Expect a fierce rivalry on the Korean music scene this year, as top boy bands are ready to make a comeback.
Until now, the Korean music channels were mostly dominated by popular girl groups or singers like the Girls Generation, but this year the boys are expected to take the lead.
Even before the release of their albums, the long-waited returns of TVXQ and Big Bang have generated heat among K-Pop fans.
In 2011 boy bands, which usually consists of three to six members, will start performing in pairs.
In Japan, this marketing strategy known as “unit” is already being used to show each member’s talents and individual qualities by performing in smaller numbers than the original group.
During the end of last year, G-Dragon and T.O.P of Big Bang released the album “GD & TOP,” while U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin of TVXQ released “Keep Your Head Down.”
Now that the two major music industries in Korea, SM Entertainment for TVXQ and YG Entertainment for Big Bang have released duet albums, there is a growing interest in the changing music scenes for boy bands in Korea.
Internet sites and YouTube have already recorded a high number of viewers, as music fans are ecstatic over the duet performances.
The special edition of TVXQ, “Keep Your Head Down” was released on Jan 5, and within a day the duo had racked up an impressive sales amount of 15,000 copies. U-Know and Max will perform in Japan on the 26th to promote their new album.
For Big Bang and TVXQ it has already been over two years since their last album was released.
Their new music shows a major transition from their previous albums. The new album “GD&TOP,” is more of a mixture between electronica and hip-hop, with thumping house beats.
On Dec. 23, the boys of the group BEAST divided into three units of two members for duets for the popular Korean music program, Mnet Countdown.
The hip-hop duet “Thanks To” was performed by Yo-seop and Jun-hyung, the R&B “Let It Snow” by Hyun-seung and Gi-Kwang and the ballad “When the Door Closes” by Du-jun and Dong-woon.
“When six members perform together, what each individual performer can show is limited,” their agency said.
The agency further commented that the benefit of performing in duos is that the members can emphasize on their individuality and further reveal their talents such as their singing voice.
By Moon Ye-bin (email@example.com)
Edited by Rob York
남자 둘; 2011 가요계 인기돌풍 예감
지난 연말 빅뱅의 지드래곤 (GD)과 탑(TOP)이 결성한 ‘GD&TOP(지디&탑)’이 정규음반을 내놓은 데 이어 유노윤호-최강창민으로 이뤄진 2인조 동방신기가 최근 신곡을 공개하면서 온라인 음악 사이트를 평정하고 나섰다.
여기에 6인조 비스트도 두 명식 짝을 이뤄 총 3개의 팀으로 나뉘어 활동을 시작했다. 요섭.준형이 “땡스 투”를 발표한 데 이어 현승.기광이 “렛 잇 스노우”를, 두준.동운이 “문이 닫히면”등의 듀엣곡을 잇달아 발표했다.
SM과 YG엔터테인먼트가 한류 시장을 주도하고 국내 가요계 트랜드를 이끌고 있는 만큼, 관계자들 사이에서는 가요계 “남성 2인조 열풍”이 시작된 건 아닌지 조심스러운 예측이 쏟아지고 있다.
흥미로운 점은 5인조였던 이들이 2명씩 짝을 지어 맞대결을 펼친다는 점이다.
비스트 측 관계자는 “6명이 활동할 때는 아무래도 맴버마다 보여줄 수 있는 것들에 한계가 있다. 2인조로 유닛을 결성할 경우 가창력이라든지 색다른 맴버들의 보이스 컬러를 들려줄 수 있는 장점이 있다”며 설명했다.