Seohyun caught holding hands with Yunho and Changmin

GG’s Seohyun Gets Between The DBSK Boys In Ceci

Yunho and Changmin from DBSK and Seohyun from Girls’ Generation are posing for the Ceci magazine for November’s edition.

The concept of is “Timeless Eternity” which is based on the movie “Interview with the Vampire”

While Yunho and Changmin pose as a Vampire with cold and serious looks, Seohyun takes the role of Claudia, a pure, innocent girl in the film.

The magazine with hit the stores on November 15 in Korea and China, which will have 26 pages filled with Yunho, Changmin and Seohhyun.

 

Girl’s Generation to attend Manila K-pop concert

One of the most popular girl groups in Asia, Girls’ Generation, will perform at the “2013 K-Pop Fantasy Concert” in the Philippines’ capital of Manila.

“Girl’s Generations’ attendance at the concert scheduled for Jan. 19, 2013, has been finalized and confirmed,” DM school, a co-organizer of the concert, said on Monday.

Several famous K-pop singers, including ones from S.M. Entertainment, are expected to perform at the concert jointly organized by KMH and dance academy DM School.

(lhj137@heraldcorp.com)

K-pop album sales in Japan hit all-time high in 2011

Japanese purchases of Korean pop music hit an all-time high last year, according to industry data.

According to Oricon Inc., a provider of music industry statistics, sales of albums, singles, DVDs and blue-ray disks of K-pop increased for the third consecutive year to 24.47 billion yen ($310 million) last year, up 22.3 percent from 2010.

South Korean signers’ annual market share also rose from 6 percent to 7.8 percent during the period. The comparable figure for 2009 was 3 percent. Korea’s leading idol groups Kara and Girls’ Generation advanced to the Japanese market after 2009.

Also in 2011, a total of 10 singles or albums of K-pop singers or groups, including TVXQ, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, Kara, Jang Keun-suk, T-ara and 2NE1, reached the top position on Oricon’s weekly chart, breaking the record of 2008 when five were on the chart.

Girls’ Generation’s album by the same name and Kara’s “Super Girl” ranked within the top 10 of the Oricon albums yearly chart, selling 642,000 copies and 451,000 copies, respectively.

In the category of total annual sales by an artist, Kara ranked fourth with 4.93 billion yen closely followed by Girls’ Generation with 4 billion yen. TVXQ was the ninth best-selling group, raking in 2.6 billion yen. (Yonhap)

 

Credit: The Korea Times

Hallyu and K-pop: the boundary blurs

Hallyu sees new turn as more K-pop stars dominate TV drama and performing arts scene

This is the last of a five-part series on hallyu. ― Ed.

For Girls’ Generation fans, the year 2012 must come as an exciting one.

Not only are they going to see their favorite hallyu singers on YouTube music videos and K-pop shows, but they are also going to find the girls on the small screen, as TV drama actresses.

Four members of the group — Yoona, Jessica, Yoori, and Sooyoung — have recently announced their upcoming foray into the TV drama scene, each participating in different shows for different broadcasters. Among the four, Yoona, who made her TV debut through KBS1 daily drama “You Are My Sunshine” back in 2007, is teamed up with rising K-pop hallyu star Jang Keun-suk for “Winter Sonata” director Yoon Suk-ho’s upcoming show “Loverain.”

K-pop stars Yoona (left) and Jang Kuen-suk star in “Winter Sonata” director Yoon Suk-ho’s upcoming TV drama series “Loverain.” (Yoon’s Color)

“I am so excited,” said Cho Hyung-jin, a 24-year-old male fan of Yoona. “She’s a proven star. She’s got the looks, knows how to entertain, and showed off her acting skills with ‘You Are My Sunshine’ already. I don’t see this as a sloppy idol star being forced to act for the sake of popularizing the show. These days, idol stars are not what people used think. They are all trained hard-core to be solid multi-players.”

Speaking of multi-players, Girls’ Generation isn’t alone. Countless K-pop idol stars are making their way into the TV drama scene this year, blurring the boundary between hallyu drama stars and K-pop singers.

KBS’ upcoming dance-and-music teen drama “Dream High 2” features popular girl group T-ara’s Jiyeon, boy band 2AM’s Jin-woon, SISTAR’s Hyo-rin and After School’s Kahi. The show is produced by Holym, a joint venture between JYP Entertainment and “Winter Sonata” heartthrob Bae Yong-joon’s agency Keyeast along with CJ E&M.

Cable channel tvN’s upcoming band-drama “Shut Up Flower Boy Band” stars K-pop boy group Infinite’s L, and Superstar K3 star Kim Min-suk. Boy band ZE:A member Siwan currently appears on MBC’s epic drama series “The Moon Embracing the Sun.”

“I’m very cautious to say this, but I’d say there hasn’t been many successful hallyu dramas after the 2003 epic “Dae Jang Guem,”” said Yoon Suk-ho, director of the 2002’s ‘hallyu-pioneering’ drama “Winter Sonata.” He is currently shooting his upcoming drama “Loverain.”

“K-pop, on the other hand, has its dynamic and energetic side. Jang Keun-suk, who stars in my upcoming drama ‘Loverain,’ and is a rising hallyu star in Japan, is in fact very different from Bae Yong-joon. He’s very one-of-a-kind, isn’t afraid of being himself, and doesn’t have that ‘mysterious’ quality which Bae used to charm his fans in Japan. Jang’s fans in Japan are much younger than the ones of Bae. I think K-pop stars bring energy to the TV drama scene, and attract young people worldwide.”

Yet some are cynical toward the trend, including scholar Jang Gyu-soo, who recently published a book titled “Hallyu and Star-system.”

“People should be aware that most K-pop content is being distributed by Japan’s giant record companies, including the Avex Group, not the Korean agencies,” Jang told The Korea Herald. “So the foreign distributors — who usually do a good job as the stars’ PR — take most of the profit, while local agencies of the stars produce press releases that very often overstate about their popularity overseas. Korean media outlets usually publish what they receive from the agencies, and the result is the idolization of K-pop as the major hallyu promoter.

“Yet K-pop album sales are generally low overseas (according to my research), and most foreign fans consume their music online — especially through YouTube,” he continued. “So it’s inevitable for them to go onto the world of TV, as that’s how they make more money.”

The TV drama scene isn’t the only area where K-pop stars are starting to dominate. Girl group T-ara members are currently starring in homegrown musical “Roly Poly,” which is based on their 2011 retro-heavy hit single of the same title. A member from hallyu girl group KARA, Park Gyu-ri, last year starred in the musical “200 Pounds Beauty,” which was performed in theaters in both Korea and Japan. The Japanese edition was a huge success, selling out its first three performances in Osaka back in July.

Last year, the Korean adaptation of Austrian musical “Mozart” cast hallyu star group JYJ member Junsu as the leading role. Thomas Drozda, president of the show’s production company United Stages Vienna, visited Korea upon the opening of the show in May last year, and expressed his satisfaction with Junsu’s casting.

Popular hallyu boy band JYJ member Junsu stars in “Elisabeth.” (Theatro)

“In Austria, idol stars never appear on musical stage,” he had told local reporters. “Junsu has fans all across Asia and his participation in the show attracted more people into the performing arts scene.”

The K-pop singer, who also appeared in last year’s blockbuster musical “Tears of Heaven” and won numerous rookie musical actor awards, is starring in another upcoming Austrian show “Elisabeth,” which is slated to open in February. EMK Company, the show’s local distributor and production house, said they are expecting a large response from Junsu’s overseas fans.

“We’ve already been getting a lot of calls and inquires about group ticket purchases from Junsu’s overseas fans, especially from Japan,” said Lee Bo-eun of EMK Musical Company. “We’ve been certainly expecting such a response from Junsu’s fans, as we’ve already seen what happened with his previous work ‘Mozart.’”

“In China, all actors and actresses sing as well (largely to promote their movies or TV shows),” said scholar Jang. “In Korea, popular K-pop stars get into the TV scene as an alternative for the increasingly difficult music market.”

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldm.com)

Why is K-pop going to America?

Although Asia-centric, major entertainment companies seek to reap U.S. benefits

Since Girls’ Generation appeared in two major U.S. talk shows and Wonder Girls launched their TeenNick television movie, “The Wonder Girls,” last week, the buzz has been overwhelming.

Yet, underneath all the hype lies a question: Why is Korean pop looking to America?

“Insofar as America is the world’s biggest music market, we, as a company and for our artists, want to take it on,”said an S,M. Entertainment representative.

“If we succeed, it is a market which can earn us massive side benefits,” the representative explained via e-mail. A significant boost in the name value of a musician or group internationally once they achieve success in the U.S. market is an obvious example.

For YG Entertainment, the collaborative work with The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am on a forthcoming English album is not solely about broaching the U.S. market.

“We decided that we need (an official U.S. album) because English is the most effective language to convey the message of 2NE1’s music to overseas fans who want to understand it but who do not know Korean,” said YG Entertainment PR team leader Hwang Min-hee.

Right now, S.M. Entertainment’s Girls’ Generation and YG Entertainment’s 2NE1 are still in the fledging stages of entering the American market.

After releasing their U.S. debut single “The Boys” last December, the nine-member Girls’ Generation appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “LIVE! With Kelly Ripa” last week.

Meanwhile, 2NE1 started working with will.i.am in 2010 on an album whose release date has yet to be set.

JYPE’s Wonder Girls were the first Korean group to make foray into the United States in 2009, touring with Disney Channel-stars, the Jonas Brothers, and made history by being the first Korean act to get on the Billboard Hot 100. The following year, the group launched a 20-show tour in the United States.

2NE1 performs at the MTV Iggy’s Best New Band 2011 concert which was streamed live in Times Square, New York in December. (YG Entertainment)

Last month Wonder Girls launched the original soundtrack single, “The DJ is Mine,” for the TeenNick TV movie in which they star. The first episode of the movie aired last week.

Patrick St. Michel, a journalist who wrote an online piece, “Does Korean Pop Actually Have a Shot at Success in the U.S.?,” for American publication The Atlantic, thinks Wonder Girls is on the right track by “trying to woo one of the most profitable pop-music demographics, tweens and early teens.”

“Considering how fragmented the American pop market is, turning attention to the tween market is extremely smart,” St. Michel said in an e-mail interview.

“We see it as a demographic that is the least likely to have formed many biases,” a JYPE representative said on why Wonder Girls is targeting the tween demographic.“Also it is a market that really knows how to enjoy music and culture and avidly consumes pop music.”

Having started off by touring with loved-by-tween hotties, the Jonas Brothers, Wonder Girls is now targeting their market more aggressively with the eponymous TeenNick movie.

“From a tween/teen perspective, I think it would be a success,” said St. Michel of the movie.“The movie introduces the group, establishes personalities and loads up on song-and-dance scenes.”

“More importantly, it treated Wonder Girls like real protagonists,” he added.

In regards to Girls’ Generation’s U.S.-based activity, he said, “They got a big boost from landing on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ last week.”

Girls’ Generation’s U.S. debut single and talk show appearances are, in fact, part of a larger, carefully-planned promotional strategy focused on differentiating themselves from the crowd, according to S.M. Entertainment.

“From the very beginning we planned on carrying out a promotional strategy different from the norm,” said a company representative, emphasizing the successfully heightened awareness of the S.M. Entertainment brand through YouTube, Facebook and overseas concerts like those in Paris and New York,

“One can confirm the influential power of Girls’ Generation and of our strategy through the group’s appearances on major American television network talk shows,” said the representative.

Furthermore, according to the representative, in regards to Girls’ Generation, specifically, the group’s U.S. activity including signing with Interscope Records, is part of a bigger global plan that is primarily focused on Asia, not America.

“Not just for Girls’ Generation but for all S.M. Entertainment artists, the most important market is Asia.”

No doubt, Asia is a crucial market for Korean pop, which is why the unprecedented popularity of S.M. Entertainment artists in Europe made headline news last year.

Given that, one cannot ignore the possibility of K-pop catching on in a major way in America, and in St. Michel’s opinion it will not be so much about how Korean pop groups like 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation style themselves as it will be about the music.

“It will come down to how their English songs sound, whether they embrace the maximalist rush present in their Korean singles that has prompted all this media coverage in the first place or they bend to American trends.”

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldm.com)

 

Credit: The Korea Herald

K-pop stars enthrall French audience

K-pop stars including Girls’ Generation, 2PM and BEAST captivated an audience of about 10,000 at a joint show at Bercy Stadium, one of the biggest concert venues in Paris.

Eight K-pop stars, who also included boyband SHINee and girl groups 4 Minute and SISTAR, performed on “Music Bank in Paris,” a music show produced and distributed by Korea Broadcasting System.

It was the second concert by K-pop stars in the French capital — SM Town concert featuring musicians from SM Entertainment took the place at the Zenith of Paris in June last year.

Despite the cold weather in Paris, K-pop fans from all over Europe including Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom came to Paris to meet their Korean stars, according to reports.

Starting with U-KISS, the show lasted three hours, according to reports.

Girls’ Generation, which made its TV debut in the United States last week, highlighted the show with “The Boys.”

The group also appeared on a popular French talk show on Thursday, ahead of its first album release in Europe early next week.

The Music Bank show featuring K-pop stars in Paris will air on Feb. 18 in 72 countries through KBS World, an international broadcasting service provided by KBS.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldm.com)

 

Credit: The Korea Herald

Sunny opens up about her debut to Seunghwan

I really love this advice of her

“In my situation, when the debut was approaching, I had a lot of concerns. As a large group of people debuting from a huge company, we received a lot of attentions. In the midst of this… Am I allowed to say this?… I’m the niece of the company’s representative. As a result I was handicapped in many ways (restrained). I joined the group late, and I’m the niece of the representative.. Moreover (I joined the group) with the condition that I had a friendly look – being short, with chubby and compact body shape, ordinary looks.. I felt small and diffident when we went around as a group..

But Kim Je-dong oppa told me some good advice – ‘Just as there are people who are fond of you, there will always be people who dislike you.’ Because there are people who like me, there will also be people who dislike the same side of me that others prefer. So I think I don’t have to change myself for people who don’t understand me.”

– In 120205 Dangerous Boys

[TRANS] by :: imwhywhy