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When you hear the words “Asian Culture” you may immediately think of animated cartoons and kimonos, but with the growing overseas popularity of the asian pop music scene, this is the time to rethink our perception of Asian cultural output.
When we talk about music, it is no longer the traditional zen-like tunes we should be associating but gorgeous, young people singing catchy songs and dancing like most can only dream they could dance. Japanese bands are well-known among anime fans, video gamers, and cosplayers worldwide.
The hit game Kingdom Hearts’ songs were sung by a Japanese singer, Hikaru Utada and both her Japanese and English versions of the songs were popular outside of the Asian hemisphere.
Korea also has their fair share of pop stars. They have the same catchy, upbeat tunes and dance moves as J-Pop, but have not been as popular as J-Pop in the United States in the past. Now they are giving Japanese artists a run for their money. Not only are they touring around the world, but they are also singing in Korean, Japanese, and English.
The biggest K-Pop band to take hold of American fans is SMEntertainment’s Girls’ Generation, also known as SNSD (So Nyuh Shi Dae). Their first album debuted in 2007 and took Asia by storm. Now this nine-girl band has swept through Australia, France, Japan, and the United States. While in France, fans protested the sold out show and were awarded with a second concert to accommodate them all.
Performances in the United States have not been as big, but hundreds of fans have shoved their way to see them perform on David Letterman’s late night talk show and Live! With Kelly. Even if they were unable to make it inside to see the girls’ performance, they waited eagerly outside just to catch a glimpse of and perhaps an autograph from one of the group’s beautiful members.
Girls’ Generation’s newest album, “The Boys,” has made it to number two on Billboard’s World Album Chart and has led the group to labelled “a world-class group” by David Assogba who is in charge of the groups album distribution in Europe.
This all-girl group is the first of possibly many Korean bands to hit it off in America. With a large number of Asian culture fanatics in the United states, they could do very well in touring the North American continent. Within the past year, a K-Pop music store opened in Gurnee, Illinois and Asian languages are becoming a popular field of college study.
Even high schools have clubs that center around Asian culture and who can ignore the numerous conventions centered around anime, manga, and cosplaying. Instead of focusing on Japanese culture, now is the time for Korea to enter the mix.
If you are still in the dark, take a look at other Korean bands at SMEnterainment’s Youtube channel, SMTown.