After the global success of BTS, BLACKPINK, Is K-pop still being looked down on? 

In an interview with The Korea Times, an expert said that many Americans still refuse to take K-pop seriously.

It is undeniable that Kpop is increasingly famous internationally, especially with the groundbreaking achievements on the global music charts of BTS or BlackPink. The Korea Times reported that BTS and BlackPink took the world by storm with their unprecedented achievements.

In the case of BTS, the group has repeatedly conquered the Billboard charts with smash hits like Butter (2021) and Dynamite (2020). They became the first K-pop act to earn a Grammy nomination in 2020. BTS in particular and Kpop in general are gradually changing the opinion of industry officials and American listeners on Kpop.

However, Brittany Press – manager of Helix Publicity – believes that K-pop is still being looked down upon and undervalued in the West.

Americans want K-pop to go away 

“More and more K-pop groups are coming to the US to promote and some are even nominated at American music awards. But many people in the US music industry still want K-pop to disappear because they believe it is just a fad” Brittany Press said.

Helix Publicity is a New York-based publicity agency that promotes K-pop and Asian artists internationally. The agency is collaborating with K-pop artists such as Mamamoo’s Wheein, AB6IX, and Lightsum.

Brittany Press added that many Americans do not understand K-pop because of the language barrier. Others have outdated and racist attitudes towards Asian artists. They don’t take K-pop seriously and don’t consider it “real music”.

Some major media experts even mocked K-pop and Asian artists. Brittany Press said she has received questions from these people about why Helix Publicity doesn’t work with any white artists.

“They often don’t listen or care about the artists we’re promoting. It’s a shame. But I hope this gradually changes as time goes on and K-pop artists will continue to promote their music around the world,” Brittany Press said.

Therefore, the ultimate goal of Brittany Press as well as Helix Publicity is to make the colors of K-pop singers in particular and Asian artists in general stand out in the US and other regions of the world, while still retaining their originality.

It has taken Asians too long to be appreciated in the West despite their talent. In the past, when Korean singers came to America, this was hardly reported in the media channels. Only Kpop fans grasp the information.

“The American media does not recognize or remember SNSD participating in the Late Show with David Letterman or Wonder Girls acting in a movie on Nickelodeon channel in 2012″, Brittany Press said.

The ambition to amplify the voices of Kpop artists

As Brittany Press said earlier, things are changing for the better, but she believes K-pop can do more.

“I want to see more K-pop artists nominated for music awards or appearing on the radio. To achieve these goals, Helix Publicity and myself are working closely with Korean entertainment companies to promote K-pop singers and connect them with global fans”.

Brittany Press has been a fan of Kpop since she was a teenager. She shared, “I love K-pop’s choreography, elaborate stages, and the artist’s passion in every aspect of their work. I also love the atmosphere that K-pop music brings. I’ve been a fan of Kim Jae Joong and Kim Jun Su – former members of TVXQ – since 2003. I hope to have the opportunity to work with them.”

Helix Publicity is promoting many famous K-pop artists. When asked which K-pop rookies are gaining attention internationally, Brittany Press named Omega X, aespa, Kep1er, ENHYPEN, IVE and Xdinary Heroes.

Omega X is one of our clients,” she said. “The members’ catchy songs and charming talents are attracting everyone’s attention.”

Omega X consists of 11 members: Jaehan, Hwichan, Sebin, Hangyeom, Taedong, Xen, Jehyun, Kevin, Junghoon, Hyuk and Yechan. The group debuted under Spire Entertainment in 2021 with the song Vamos. Most of the members participated in survival shows or debuted in other groups before joining Omega X. Love Me Like MV, which was released on January 5, has surpassed 15 million views.

Brittany Press also talked about Helix’s competitive advantage. According to her, the company runs campaigns that cater to each client, offering a wide range of pricing options to suit their budgets and needs.

“We are not asking for a long-term agreement if this is the first time working together. We believe it is important to become a partner first. We also have internal staff who speak the same language. We do most of the work with K-pop companies remotely. But sometimes we have employees who work directly with the companies,” Brittany Press shared.

Concluding an interview with The Korea Times, Brittany Press revealed what she wants to achieve in the future. Brittany Press expressed: “Opening an office in Korea is great. But above all, I would love to see Helix become the leading PR agency in the industry, especially known for partnering with Asian artists and amplifying their voices on a global scale”.

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