Tens of hundreds of followers eagerly rode the wave of Korean pop or K-pop this weekend at a conference in Los Angeles, the world’s leisure capital, at a time when a boy band’s success in America is giving new hope to many stars in the music style.
A number of Korean-Individuals have been among the many performers on the seventh annual KCON, an occasion for all issues tied to “Hallyu,” or the “Korean Wave” of standard tradition.
Many Individuals got their first style of K-pop by way of the viral success of rapper Psy’s music video Gangnam Type in 2012. This yr, one other Korean act’s rising fan base in the USA has K-pop stars, together with some who grew up in America, considering they too might win fame in the USA.
In June, the boy band BTS grew to become the primary K-pop group to high the Billboard 200 album chart, with Love Your self: Tear.
“We K-pop artists are actually happy with them, as a result of we all know how exhausting it’s to make it in the trade,” Ailee, a U.S.-born K-pop star whose given identify is Yejin Lee, stated in a cellphone interview.
“The truth that they opened up these doorways and cleared the way in which for us, it is an enormous hope for us,” stated Ailee, who was acting at KCON this weekend.
Ailee, whose hit singles embody U & I and Heaven, went to highschool in New Jersey and grew up listening to Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, all whereas consuming a gentle food plan of flicks and tv exhibits from South Korea.
Ailee, 29, stated that years in the past, when she was looking for a profession in the U.S. leisure trade, she was informed followers wouldn’t need to emulate somebody like her.
“They informed me it is tough for people who find themselves Caucasian or black or Latino to really feel that manner towards an Asian individual,” stated Ailee, who declined to say which U.S. leisure corporations turned her down.
Ailee moved to South Korea practically a decade in the past, and was signed by an leisure firm there. A number of different Korean-American performers have additionally turned to K-pop as their path to music careers. They embody a number of previous winners of televised singing competitions in South Korea, in addition to members of the teams Women Era and Seventeen.
K-pop acts sing or rap in Korean, typically with snippets of English. On-line, the place K-pop fandom thrives, many music movies embody subtitles. However language was no barrier at KCON, though most attendees weren’t of Korean descent.
Attendance at this yr’s occasion in Los Angeles, which has one of many largest Korean diaspora communities, was anticipated to exceed the 76,000 who attended final yr, organizers stated.
This yr, folks of all ethnicities danced in unison to K-pop songs at a “dance workshop,” posed for photographs with big emoticons and tried on conventional Korean robes.