[INTERVIEW] 'Many people in US music industry want K-pop to go away'

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

By Dong Sun-hwa

[INTERVIEW] 'Many people in US music industry want K-pop to go away'

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Brittany Bowler, publicity manager at Helix Publicity / Courtesy of Brittany Bowler

K-pop’s growing popularity is highly visible these days, with megastar groups like BTS and BLACKPINK taking the world by storm with their unprecedented musical feats. In the case of BTS, it conquered the Billboard charts multiple times with hits like “Butter” (2021) and “Dynamite” (2020) and became the first K-pop act to earn a Grammy nomination in 2020. But U.S.-based K-pop publicist Brittany Bowler feels that K-pop is still being overlooked and underappreciated in the West.

Global Tech News Daily

“Although more K-pop groups are coming to the U.S. for their promotions and some are scoring well-deserved award nominations at American music awards, many people in the U.S. music industry still want K-pop to go away, believing it is just a fad,” Bowler, the publicity manager at Helix Publicity, said in a recent email interview with The Korea Times.

Helix is a New York City-based publicity agency dedicated to promoting K-pop and Asian artists in the international markets. It currently works with K-pop stars like MAMAMOO’s Wheein, AB6IX and LIGHTSUM.

Global Tech News Daily

[INTERVIEW] 'Many people in US music industry want K-pop to go away'

Wheein of K-pop girl group MAMAMOO / Courtesy of The L1VE

“There are close-minded people who do not understand K-pop because it is in another language or because they have an outdated and, frankly, racist point of view about Asian artists. Many simply do not take it seriously and consider it as ‘real’ music,” she added.

Some major media professionals scoffing at K-pop and Asian artists have even asked her why Helix does not work with any white artists.

“They often do not even listen or give any kind of consideration to the artists we are currently promoting,” Bowler said. “It is a true shame, but I hope this will gradually change as time passes and K-pop artists keep promoting their music worldwide.”

Hence, the ultimate goal of Bowler and Helix is to make the voices of K-pop singers and Asian artists heard in the U.S. and other parts of the world, without compromising their images to make them more “Western.”

“It has taken Asians far too long to be widely appreciated in the West despite their talents,” she pointed out. “In the past, when Korean singers came to the U.S., this was hardly covered in the media, with only their fans knowing about the news. Even when they made it into radio or TV shows, this had such a little impact that most people do not realize or remember that Girls’ Generation was on ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ and that Wonder Girls did a movie with channel Nickelodeon in 2012.”

[INTERVIEW] 'Many people in US music industry want K-pop to go away'

K-pop act Girls’ Generation / Courtesy of SM Entertainment

As Bowler said earlier, things are changing in a positive way these days, but she believes more can be done.

“I would like to see more nominations outside of the specially created ‘K-pop’ category,” she noted. “I want to see more K-pop stars getting spins on the radio. To achieve these goals, I and Helix are working closely with Korean music labels to further promote K-pop singers and connect them to their global fans.”

In fact, everyone working at Helix is a K-pop fan and Bowler is no exception. The manager, who joined Helix in 2021, said she has been into K-pop since she was a pre-teen.

“I love K-pop’s choreography, its elaborate stages and how passionate the artists are in every aspect of their work,” she said. “I also love the feeling that the music emits. In fact, I have been a fan of Kim Jae-joong and Kim Jun-su, the former members of K-pop act TVXQ, since 2003 and I hope I get a chance to team up with them in the future.”

Currently, Helix is promoting a plethora of high-profile K-pop acts. Asked which K-pop rookies are getting noticed in the international market these days, Bowler named Omega X, aespa, Kep1er, ENHYPEN, IVE and Xdinary Heroes.

“In the case of Omega X, which is one of our clients, its insanely catch songs and the members’ immense talents are gaining people’s attention,” she said. “And the group’s ‘second chance’ back-story is another factor leading people to root for it.”

Omega X ― comprising Jaehan, Hwichan, Sebin, Hangyeom, Taedong, Xen, Jehyun, Kevin, Junghoon, Hyuk and Yechan ― debuted under Spire Entertainment in 2021 with the EP, “Vamos.” All members either participated in survival shows or debuted as part of other K-pop acts prior to joining Omega X. As of Friday, the music video of its January release, “LOVE ME LIKE” exceeded 15 million views on YouTube.

Bowler then moved on to talk about Helix’s competitive edge. According to her, the company makes catered campaigns for each client, offering various pricing options that fit their budgets and needs.

“We do not ask for a long-term agreement if it is our first time working together, as we believe it is important that we become true partners first,” she elaborated. “We also have employees in-house who speak our clients’ respective languages. We do most of our work with K-pop labels remotely, but at times, we have staff working with the agencies in person. We initially reach out via email or schedule in-person meetings in Korea to discuss the potential for working together.”

Wrapping up the interview, Bowler disclosed what she wants to accomplish in the days to come.

“Opening up a physical office in Korea would be amazing,” she said. “Most of all though, I would love to see Helix becoming a leading PR agency in the industry, known specifically for working with Asian artists and for amplifying their voices on a global scale.”

News Related


[Today's K-pop] DAY6's Wonpil wants to heal listeners with solo album

(Credit: JYP Entertainment)   Wonpil of DAY6 held an online media conference Monday to discuss his first solo LP “Pilmography.” “I learned that it is not easy putting together an album all ... Read more »

Wonpil says ‘Pilmography' is the filmography of his life

Wonpil of boy band Day6 poses during an online press conference Monday. (JYP Entertainment)Wonpil of boy band Day6 welcomed the second month of the year by hopping onto the February ... Read more »

Yoon Suk-yeol will stop Moon's COVID-19 mistakes from being repeated: adviser

The last two years of the pandemic in South Korea have been punctuated by similar, preventable tragedies, and this will stop with Yoon Suk-yeol as president, according to his top ... Read more »

N.Korea warns of imperialists' scheme to ‘overthrow regime' with ideological infiltration

North Korean people lay flowers and pay respect to the statues of the late North Korean leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il on Feb. 2. (Yonhap)The North Korean party’s official ... Read more »

Samsung Electronics shareholders cynical about workers' strike

Union members of Samsung Electronics visit the National Labor Relations Commission office in Sejong to apply for mediation between the union and the company, Feb. 4. Yonhap By Baek Byung-yeul ... Read more »

POSCO fails to keep promises to shareholders

POSCO CEO Choi Jeong-woo Korea Times file By Lee Kyung-min POSCO’s minority shareholders are expressing frustration over the steelmaker’s annual dividend payout ratio, which fell far short of the promised ... Read more »

Korean Air, Lotte Chemical confronted by soaring oil prices

Crude price likely to continue upward surge throughout summer By Kim Hyun-bin Surging crude oil prices have been pushing many domestic industries to the edge as the cost per barrel ... Read more »

Myanmarese author's harrowing chronicle of protest published in Korea

Myanmarese author Pencilo, right, and the country’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi / Courtesy of Publication Morae-al LLC By Park Han-sol The cover of Korean publication “Burma Spring Revolution” ... Read more »

Soaring oil prices, weakening won weigh on Korea's economy

International oil prices feared to hit $100 a barrel By Yi Whan-woo A toxic mixture of soaring oil prices and a weakening Korean won are expected to put a further ... Read more »

Korean companies capitalize on sustainable consumption

Samsung Electronics said Monday that it developed a new material by recycling abandoned fishing nets like the one pictured above for its new Galaxy devices. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics By ... Read more »

Hyuna and Dawn are engaged! Inside the K-pop idols' rule-breaking relationship, from going public and joining Gangnam Style star Psy's P Nation, to ultra-luxe engagement rings

Hyuna and Dawn, one of K-pop’s favourite couples, are engaged! The couple caused a stir on February 3, when they shared the news with fans in matching Instagram posts. But ... Read more »

Woori Financial nominates new head of banking arm

Woori Bank’s headquarters in Seoul / Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung Woori Bank CEO nominee Lee Won-duk Woori Financial Group nominated Senior Deputy President Lee Won-duk as the next leader of ... Read more »

ShillaJen fiasco raises bar for bio firms' IPOs

SillaJen shareholders protest in front of the Korea Exchange (KRX) on Yeouido, Seoul, Jan. 18. Newsis By Anna J. Park The country’s bourse operator Korea Exchange (KRX) is set to ... Read more »

Samsung SDI lags behind LG, SK in overseas ventures

Samsung SDI headquarters in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province / Courtesy of Samsung SDI By Park Jae-hyuk Samsung SDI, which is less active than LG Energy Solution (LGES) and SK on in ... Read more »

President Moon urges calm amid surge in Omicron variant infections

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure meeting at Cheong Wa Dae, Monday. Courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae Korea introduces new COVID-19 control scheme focused on ... Read more »

Questions remain over Kolon heir's managerial succession

Kolon Global Vice President Lee Kyu-ho By Park Jae-hyuk Kolon Global Vice President Lee Kyu-ho is still facing a tall task to prove his management ability, despite Kolon Group’s accelerated ... Read more »

Lotte Insurance appoints new CEO

Lotte Insurance CEO Lee Eun-ho / Courtesy of Lotte Insurance By Anna J. Park Lotte Insurance, a Korea-headquartered insurance firm with expertise in non-life insurance, appointed a new CEO, Lee ... Read more »

Facing omicron wave, schools shift to ‘normalcy'

Students attend an elementary school in Seoul, Monday. The Ministry of Education announced new measures for schools set for the new semester in March, including new testing protocols and four-stage ... Read more »

Top nuclear envoys of S. Korea, US, Japan to meet in Hawaii for talks on NK

Passersby watch a TV news report on North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile at Seoul Station in central Seoul on Jan. 30, marking the seventh round of the ... Read more »

'Robot chefs' unveiled at boot camp to cut troops' workloads, improve meals

This composite photo, released by South Korea’s defense ministry on Monday, shows cooking robots carrying out repetitive tasks (R) at the Army’s 28th Recruit Training Regiment in Nonsan, 213 kilometers ... Read more »

K-pop artists present special exhibitions that coincide with album releases

Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon (left) and boy band Treasure (S.M. Entertainment, YG Entertainment)While gearing up for their big returns to the stage, K-pop musicians have been preparing special exhibitions where visitors ... Read more »

Ruling party's attempt to revive late progressive icons backfires

A video uploaded Saturday on the official YouTube channel of the Democratic Party of Korea shows former President Roh Moo-hyun with a voice mimicking him asking support for the party`s ... Read more »

Celltrion's inhaled COVID-19 treatment found to be safe in clinical trial

The government said Saturday it will begin supplying Celltrion’s COVID-19 antibody treatment to medical facilities in mid-February. Yonhap Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion said Monday that its inhaled version of an ... Read more »

S. Korea, US not mulling additional THAAD deployment: defense ministry

Military vehicles transport missiles to the site of the THAAD base in the town of Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap)South Korea and the United States are not considering the deployment ... Read more »

‘Now is the time to pass anti-discrimination law'

Rep. Jang Hye-young of the Justice Party (Shot and edited by Team Konnect)South Korea’s upcoming presidential election is just one month away. But overshadowed by other issues such as housing ... Read more »

Inside BTS members' US$1 million luxury watch collection: from Jungkook's Rolex Submariner, to Jimin's iconic Cartier Tank and the US$35,000 Jaeger-LeCoultre V's fans bought him for his birthday

There are perks to taking over the pop culture landscape – just ask BTS. As the richest group in K-pop with a net worth totalling around US$50 million between them, ... Read more »

Korean battery makers take up 30.4% of global market share in 2021

LG Energy Solution employees pose with the company’s battery product. Courtesy of LG Energy Solution The combined global market share of three major South Korean battery makers declined last year ... Read more »

Moon, Turkmen president exchange letters marking 30th anniversary of relations

A view of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul (Yonhap)President Moon Jae-in and Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov exchanged letters celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Cheong ... Read more »

PM hints at possible increase in extra budget for pandemic-hit merchants

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on budget and accounts at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum hinted Monday ... Read more »

Govt. launches team to support vulnerable N. Korean defectors

Ministry of Unification (Yonhap)The South Korean government launched an interagency team Monday tasked with helping North Korean defectors suffering from economic and psychological difficulties after resettlement here. The nine-member team, ... Read more »

BIGBANG to make a comeback in spring after four years

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) — Boy group BIGBANG will come back to the K-pop scene this spring after four years of hiatus due to the members’ mandatory military duties, the ... Read more »

Moon urges more neighborhood hospitals to join fight against omicron wave

President Moon Jae-in speaks at a COVID-19 response meeting on Monday, in this photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae. (Cheong Wa Dae)President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for more neighborhood ... Read more »

Korea's new COVID-19 cases above 35,000 for 3rd day as Omicron's spread picks up

People wait in line to be tested for COVID-19 at a makeshift testing center in Seoul on Feb. 7 as the country’s new caseload hit a fresh high of 35,131 ... Read more »

[Graphic News] Lottery sales hit all-time high in 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Lottery sales in South Korea rose 10.3 percent on-year to reach an all-time high last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed. Sales of lottery tickets stood at 5.98 trillion ... Read more »

N. Korea marks 6th anniv. of Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite launch

DPRK`s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA)North Korea on Monday celebrated the sixth anniversary of what it claims to be a major satellite launch, its state media said, highlighting Pyongyang’s resolve ... Read more »

Yoon leads Lee 43.4% to 38.1%: poll

This compilation image shows (from L to R) presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung, Yoon Suk-yeol, Sim Sang-jeung and Ahn Cheol-soo. (Yonhap)Main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol is leading his ruling party ... Read more »

N. Korea stays silent on much-anticipated parliamentary meeting

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over a politburo meeting of the Workers’ Party at the headquarters of the party’s Central Committee in Pyongyang on Jan. 19, 2022, in this ... Read more »

Korea's foreign reserves decline for 3rd straight month in January

gettyimagesbank Korea’s foreign reserves shrank for the third straight month in January due to a decline in dollar-converted value of holdings in other currencies, central bank data showed Monday. The ... Read more »

Self-employed at risk of default as government set to end COVID-19 relief program

A street food vendor cooks tteokbokki, or spicy Korean rice cakes, at a market in Seoul on Jan. 20. Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung Small business owners are under mounting pressure ... Read more »

Capital gains tax on stock investors emerges as key voting issue

The presidential candidates pose before their first joint TV debate at broadcaster KBS’ studio on Yeouido, Seoul, Feb. 3. From left are Sim Sang-jung of the minor Justice Party, Lee ... Read more »