Posted by : KPopRanter July 01, 2013
K-Pop is still a rather niche market and... a lot of K-Pop artists aspire to eventually break the largest music market in the world, the U.S. While this is thinking a bit in the future, [there's] some very necessary steps that any artist would have to take before they even have a shot at making it in the U.S.
After getting permission from the author of the article to have my own recreation of the article, I wrote my own thoughts as to how K-Pop can possibly break the American market.
Step 1: Get respected in Korea and abroad.
There's a huge difference between being popular nationally and internationally and being respected nationally and internationally which can determine how successful your future will be as you try to progress in the Western market.
Step 2: Learn English... not Engrish.
It's my belief that all of the group members need to be fluent or at the very least understandable in English. It doesn't matter if you're pretty, good at standing and can nod at everything an English speaker says without even knowing what they're saying, your ability to communicate in the language is vital unless you want to be the backdrop of the group. With Girls' Generation's case, the only members who could possibly communicate and show themselves off to the camera would be Tiffany, Jessica and somewhat Sooyoung and Seohyun while the rest (which is the majority of the group) can only stand there quiet and still, not knowing what to do with themselves. Contrarily, in Wonder Girls, who have had many more opportunities to showcase their English skills usually have Yenny, Hyerim and a little Yubin speaking, however do sometimes has the rest of the members joining in and speaking, (though they claim Sohee is the best at understanding English) and even though it is Engrish, is better than nothing.
If most members can't contribute with communication, the group's as a whole variety skills will most definitely lack and it'll cripple them from being able to build popularity from being seeing their bright personalities. Even if a song gets popular, the fans who buy your shit and keep you relevant will watch your shots, and wanting to see the whole group participate then just a select few will get bored.
Step 3: Get a good, catchy song.
What's the difference between "Bring the Boys Out!" and "Op-Op-Op-Op, Oppa Gangnam Style"? The catchiness. It's not everyday that you find a song like Gangnam Style... but The Boys on the other hand? Nothing new.
Not only do you need a catchy song that is pretty damn memorable, but you also need lyrics that aren't cliche and boring... that means drop the typical "We make you so hot!" (The Boys) and "I'm the only thing on his mind" (DJ is Mine) shit. If you're going to make a song in English I suggest making another Thrift Shop or Price Tag that doesn't talk about love or sexual appeal and instead talks about real world problems and then I think maybe, just maybe, you'll get some recognition.
Step 4: Get a good dance or something memorable.
If Psy's success has taught us anything, a memorable and fun dance is as important, if not more important, than the song itself.
Since many K-Pop Idols can't sing well, the next thing they can to do is dance. However, what I think is more important than a whole memorable dance is one memorable part to the song... for example, PSY's horse-riding dance and his "Op-Op-Op-Op, Oppa Gangnam Style. Hey~ sexy lady!" part. No one takes time to remember any other part to the song other than the two key dance and verbalization, so if you totally put your focus on dancing like The Boys music video, you're really screwing yourself over. Sure, that stuff works in the Asian market where you're already known but the Western market where you're nugus? I don't think so.
Step 5: Get a decent amount of time with the respectable media.
Do not pull a Wonder Girls who were desperate, snagged their first deal with Nickelodeon which is no where near respectable and made a shitty movie unless you want to be nugus in the eyes of most of the American population save toddlers. Don't also pull a Girls' Generation and snag two shows with the respectable David Letterman and Kelly Ripa then expect your popularity to skyrocket with a mundane performance that I probably would have changed the channel on if I wasn't already a K-Pop fan. You have to receive respectable deals, for example, 2NE1 appearing on an Adidas commercial with Nicki Minaj and Big Sean and a decent amount of time on media, like, as stated by the Juice Judge, like PSY, to receive popularity. PSY's ability to feature on shows like the Today Show with his good, catchy song and his good dance and his understandable English and his respectability made his popularity go through the roof.
You can't have a movie (which I gotta say again, was shit!) on a television channel that only appeals to children when you want to appeal to adults. You'll be a laughing stock.
You also can't appear on two shows with a very meh and boring song then expect people to shit their pants for you. You will also be a laughing stock.
But you can expand your interest-level by going on MTV and the Today Show and at least expect people to think "who's that?".
Lastly, if you come in a group, you need small numbers (my guess is five at maximum. Six maybe but that's a stretch) as well as a company to sign yourself on. Without all seven of these, I really do doubt that you'd get as far as you hoped for whether you're famous in Korea or not.
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