Even as Psy rides his pony into the sunset, becoming the one hit wonder he was always destined to be in the US, other K-pop stars are trying to expand his beachhead and advance in the US market.
You know something’s going on when celebrity DJ Diplo is involved. Besides working with MIA and Santogold (before she changed the spelling of her name), he has compiled samplers that helped break Dubstep, Baile Funk and Moombahton on American dance floors. G-Dragon also duets with Sky Ferreira (who has an EP of her own coming out next week):
Of course, G-Dragon does not want to turn his back on his longtime fans back home, so he recorded versions of these same tracks with Korean singers like rising star Jennie Kim:
I first became curious about K-pop following Grimes‘s many shout outs in various interviews and blog posts, like this one for NME in which she describes the genre’s funhouse mirror reflection of American pop culture:
It’s the insane art direction in K-pop music videos that got me addicted to it. I like the misguided appropriation of western pop tropes in the videos – because they’ve got it wrong, it’s kind of better. You would never see someone with a weave 30ft long in a Western video, like at the beginning of Big Bang’s ‘Fantastic Baby.'”
G-Dragon is also a member of K-pop boy band Big Bang; he’s the one with the 30 ft. extensions:
But my favorite K-Pop song comes from HyunA, who danced with Psy in the “Gangnam Style” video. She is also a member of the girl band 4Minute and the boy-girl duo Trouble Maker. “Bubble Pop” is a perfect pop confection. Also, the random drop-ins of English phrases and the video’s references to US pop culture, especially those associated with New York (Brooklyn!), crack me up:
Plus it reminds me of another campy, long ago novelty song from a country halfway around the world from Korea, “Ca Plane Pour Moi,” by Plastic Bertrand: