Saturday, February 2, 2013

Billboard Exec Impressed With K-pop Artists; Hyuna Talks About Her Rumored US Debut

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - The editorial director of Billboard is impressed with K-pop artists and says that the "right song" like Psy's "Gangnam Style," regardless of its language, can succeed in the US market.
Bill Werde said this as response to my question during Billboard's IAmA ("I am a") question-and-answer session on popular social site Reddit last Feb. 1.

Hyuna (Photo by www.newsen.com)

The session was participated in by Werde, Billboard magazine editor Joe Levy, Billboard.biz editor Jem Aswad and Billboard social media head Katie Morse.
I, under the username Sangchus, posted the question, "With the success of Psy, do you think other Korean or K-pop artists now have the chance to make it in the US music market as well?"
Werde said he's impressed with K-pop artists.
"I was exposed to K-pop up close and personally when i went to Tokyo two years ago for the Billboard Japan Music Awards. I was amazed and impressed by the quality and diversity of artists that I saw," said he.
Psy brought K-pop to the consciousness of the US market with the success of "Gangnam Style." Despite that the song is almost entirely in Korean, it was a huge success in the US, maintaining the No. 2 position on the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks and topping other charts.
Werde said that other artists will follow in the footsteps of Psy.
"I think what Psy has taught the world that the right song absolutely can connect in the United States, regardless of language or cultural barriers. It's happened before, though, and will happen again - I suspect with greater frequency," he said.
One of the K-pop artists that is said to be planning to debut in the US is 4Minute's Hyuna, whose popularity rose further when she appeared on the "Gangnam Style" music video.
After "Gangnam Style," the song "Oppa Is Just My Style" was released on Aug. 14, which featured Hyuna and Psy. The music video now has 264 million views on YouTube.
In an interview with Billboard, Hyuna confirmed that there are talks about her possible US debut and she is studying English.
"I can't specifically talk about my plans, but it is true that positive ideas are being discussed. It is all because of PSY and I have been very lucky. I think people are taking more interest in me because I’ve been getting a lot of exposure lately. In order for me to jump on the opportunity [should it arrive], I need to be prepared. I am putting in a lot of hours studying English. I think I'd fit in quickly. I mean, my vision of the U.S. is limited because I can only see or learn things from here, but I want to go experience it all," she said.
Hyuna acknowledged that because of "Gangnam Style," she became more popular.
"First and foremost, I just want to thank PSY. I received more than I can ever ask from him that it actually worries me. I am worried that I might inconvenience or have inconvenienced him because I received so much love and attention because of him," she said.
She said Psy helped popularize K-pop.
"I think PSY opened a lot of doors for K-pop artists. During our performances, I can tell that our audiences have tripled lately. I think there’s going to be a lot of artists that are going to start breaking down barriers and paving ways for K-pop artists to crossover," she said.

Email me at sangchusan(at)gmail.com

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