There is a heated debate among Asian pop fans who are non-native or international. In recent efforts SM Town hold their first ever concert in France. Featuring Girls Generation (SNSD), Super Junior, TVXQ, Boa Kwon,SHINee and F(x). To connect with fans all over the world SM open a Facebook account and shared their performances via Youtube. The two biggest social networking catalyst sites that have catapulted K-pop to a much wider diverse audience. For years Japanese artist tour Europe and America to further expand beyond Asia and enter neighboring music markets.
Everyone from Miyavi, Utada Hikaru, Dir En Grey,X-Japan, to former Kat-Tun member Akanishi Jin have toured or performed state side. Unlike their Korean cousins the ambitious spirit to place on America music charts whether via iTunes or on Billboards is becoming the primary focus for K-pop idols/soloist. From Se7en to Boa Kwon most recent Wonder Girls, K-pop is the most determine to usher in Asian pop wave to the west.
The admiration for Asian pop stars debuting state side is a mutual feeling for industry heads in America. Producer Teddy Riley team up with Raina for “Mr.Feel Good.” While Black Eyed Peas Will.I.Am producing tracks for 2ne1 for a possible state side debut. Wonder Girls currently working with Claude Kelly on a new American single. A follow up to their mini tour back in 2010 for “Two Different Tears.” Even JYJ team up with Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins and Kanye West for their first English album The Beginning release last year.
Despite big name producers showing interest in Korean base artist native fans doubt international ones will support. Already available on iTunes anyone from Epik High to Big Bang have place top 10 on charts but not Billboard . Only Boa, Wonder Girls and former YG artists Stony Skunk have successful place on Billboards genre base charts and/or TOP100/200. Regardless if it was briefly or the TOP 100 of the year. The potential is their but will international fans make sure it happens?
V-blogger diskea disclosed the same excitement but concerns that maybe lingering over international fans on making K-pop successful on foreign soil.
Although K-pop has found success via Youtube outside it seem very concentrated. In America areas like Washington,New York, Los Angles and Seattle have warm up to the recent Asian pop wave. Other neighboring nations Valenzuela and Brazil have shown fan support and request for their favorite K-pop star to perform in their nation. On iTunes (America) the increase of K-pop is becoming more evident. Everyone from Beast(B2st), MBLAQ,2pm,etc… have released Korean singles via iTunes for state side fans to download.
The level of fandom differs for international fans verse native. While South Korea is the spic center of K-pop. Fan clubs of major K-pop idol groups have made it their goal to make sure their bias is #1 on something. Doesn’t matter if its on Melon,Bugs,Navar,Monkey3,Mnet,Gaon, Hanteo or music shows like Inkigayo,Music Core,M!Countdown to Music Bank. Making them a popular topic trend on Twitter and top view videos on Youtube. The level of commitment is far more important to Korean native fans verse international in some aspects.
For Koreans they have the option to view their favorite bias idol perform live on TV. Enabling them to be #1 creating this competing spirit among fan clubs. For international the only connection is through Youtbe and other social networking sites. The only other way international fans can show support is by buying music available in their nation. Youtube has spark popularity with some K-pop MVs with 20 million hits but sale wise K-pop falls miserably flat.
Earning less then what normally a K-pop idol can create staying on native soil. Far less than on Japanese making the Americas and Europe risky business that may cost greatly. Only time will tell if international fans are ‘all in’ or just fascinated by a trend. The only way K-pop will have any pedestal to stand on from international fans is by supporting them beyond the web. Radio request, downloads and free publicity has proven to be essential for an idol group/soloist success in Asia. Fans on the western side need to realize they must work harder to create some type of foundation and media notoriety for their favorite Asian idol or group.
At the end of the day if music is the universal language of the world, us international fans need to show it more greatly verse Asian native. I feel international fans are caught up on ‘who would have the most success‘ verse ‘wanting to support those who do debut.‘ Only time will tell if a group is destine or not but this power is created by the fans and not always determine by the media.