Wednesday, May 18, 2011

EDITORIAL: Fanboy & Fangirl Pick Best Kpop Songs for America

Fanboy (DareDB):

With so many artists tackling the Japanese market this year, other artists have tried or plan to make the bold step by breaking into the seemingly impenetrable American music industry. American mainstream music currently consists of upbeat, catchy pop and dance songs with a sprinkling of memorable slower-tempo songs.

BoA, Wonder Girls, JYJ, and Se7en have each released music here in America with the aspiration of being one of the first Asian artists to become a household name. On the other hand, Rain took a different approach by starring in the Hollywood movie "Ninja Assassin". 2NE1 is expected to make the leap this year under the wing of Black Eyed Peas producer and rapper This brings to me to today's topic of discussion: what songs do you think would make it big if they were released in America? Here's my list.

B2ST - "Thanks To" - This duet is great. The best one out of the 3 pairs. Yoseob and Junhyung are smooth (Junhyung says, "I'm fly like a G6!" It's almost like he has his mind set on it). The song reminds me of something a famous rapper would collaborate with Justin Timberlake on.
Taeyang - "Wedding Dress" and "I'll Be There" - Taeyang has a very marketable quality about him, and so many people I know think he's the hottest thing to walk the face of the earth. I guess when the Beliebers grow up, I assume they would graduate to him.
Seungri - "What Can I Do" - This song has a Taio Cruz sort of feel to me.
G.NA - "I'll Back Off So You Can Live Better" - This was one of the standout songs to me in 2010, and I thought this had a very western sound to it. Makes sense, since G.NA is from Canada after all.
4Minute - "HUH" and "Muzik" - I pick up a Pussycat Dolls vibe from these girls.
SHINee - "Forever or Never" - This was originally an English song by Cinema Bizarre. This song of SHINee's is seriously underrated and most definitely gives a much more mature sound that could appeal to people in America.
BoA - "Adrenaline" and "Dangerous" ("Dangerous" was done by the same guy who did "Eat You Up"). I actually thought BoA's last album was slightly ahead of its time. Now that club dance music featured on the album is more relevant today. Maybe she can become a household name if she were to release another English album to coincide with her upcoming Hollywood movie.
2NE1 - "Can't Nobody", "Clap Your Hands", and "Go Away" - At first, I was skeptical that 2NE1 could even have a chance here, but these three songs all give a nice glimpse into the girls' fierce artistry. Packed with bold language and a strong sound, Americans could fall in love with them.
Se7en - "Drips" - If I'm not mistaken, this song was featured in a Lexus commercial not too long ago. Songs from CFs have a tendency to become popular when they go to the radio. But sadly, people would most likely remember it as that "Lexus song," not a Se7en song. 
Super Junior-M - "Off My Mind" (Henry's Solo) - I guess it helps that Henry is from North America, because he knows how to create the correct sound that would suit well in his own market. Could SM plan to use him as a solo artist in America?
GD&TOP - "High High" - The English lyrics need to be slightly changed, but it has the potential to become successful.

Speaking of SHINee, the producer of "Lucifer" released an English demo of the song. It's not bad, and I can totally see why he eliminated "Lucifer" from the lyrics. That's just suicide in America. The bible thumpers would think they're the spawn of Satan (only judging by the title).

Notice how all the male artists I chose are solos or a duet? It's all about what is current. Boy band songs have no shot making it here in America right now. That's why I'm iffy choosing SHINee's "Forever or Never", but the song could work. But songs I selected have a special quality about them. Specific girl groups could potentially make it. SNSD's image and material is in no way relevant here in America. If SM did a fierce and/or provocative SNSD subgroup, then we'll talk. 2NE1, 4Minute, and maybe f(x) has got it right for the American feel.

Who knows, maybe after all these artists have done their Japanese promotions, they will want to break into the Western world. With that, they will not only have become legendary pioneers, but the bigger market could most definitely lead to an even greater success. It's a race now to see who will rise to the top. America is long overdue for a successful Asian artist.

Fangirl (MrCKDexter):

I would love to see my favorite K-pop artists achieve their dreams of success in America too, but I'd like to point out that America HAS seen the success of an Asian artist. Far East Movement anyone? Given however that Far East Movement is in fact an Asian American group. Isn't it high time an Asian Asian artist hit it big is the USA?

I've actually heard people speculate that Girls' Generation might make it in America because they are simply soAsian. I don't necessarily agree, but it's an interesting thought. There's nobody like them in America. They personify the "cute little Asian girl" stereotype perfectly.

In addition to the artists listed above, I'd like to add the following:

Jay Park - "Abandoned" - It's unsurprising that a song penned by this Korean American would sound so distinctly American. Check out the English version Jay Park wrote and shared with his fans on YouTube.
Miss A - "Love Alone" - Some people have criticized this song for soundingtoo American and not having enough Miss A flare. But when I find a catchy tune I love, I don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Love this song!
One Way - "Magic" and "Rainy Days" - One Way have an elegant R&B sound comparable Ne-Yo or Usher. The fact that they speak English and write their own music is also hugely marketable.
Rania - "Dr. Feel Good (English version)" - Seeing how this song has already been featured on American televisions shows on MTV and Spike, I'd say this song fits right with mainstream American music.

Interestingly, Rania will not be revealing the ethnicity of their members during their promotions in the US. Apparently these rookies are going to focus on doing radio appearances, without mentioning their background as they advance into the US market. I'm very curious to see how this impacts the success of their promotions.

Fanboy has Taeyang pretty well covered, but I'd like to add another Taeyang song to the list just for kicks: "Connection", an English language song that was included on the international version of Solar. I think Taeyang is probably one of the most marketable Korean artists in America.

Source: Koreaboo

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