Foreign talents are joining K-pop for their share of global stardom.
The Hallyu wave is sweeping across the world with music being at the front of this movement. K-pop has such a powerful influence that companies from other countries are forming their own Korea-style idol groups and debuting them in Korea so that they can branch out to the world.
One of the pioneers for this model is girl group Everglow under a Chinese management company. Nevertheless, the group still focuses mainly on Korean audiences and their only Chinese member has gone back to her country for activities.
On the other hand, formed like a K-pop group, XG (short for “Xtraordinary Girls”) debuted in March this year and only considered Korea to be a “stepping stone” to international stardom. Under a Japanese management company, Avex, all 7 members are Japanese and only sing songs in English. XG also considers themselves as a “global group”.
Despite their differences in origin and language, XG grabs mounting attention from K-pop fans with 2 music videos called “Tippy Toes” and “Mascara”, mounting up to 40 million views. Perhaps this is no news to K-pop audiences as to how Korean entertainment companies are bringing their artists to Japan for promotional activities. There are also instances where Korean artists promote solely in Japan, such as NiziU managed by JYP Entertainment.
However, cultural differences are the primary issues for groups “outside of Kpop”. Take for example XG CEO who did not think twice when commenting on a Korean artist and their music industry. However, this controversy is not enough to prevent XG from success, with their newly released choreography video reaching half a million in only 1 day.
These early accomplishments of XG is the motivation for upcoming OCJ Newbies to be debuted in Korea. The group is managed by a HongKong-based company and aims for global reach. However it is not yet known that the group will release songs in Korean or English.
Entertainment companies in Korea are finding new competitive edges against their foreign competitors. Recently, JYP Entertainment is in a collaboration with Republic Records, a famous record company in the US behind Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. They are producing a joint project called “America2Korea” (A2K) with the goal to build a “Korean-style girl group” to reach out global audiences.