August 09, 2014
Rant: From Korea to America - Why Entertainment Companies Failed
Do you remember that tragic excuse for an American debut 'The Boys'? What about Wonder Girls' reason for overall downfall with their two year hiatus in Korea? 2NE1 isn't off the hook, either, already releasing American versions of songs like Can't Nobody and entangling themselves in a song feature with artist, Will.I.Am. Regardless, it's undeniable that all K-Pop companies and artists have failed in America (other than PSY) by using the same ol', same ol' formula that they thing will eventually work--release an American song, get someone you think is famous and relevant to feature or help you with it, appear in a few shows that make you seem like a desperate nobody in the eyes of typical, non-K-Pop loving Americans--but ends up not doing so hot. Why I'm going back to this topic that I already covered as a reply to the Juice Judge's original topic--I don't know, however, this one is different. As opposed to asking how idol groups can make it to the US, I'm now telling why idol groups who already attempted or are still attempting fail/are failing at it horribly with the newest English release of SPICA's I Did It.
The thing that most companies do wrong is overestimate their power overseas--seeing success through the national Korean market, a selective few in the Japanese market and some popularity in the other-parts-of-Asia market, and thinking it'll come easy while attacking the largest music market in the world. They're wrong.
Newsflash! No one cares!
No one knows who you are in America regardless of your like five album sales from here (omg, we're famoos!!11) and you shouldn't treat it like the people who actually do know you are a great representation, for example, when Girls' Generation performed on David Letterman, the crowd knew all the words to the song that no one else had heard about in their lives before ever. Coincidence? I think not. Likewise, I have never once in my life witnessed an American say 'I'm an Interscope Records stan!' because stanning companies is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard of... ever.
2. Desperation is like masturbation--you're fucking yourself.
Teddy Riley! Snoop Dogg! Your brother's old laundry! Stop getting people who see as famous in the United States to feature in your work and then expecting yourself to rise to stardom since you're certainly wrong, Us Yankees could give no fuck about the who, the what and the where that's attached to it.
They say time flies. But really, it's true cause you're just wasting your time.
3. Talent is the second best bet.
Let's be honest here--barely any K-Pop Idols have what Americans call 'talent'.
Singers like Taeyeon will be deemed mediocre because when comparing America to Korea and the talent-level, she actually is mediocre here whereas she's deemed as some type of singing god in Korea because there's not many good singers in the idol industry to battle out, anyway. Ailee and Hyorin aren't off the hook either. They're amazing singers in Korea. Amazing. But in America? They'd be labelled as good. Not even great. Just good.
Talent = Singing in America
Dancing doesn't count unless you can sing good on top of it--in fact, I don't think I've heard of any dancer in the United States who became globally famous for solely their dancing and the last dance extremely popular music video that focused almost entirely on dancing (other than PSY's Gangnam Style) was Beyonce's Single Ladies in 2008... but mostly because it's Beyonce. With that being said, about 70% of idols who rely on their 'main dancer' or 'lead dancer' roles will be shunned... as well as the rappers who call themselves rappers just because they can't sing or dance (looking at you, Bora) because they're just walking and talking sticks of wastefulness.
Though it's not 100% based on singing talent--Taylor Swift being the biggest example--singing talent actually does play at least a key role in it and then after that, it's song viral-ness. Once a song gets popular, you get popular--but that really depends on the quality of the song first of all.
Music is more than just pretty faces who can smile, talk and walk (90% of K-Pop Idols, I'm looking at you) and doesn't even include their 'epic personality' and 'awesome role model-like qualities', either. To add, if we really cared about those two, Justin Bieber would be under a bus right now for spitting in a fan's eye, Taylor Swift would be locked in a meat locker to keep her away from anything that has a penis and Chris Brown would simply be off the face of the earth. Has that happened yet? No.
4. Puppets on a string, puppets on a string, looking like a fool with your puppet on a string.
Honestly, I want to be called an artist.
Sure, you can, Sooyoung! Just buy an easel, some paint and some get-the-fuck-out-of-SM!
Idols are merely products of entertainment companies and aren't seen as anything else than such. Because most artists in America hold the ability to express themselves, they have what I like to call 'individuality' which is in my opinion, the most important attribute when wanting to make it here.
Taylor Swift is a great singer - Said no one ever.
But she's popular... why is that? She has individuality and she expresses herself in a way that people would like to listen to and buy--her songs reflecting her (self-inflicted) emotions and being written by her especially, fans eating that shit up.
No one wants a remake of Duffy's Mercy to listen to.
No one gives a shit about the songs with the 'love', 'heartbreak', 'upset stomach, diarrhea' lyrics.
You're a manufactured product by companies, attached with a pull-able string that releases filtered jargon, emotionless words and filthy lies. Being backed by a company is one thing in Korea but it's definitely another thing in America. You need individuality and something that differentiates yourself from others to keep you relevant.
5. When one person crosses over, don't think the rest will
I have been saying this forever and ever--when one person crosses from another music industry, not everyone will. What's odd is how people discredit PSY saying that he did nothing for K-Pop but solely for himself which was expected all along and you silly fans should've known.
America knows the British singer Adele, that doesn't mean we know all British singers.
America knows the Colombian singer Shakira, that doesn't mean we know all Colombian singers.
America knows the Canadian singer Justin Bieber, that doesn't mean we know all Canadian singers.
So what's with all the angry mobs with pitchforks?
This isn't K-Pop in which you know one artist, get addicted and then know all of K-Pop idols--it's American music.
6. Get your music out there in any, non-pathetic way.
The Wonder Girls' movie simply just crushed them however, their appearance on iHeartRadio wasn't that bad. You see, going on popular television talk shows and being interviewed by numerous random people seems good but actually, it's not that great. Interviews where you show your bright and epic personality aren't the way that you get your music out because
1. no one is going to watch or care if we don't know who you are.
2. you're music still isn't being promoted.
Also, it's weird because nearly every interview, there's always that mention of what I was speaking of in #2--the famous person you collaborated with or who produced your music. No one cares.
7. Music first, other stuff second.
After you get famous, show your other side. It's not a beauty pageant nor is it a 'who's nicest' competition. You need to shoot yourself to fame first and then try to get the other stuff like personality down.
There's no 'digital sajaengi' (looking at you SISTAR), pull a bunny out of your hat, wish upon a shooting star kind of thing that'll shoot you to popularity so easily. You have to first get known for your music through a legitimate way and through another process. Not to mention, as seen through PSY's Gangnam Style then PSY's Gentleman, when you have one music video that becomes viral and you shoot to fame, your following videos typically follow the same course.
8. To assume makes an ass out of u and me.
Don't assume because typical American songs are full of nonsensical lyrics and the songs are bland that you releasing a nonsensical, bland song will shoot you to fame, too. No--the people who release shitty songs are already famous so don't have to try as hard as you do.
My thoughts: I don't agree with Taeyeon, Ailee or Hyorin being considered average in America and some of the points about dancing as well.This was written in 2014 and their assessment of our definition of talent is flawed. Yes singing is a part of it but it's more so individuality and charisma that make many of our celebrities successful. You're not gonna tell me half our mumble rappers, Cardi B, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez etc are popular for their rapping or singing? But this whole thing is interesting to see pre BTS. New kpop stans would have thought kpop groups were thriving if not for blogs like this being made.. I myself have lived through and was apart of the dialogs of kpop groups trying to break the US market since 2008 but to see these blogs confirm for the kpop revionists that no one aside from Psy and BTS made it is interesting. Very interesting.