Kristofer Lundström travels to Seoul and meets with SHINee, one of Asia’s biggest bands and representatives of the South Korean K-pop music wave.
Kobra on K-pop
Thanks to the super hit song “Gangnam Style”, Korean pop culture is spreading like wildfire all around the globe. Kobra travels to Seoul to investigate the enormous K-pop factory; we’re visiting record labels, TV shows, and we’re talking to artists. We’re even meeting several of the Swedish songwriters who are making hits for these Korean pop artists.
Kobra travels to Seoul to find out how and why the K-pop phenomenon grew so big. The label company SM Entertainment is behind most of these bands, who are almost solely put together with the help of auditions held all across South Korea, and even with Koreans from other countries. We get to meet with the CEO in charge of the musical and aesthetic orientation of the bands. We also get to meet SHINee, a band created by SM Entertainment consisting of five R’n’B-singing guys.
Many of the Korean hit songs are written by Swedish songwriters. Kobra visits Trinity and The Kennel and participates in a songwriting conference specifically focused on Korea.
Songwriters from all around the world have gathered in a studio in Bergshamra. They connect to the record label company in Korea through Skype each morning to receive detailed requests on different types of songs. The deadline for the song is at eight o’clock in the morning the day after. Kobra follows the entire process and speaks with Pelle Lidell at the record label Universal, who was quick on discovering K-pop.
There isn’t only K-pop, though, there are even K-movies and K-television. The Korean government is behind large investments in the country’s culture, which is a way to advertise Korea under the motto “soft power”.
Kobra also highlights the negative aspects of the K-pop industry. The artists are heavily controlled and are working under slave contracts, and many of them are forced to plastic surgery to fit into the required pop star form.
Translation by firstname.lastname@example.org
This is apparently a documentary that’s airing December 5th on one of Sweden’s biggest tv networks. I honestly had no idea it was in the works.