyrics must be in English for a group to succeed in the US isn't true at all except maybe in some rural backwater, Look how "The Fania All-stars" or "La Buena Vista Social Club" or musica nortena have sold out some of the biggest venues in the country. "The Gypsy Kings" could survive on only their North American fans if they had to.

K-Pop is a music for younger people and when you put that many pretty girls or handsome boys who on top of that have all the right moves you're going to get big audiences. Not only that, like the article says, most of these kids can and do handle lyrics in several different languages. I have heard these kids sing in Japanese, Spanish and English. YNT has a weekly jazz program and those people are amazing when the singers swing and sing the lyrics of American standards in flawless English and at the same time using the inflections of singers like Ella Fitzgerald or Anita O'Day. Funny how having an all consuming passion for something is often the biggest aid to learning another language like that kid from Philadelphia who sings Enka on Japanese TV.

I don't think the statement above is racists but it is certainly uninformed.

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Having been exposed to the K-Pop & J-Pop scene for the latter part of a decade now. I can safely say there is more talent in both then most people realize. If you don't believe me, you haven't looked very hard. Unfortunately for K-Pop and J-Pop as well though in a since. Both haven't focused enough on their solo artists. Many of whom are some of Korea's & Japan's most gifted and talented musicians. If I had to pick 3 K-Pop groups out there which stand out. 2NE1, Brown Eyed Girls, & maybe Miss A would be my choices. Solo artists it just depends really but most aren't promoted nearly enough unfortunately. In the west we already went through our group idol faze for the most part. Yet when you look deeper you realize there are some truly outstanding acts which stand a much better chance. There are four J-artists that come to mind of which i wouldn't mind seeing more of. Lecca, SoulHead, Crystal Kay & Origa. SoulHead is my favorite by far but all are quite talented even though not as well known. It seems with J-Pop and to a somewhat lesser extent K-Pop. There is more experimentation with musical styles & trends then what you see in the west for the most part now days.

I recently saw a video with J-R&B artist Bennie K which was some sort of country, hip hop, pop hybrid mix which was pretty interesting. I played it for a country friend of mine who was quite amused! Well there is something you don't hear everyday, he said.. Why aren't they on tour lol. My thoughts exactly as there is more where that came from. Not to mention Bennie K is quite a bit more affluent then most J-Pop groups out there. Having no trouble switching between Japanese and English. K-Pop while not as musically diverse as Japan at the moment does have some standouts though. E.via, Tasha & Miryo are probably the best rappers I suppose. Although Tasha is really the most talented of the bunch. E.via on the other hand is mostly underground which is a shame. Her lyrics are a bit to vulgar for Korean tastes I guess lol. She had got some crazy skills no doubt about that though. In contrast I would say Hime is probably the best rapper in Japan but she is mostly underground as well.

Boa, Chae Yeon,Lee Hyori, Lexy, Younha, Lee Soo Young, Bae Seul Gi, Yoon Eun Hye and so on. I haven't even scratched the surface but the point I am trying to make is this. While idol groups are all the rage at present and some do deserve their current status. It does somewhat concern me to much focus is being put on them and not enough on the K & J music industry as a whole. Not everyone in Japan is a AKB48 clone linked through the cerebral cortex. Although it is great to see K-Pop at least is starting to break through. I just wish more can be said for Japan which is starting to lag behind. In closing the music industry as a whole needs to stop fighting and start giving people better access to the music people want. Not crippling it through stupid laws which do nothing to fix the problem. If it weren't for YouTube I wouldn't have become a fan of either. Why can't labels see that it is helping the industry not hurting it. The sooner Japan, US and whoever else realize that. The sooner we can end this pointless war and open the flood gates to the J&K Universe. :b

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