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YouTube and S.M. to unveil remastered old K-pop music videos

(From left) S.M. Entertainment CEO Lee Sung-soo, aespa members Karina and Giselle and YouTube Head of Music Partnerships in Greater China and Korea Lee Sun attend the ”S.M.xYouTube Remastering Project” press conference on Thursday. (YouTube Korea)
(From left) S.M. Entertainment CEO Lee Sung-soo, aespa members Karina and Giselle and YouTube Head of Music Partnerships in Greater China and Korea Lee Sun attend the ”S.M.xYouTube Remastering Project” press conference on Thursday. (YouTube Korea)

K-pop powerhouse S.M. Entertainment will be bringing K-pop music videos from the 1990s and 2000s back into the limelight through their remastering project with YouTube.

S.M. Entertainment CEO Lee Sung-soo and YouTube Head of Music Partnerships in Greater China and Korea Lee Sun, on Thursday held an online press conference that livestreamed through YouTube. Members of S.M.‘s rookie girl group aespa, Karina and Giselle, also joined the event.

According to the two companies, the “S.M.xYouTube Remastering Project” aims to introduce the history of K-pop in light of the explosive popularity of Korean music around the world.

“In partnership with YouTube, we’ll be introducing some 300 music videos and tracks that have been digitally remastered, and we further plan on conducting various campaigns to introduce the roots and evolution of K-pop to global music fans and expand its reach (in the global music industry),” he added.

Lee Sun, who is also the executive director of artist relations in the Asia-Pacific region for YouTube, said, “S.M. was the first to launch a YouTube channel among the Korean entertainment labels. It is an honor to conduct our first such project with S.M., which has written the history of K-pop.”

“We joined the project with the goal of providing a wider range of music to our users, and we’ll also be recording K-pop‘s history through it. What our users know about K-pop right now is only the half of all, and we look forward to introducing the other half, expanding knowledge and interest in the genre.”

Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of Music, said in a video message, “Korean artists have been incredibly leaned into YouTube. I call them the PhDs of the platform.”

“Over the past few years, we‘ve seen the explosion of growth of K-pop around the world. What started as ’hallyu,‘ has become the global cultural trend called K-pop.”

Expressing his expectations for the project, Cohen added, “We want fans to enjoy the more diverse catalogue of K-pop and dig deep into understanding just how it has grown and how it became huge over the last few decades.”

To promote the project, rookie girl group aespa will be remastering S.M. girl group S.E.S‘ 1998 hit song “Dreams Come True.” They’ll be dropping their versions of the song and an accompanying music video in December. 


(From left) S.M. Entertainment CEO Lee Sung-soo, aespa members Karina and Giselle and YouTube Head of Music Partnerships in Greater China and Korea Lee Sun attend the ”S.M.xYouTube Remastering Project” press conference on Thursday. (YouTube Korea)
(From left) S.M. Entertainment CEO Lee Sung-soo, aespa members Karina and Giselle and YouTube Head of Music Partnerships in Greater China and Korea Lee Sun attend the ”S.M.xYouTube Remastering Project” press conference on Thursday. (YouTube Korea)

Karina said, “I grew up listening and singing along to S.E.S.‘ songs and it’s an honor for us to re-create the song in our style.”

“Since the song was such a big hit, we had our concerns about how we would add our color into it. We‘ll try our best to make sure that the song can receive the same love with our new version,” Giselle added.

“Music videos are an all-encompassing, everlasting form of content that can be considered a part of the heritage of S.M. -- our invaluable asset embracing all our values and dreams -- and perhaps the history of K-pop itself,” the CEO added.

To kick off the project, S.M. released a remastered version of boy band H.O.T.’s “Warriors‘ Descendent” music video via its SMTOWN YouTube channel on Thursday morning. Remastered music videos will be unveiled every week.

By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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