Big-time music producer/rapper Swizz Beatz (who’s also the hubby of the amazing Alicia Keys) spent some time in Seoul, Korea a few weeks ago and announced in a press conference his intentions to bring K-pop into the United States. He tells MTV News that his goal is to bridge the gaps and build outlets for k-pop artists for them to break through in the US.
But he’s not just going to be another will.i.am or Kanye West, who have worked in collaboration with K-Pop musicians.
“It’s not about me being a feature or just producing K-Pop music; it’s about migrating musical cultures around the world,” says Swizz Beatz. “And I just felt like starting with K-Pop, starting in Asia and opening up different outlets to something cool and new.”
By signing on a new deal between his company and South Korea’s O & Media entertainment company, each company will help promote international artists in their respective markets. What Swizz Beatz is getting at is that he wants to be the new ambassador for introducing already existing K-pop music into mainstream.
I don’t need to be a big K-pop fan to feel the buzz of excitement this is going to bring. Not because I think K-pop needs any real introduction in the youth population of the US—there aren’t many people around anymore who haven’t heard at least one K-pop song. But because it’s nice to see Asian pop music finally having the means and local support to break into the mainstream West, without being a sub-genre that can only maintain itself within Asian-American/Canadian or niche circles.
K-pop has it all going on already: the funky styles, slick dance moves, flashy music videos, and catchy pop beats. There is so much glitter and glamour with k-pop that really gels well with the North American ideals of celebrity. Then you throw in the fact that a lot of the groups are multi-lingual and multi-cultural, and get constant training as an artist. I mean, half of these Disney pop genre kids in the videos are getting on with the program already.
It took J-Pop forever to break into the American scene, and still it’s hasn’t found itself a steady second home. Swizzy, make sure you walk the talk and make it happen. We’ll be watching out for musical magic happening soon—some Rihanna x Kara, Big Bang x Nicki Minaj, and 2NE1 x Jay-Z, for starters?
Ada Lee is a sixth year Human Geography/International Relations student who is interested in people and what makes them tick. She tries to get by in life by getting high on ideas, breathing deeply, and dreaming vividly. Follow 0415ADA at your own risk.