The annual MU:CON Seoul is an internationally collaborated music marketing event consisting of showcasing and expanding the networking systems of up-and-coming local Korean artists.
Inviting along some of the global music world’s most influential figures in the field of recording, producing and promoting, this year’s conference may have held the key for a select few Korean artists to make their big break overseas.
Looking to network and find standout local talents was none other than Tom Windish, founder of the LA-based concert-booking firm Windish Agency -- one of the world’s top music talent agencies. The famed music industry figure has worked along-side some of today’s biggest musical artists including Diplo and Lorde.
Tom Windish, founder of the LA-based concert-booking firm Windish Agency. (Windish Agency)
In his first-ever trip to Korea, Windish says he has high hopes for discovering fresh talent in the local music pool that could possibly make a splash in the US.
“It feels like the scene here is very fertile, there’s a lot going on.” said Windish, during an interview with The Korea Herald at a cafe in Sangam-dong on Thursday.
“Amazing things have been happening because of the internet,” he continued. “All these barriers that were up there for discovering things, whether it’s music or other creative things … it’s a lot easier for those voices to be heard.”
The concert booker shared that in this post-Gangnam Style era, the goal of K-pop should not be to find the next mega hit single to conquer the music world all over again, rather the keys to long-lasting success is to produce great music that allows one to build their fan base.
“I don’t think the goal (of Korean music) needs to be we need to be on top or the best and biggest in the world, the goal should be make great music, have lots of fans, have a great relationship with your fan base and have fun doing it,” said Windish. “And if you live by those principles, good things happen.”
In the advent of his arrival, many rumors began to speculate about the music agent looking to strike a deal with the mega hallyu stars of Big Bang. When asked, Windish neither confirmed nor denied the rumor allegations.
“I really like them (Big Bang), I’ve seen them before, I think they’re great,” he says. “I’d be happy to help them get shows … they are super cool.”
Stuart Zender, former original member and co-producer of Jamiroquai, (left) and the members of the retro doo-wop singing trio The Barberettes, speak during a press conference for the annual MU:CON music conference held at the MBC headquarters in Sangam-dong on Thursday. (Yonhap)
This year’s MU:CON held showcases for more than 65 artists and bands ranging from pop, rock and indie including performances by Eddy Kim, Eric Nam, Thornapple, MC Sniper, Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio, Spica and BTOB.
The three-day long music conference also highlighted and emphasized the potential global growth of the Korean music industry noting three special on-going international collaboration projects -- Italian singer, songwriter, DJ and record producer Giorgio Moroder teaming up with the sexy K-pop starlets of Sistar; Stuart Zender, former original member and co-producer of Jamiroquai and the retro doo-wop singing trio The Barberettes; and R&B vocalist Eric Nam joining forces with Swedish Producing company Hitfire Production.
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com