CEO of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk was interviewed recently and in one portion of the interview he said that the “idol fad” is over. Ofcourse this has given kpop fans a lot to think about and made me want to write a post responding to what YG said. I think, it’s best that you read the article if you have not done so already before you read my response. 🙂
When reading this article, my greatest confusion was over the word “fad” lol. Either Yang Hyun Suk actually did say this or it was put in the translation. What I think he meant by this is that the idol “era” is over, or idols being the centre of success in the music industry is over. Idols are the most successful and carry the hallyu wave strongly than ever today. But is this all over?
Yang Hyun Suk is the CEO of one of the big three Korean entertainment companies so in one way he should know what’s going on, but I have to say that I disagree with him. Not just because I’m biased towards idols and want their popularity to only get bigger and bigger, but because I am seeing the results myself of how the hallyu wave is spreading through the force of idols.
In the interview, YG mentioned the market has moved on to artists like Psy and Busker Busker. The whole crazy revolution of Psy and his song ‘Gangnam Style’ is mindblowing. That it is not only at the top end of the charts in the US but also is seeing the same results in the UK (where I live). And the UK is a country that although has many kinds of people living here, is not very open minded and aware of the rest of the world lol. Yes, Psy is considered to be kpop, but he is not your typical kpop; he’s not in a pretty boy -boy band, he’s not in his 20s and known for his chocolate abs (haha) he is however someone that has gained success and caused a storm in his home country just for being different; just for being him. As you can see here from his video below, Psy isn’t making any huge efforts to make it big in the US as he already has a huge fanbase supporting him. J
The thing about Gangnam Style though is that it does not represent the be all and end all of idols and that the world is wanting something new. The song’s success reminds me of the other non-English songs that got to the top of the charts in the US and UK; such as: Las Ketchup by Asereje, Dragostea Din Tei by O-Zone. Both these songs were absolutely huge, everyone played them at every party, everyone was dancing along and attempting to sing them, and when the hype died down we never heard from these groups again (atleast those outside their home countries never heard from them again). I think the exact same thing will happen with Gangnam Style. I actually made a comment on allkpop’s article saying this:
I really hope it’s not over 😦 I think Psy success with Gangnam style was just an example of a one time thing. He got lucky. It’s not like the US is gonna be wanting loads of albums from him. It doesn’t mean no one wants rookies. The kpop industry has definitely changed but not in the way that all rookies do not stand a chance anymore. It has only grown. And their success goes not only beyond Korea but beyond Asia as well.
Well that’s basically my opinion on the whole idea of the idol market being past its end. It’s not.
And someone actually made a good point in response to the article:
There is evidence happening to support that the idol market is not at its end. It is growing and new groups are coming out bringing something new to offer.
I was actually quite shocked and had to re-read the sentence a few times to make sure I actually read right when I saw that the interviewer asked YG, “It seems there weren’t many idol groups that performed well in the first half of the year. Why do you think that is?” …Er, hello? Are you kidding me? B.A.P? EXO? The leaders of the Big 3 have continuously agreed that rookies who have been debuting the past two years or so have just been getting more and more talented when it came to dancing and singing and even acting. For the interviewer to say that there weren’t many idols groups that performed well in the first half of the year is crazy! Groups like that who I mentioned before were continuously praised for their image of seeming like idols that have been around for some time. Meaning their talent is like that of a group with a lot of stage performance experience and the same sort of skills. I think the thing that made EXO and B.A.P gain popularity so quickly is their concept that made them stand out and their mind-blowing talent. The rapping of Bang and Zelo; the amazing notes of D.O. and Chen; and Kai… kpop’s new dancing machine.
It also kind of annoys me how people say that kpop is not the same anymore or it is dead now. Did you think that when you first got into kpop that in ten years time groups like TVXQ, Super Junior, and Big Bang would still be all young and cute and dancing around all energetically on stage? The whole music industry is a continuously changing face. Kpop 5 years ago wasn’t the same as it was 5 years before that, and will not be the same is as it is today 5 years later than now. We can’t just have SNSD, Big Bang, Super Junior, TVXQ, FT Island, Wonder Girls, SHINee, 2PM, etc being our only kpop groups and not having any more groups debuting after that. I mean, don’t get me wrong I totally think there are way too many groups debuting at one time. In 2010/2011 there was a continuous influx of new girl groups (I remember once they were even considering making a movie out of the rookie girl group revolution lol); this year is the year of boy groups. But the thing is that some of these groups are actually good and a lot of them do not get the attention that they deserve because the majority of people (including me) are thinking: “Argh, another group’s debuted today that I will not pay any attention to.” And if those very talented groups debuted just a few years earlier they would have got so many attention like they were the shiny new toy in the kpop industry.
I’m sure that the hip hop fans miss what hip hop used to be in the 90s and such, and rock fans miss all those songs from years ago that they used to listen to, but kpop is still as awesome as it used to be (trust me!!) it has just changed, grown, stretched and become more international. From Fin.K.L and S.E.S to SNSD and Wonder Girls to A Pink and Ace of Angels. From H.O.T and Shinhwa to Super Junior and Big Bang to 2PM and SHINee to EXO, Nu’est, B.A.P, BtoB, VIXX, 100% (:D) haha! There are lots of idol groups debuting and more to come but there actually are some groups that are different, stand out amongst the crowd and deserve more of our support. This must be the hardest era of kpop to be successful in for a rookie group.
The fact is that kpop is growing in size shows that the idol “fad” is NOT over and is only appealing to more areas of music and the world. The different generations of kpop are vital to appeal to whoever wants to listen to kpop in that time. I look forward to what kpop has to offer in the coming years and hope to say as a firm supporter of kpop. And YG… I don’t know mayn. I’m looking forward to your SuPearls tho. Lol 😀
Well thanks for reading up til here, I know I can go on and on just to explain my point kekeke
YG photo credit: ohkpop