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B2ST vocalist says localization is key to K-pop boom

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Published : 2014-07-01 18:26
Updated : 2014-07-01 18:26

K-pop boy band B2ST’s vocalist Son Dong-woon said that Korean singers should step up efforts to localize their music and style to make the K-pop boom long-lasting at the Hallyu Conference, held Tuesday in Seoul. 

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“Singers should understand foreign cultures before they perform abroad. There are, of course, cultural differences among fans from different parts of the world,” the youngest member of the group told the audience. 

The Hallyu Conference, jointly organized by Korea’s national broadcaster KBS and the Korean Society for Journalism and Communication studies, invited a slew of experts and scholars in the Korean entertainment realm to discuss the strategies for a persistent Korean culture boom, also known as Hallyu. 

The idol stepped up to the podium wearing a white shirt and trousers with a matching black cardigan, and shared his experiences at the forefront of the K-pop scene over the past few years as a member of a popular idol group. 

“When we debuted in 2009, the Hallyu boom was invisible. I think more bands are making headway abroad, and it is all thanks to Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style,’” Son said. 

He cited the spread of Internet use and the rise of K-pop singer-songwriters as reasons behind the ever-growing popularity of K-pop. 

“Idols have started to compose and write songs these days and share their own stories with fans, which makes idol groups more attractive,” Son said. 

“And thanks to the advanced Internet technology, our fans can access our new songs and music videos in real time.”

At the end of his speech, he underscored the importance of idol groups’ efforts to better understand their fans abroad.

“(We) Korean singers should not just enjoy K-pop’s popularity, but need to do a lot of research about the regions we will perform in. That’s the key to maintaining the Korean culture boom abroad I think,” Son concluded. 

Son is the youngest member of B2ST, a six-member boy band from South Korea. The group recently made a comeback with their sixth EP “Good Luck.”

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)

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