If you need any indication of the power of hallyu and Korean popular culture, look no further than how CJ E&M‘s KCON has grown since its launch in 2012.
KCON hosted over 42,000 attendees from around the world last summer at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, and this year, the convention is bringing its A game. From Friday, July 31 to Sunday, Aug. 2, fans can expect plenty of panels, workshops, food fashion and more at the L.A. LIVE plaza in Downtown L.A., punctuated by two concerts at the Staples Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Last year’s lineup included B1A4, BTS, CNBLUE, G-Dragon, Girl’s Generation, IU, Jung Joon Young, SPICA, TEEN TOP and VIXX. We’ll keep you updated on when this year’s artists are announced—KCON promises that the concerts will “Ignite Your Feelz.”
Check out KCON 2015 USA’s websitefor more information. You can watch a recap of last year’s KCON below.
South Korea-based A Cube Entertainment is looking for their next generation of singers, actors, dancers and models as they begin their global audition process for 2015 in Los Angeles. Do you think you have what it takes to be part of the company that represents girl group A Pink and ballad singer Huh Gak?
A Cube is specifically looking for young talent around 11 to 20 years old (born between 2003 and 1994). From now until April 22nd, Los Angeles-based applicants must complete the following steps for the online audition:
Fill out the official application and send it to email@example.com, along with a headshot and any relevant media (recordings, links to videos, etc.). Subject of the email must be [Name/Age/Sex].
A Cube Entertainment will announce the results individually by email, and for those who passed the online audition, A Cube will work out a time and place for an in-person audition.
For those interested who are not based in Los Angeles, stay tuned for more details on A Cube Entertainment’s 2015 Global Audition circuit.
Image via A Cube Entertainment. H/T to Koreaboo for additional audition details.
Hyun-jin Ryu can drop a sweet change-up. But did you know he can drop bars, too?
The Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw may have one of the best résumés among his peers when it comes to commercials and guest appearances. Ryu’s commercial for NH Card is just the latest in his exploration of his artistic side.
Ryu has always taken on side jobs in South Korea during the offseason, including an earlier commercial for Ottogi noodlesand a guest appearance on the popular show Running Man, alongside fellow Korean baseball players Shin-soo Choo and Jung-ho Kang. Ryu also has a couple of K-pop singles under his belt, by the way.
During the regular season, he drags his teammates into his antics, like when he used Clayton Kershaw and (now former teammate) Matt Kemp as backup dancers. Maybe he can include Hank Conger the next time, too—the new Houston Astro’s twerking puts Miley Cyrus to shame.
In regards to his professional work, Ryu has been slowly resuming throwing activities while nursing a sore shoulder. The Dodgers began the season with him on the disabled list, and the team has stated they will allow him take as much time as needed before getting Ryu back on the mound.
South Korean hip-hop trio Epik High has announced that they will be embarking on a North American Tour next month, according to a YG press release. The tour will kick off Saturday, May 28 at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco and will make stops in several major U.S. and Canadian cities.
The trio rose to success with their hit song “Fly” from their third album Swan Songs. Epik High is often credited as one of South Korea’s most influential hip-hop acts and has topped a number of global music charts, including the Billboard’s World Album Chart as well as the iTunes hip-hop and album charts.
Last October, Epik High released their eighth studio album SHOEBOX, which has been praised for its musical narrative, artistic lyrics, and impressive collaboration tracks with other renowned rappers. The album was produced record label YG Entertainment, home to some of K-pop’s leading artists: BIGBANG, 2NE1, PSY, Lee Hi, Winner and Akdong Musician.
Tickets for Epik High’s 2015 North American Tour will go on sale on April 15 at 12 p.m. in each city’s time zone on the officialtour website.
EPIK HIGH 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
May 28 – San Francisco, The Warfield Theater May 29 – Los Angeles, TBA May 31 – Vancouver, Vogue Theatre June 5 – Dallas, South Side Music Hall June 12 – New York City, Best Buy Theater June 14 – Toronto, Danforth Music Hall
To the left, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, say K-pop fans.
On March 24, TIME magazine opened up their reader’s poll for their annual 100 Most Influential People list. Thanks to the voting power of K-pop fans, 2NE1‘s CL is currently leading the poll with 11.6 percent of votes as of Friday, while Lady Gaga is in second place with 4.3 percent.
This year, 158 candidates have been included in the online poll, including Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzal, Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama.
CL is the third Korean entertainer to be up for votes in the TIME 100 reader’s poll, following Rain and PSY.
TIME introduced the 24-year-old rapper as the latest addition to Scooter Braun’s roster of top stars, noting her upcoming American solo debut.
The online poll will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on April 10, and the winner will be announced on April 13.
K-pop star Megan Lee won the legal battle against her former agency, Soul Shop Entertainment, on Friday regarding the nullification of her five-year contract.
The Korean American singer filed the lawsuit against Soul Shop in November, claiming that she received unfair treatment and verbal abuse from Kim Tae-woo‘s wife Kim Ae-ri and mother-in-law, who serve as the agency’s management director and chief director, respectively. Lee also accused the agency of signing a contract tying her to the musical All Shook Up without her consent.
Soul Shop, however, denied these allegations and accused Lee of breaching her contract by participating in the final audition for Nickelodeon’s upcoming series Make It Pop, without notifying the label.
On Friday, the Seoul Central District Court ruled that Soul Shop cannot force Lee to engage in broadcast, film and musical stage activities against her wishes and cannot sign contracts in relation to promotions without the artist’s permission. It added that such acts were “an invasion of personal rights, personal autonomy and occupational freedom.”
The court also deemed some of Lee’s contract terms to be unfair. One such term gave Soul Shop the freedom to terminate the contract without giving any compensation to Lee, while requiring her to pay a large penalty fee for any contract violations, according to the Korea Times. Another term stated that Lee’s contract period would begin on the “day of her debut” and not the time of signing.
South Korea is the mecca of plastic surgery, with about one in five Korean women going under the knife, according to a 2009 survey. Thousands of medical tourists also flock to Gangnam every year to get their so-called K-pop transformations. Last year, a Brazilian man underwent 10 procedures to look more Korean.
Fascinated by South Korea’s obsession with plastic surgery, Geoffrey Cain, a Seoul-based GlobalPost writer, decided to learn just how many surgical procedures it would take for him to look like K-pop rapper and fashionista G-dragon.
His first stop was one of the most renowned Gangnam clinics, Cinderella Plastic Surgery and Dental Clinic. There, Cain received consultation from Dr. Jong-pil Chung, the clinic’s chief physician. After examining Cain’s X-rays, Dr. Chung said it would take a painful package of fixes for Cain to look like the 26-year-old chic rapper: a forehead lift, “V-line” surgery along the chin, liposuction, sawing of the mandible, cheekbone reduction and several botox injections. And the entire package would cost about USD $26,700. That’s not a pretty price.
Although all of the procedures could be completed in just five to six hours, Dr. Chung said recovery would take much longer. It would take aleast six months for Cain’s new face to be free of swelling. In addition, Cain would have to maintain a strict exercise regimen to attain G-dragon’s lean, muscular physique.
Here is a photoshopped image of what Cain would look like if he underwent the procedures:
A before-and-after shot of Cain that was given to him during the one-hour consultation. (Photo via GlobalPost)
You can read about Cain’s full consultation on GlobalPost.
Nickelodeon has announced that it will premiere its musical comedy Make ItPop, which stars K-pop star Megan Lee, on April 6 at 7 p.m. The channel will also air a special preview of the sitcom on Thursday, March 26.
Co-created by Nick Cannon and Thomas W. Lynch, Make It Pop follows the story of three teen girls who meet as roommates at an international boarding school and later form the K-pop inspired band XO-IQ. Megan Lee will be portraying Sun Hi, a social media maven and aspiring pop star.
The show has been receiving a mixed response from K-pop fans, as there have been some confusion on whether the show is actually about K-pop or just capitalizing on K-pop trends, such as crayon-colored streaked hair and flamboyant costumes.
“A lot of people have misunderstood that this show is about or based on K-pop but actually it’s not,” Lee said in an interview with BTS Celebs. “We say that the show is K-pop inspired because some of the styles of hair clothes and make up that we apply to the show by looking at girl groups like f(x), Girls Generation, 2ne1, 4minute, etc.”
Despite Lee’s clarification, Hallyu enthusiasts are still concerned about the representation of K-pop on Nickelodeon. In 2012, Nick Cannon produced a TV film starring the Wonder Girls before “Gangnam Style” went viral, and the film tanked. Thus, fans have expressed their doubts about the show succeeding.
Make It Pop has also been criticized for the lack of Asian male leads. During an industry panel, a journalist asked one of show’s producers if an Asian male character will be included in the cast. In response, the producer joked, “Nope! Never! Asian guys in my show, not gonna happen!”
“The producer [then] began to answer the question seriously and said he was hoping to get Psy to play the father of the main Korean girl,” the journalist wrote in a scathing op-ed piece on AsAm News. “Only white guys are in the show as the love interest for Asian girls.”
However, the series’ creators and production company, DHX Media, are confident that the musical comedy will be a success.
“Tom and Nick have created a standout and up-to-the-minute series with a beating musical heart and unbridled energy, style and humour,” Steven DeNure, President of DHX Media, said in a press release. “High-school shenanigans have never before been this spirited and comical. Make It Pop has all the ingredients to be a success.”