After the official launch of YG Entertainment’s collaboration with Avex Japan titled “YGEX”, a discussion about Kpop’s expansion to the United States have become an increasingly popular topic. With YG Entertainment previously rumored to be preparing to advance in the market, out of Asia.
However, in a recent interview – YG Entertainment’s President has confirmed that they are definitely considering to break the American music market – but still unsure of an exact date. More of his interview under the cut:
Here are some quoted statements from Yang Hyunseok on different views of his upcoming plans.
First, he explains his side of YG Entertainment’s music and their talents in international promotions:
“We had been one of the most passive agencies when it came to activities overseas. Korea had always been our priority. And this is because if we focused our artists’ activities in Japan, their popularity in Korea could shake. That’s why they’ll pursue their activities in Korea and Japan simultaneously. When they release a song in Korea, the song will also be released in Japan within a week. …There is another reason behind why YG Entertainment has been meek in international advancements. It’s because we had spent a lot of time on the production of music. Our intention was to take the music we had created in Korea to the Japanese and European markets. Once Big Bang had made their debut in Japan, I had a chance to meet with the CEO of Avex, Max Mastuura. The two of us had many things in common as we both were introverts that enjoyed fishing. As we discussed music, the idea to establish YGEX was born. First and foremost I didn’t want to adjust YG’s musical flavor just to better fit Japan’s taste. In response Matsuura promised us that he would respect our opinion on the manner and would try his best to keep our style intact and to not change it.”
He also talked about the plans he made with Avex Japan’s founder, as well as the possible expansion of their audience in Asia, Europe and The States:
“There is no doubt the quality of the content coming from Korea is high thus it is spreading globally at an accelerated pace. It might be too early to say the Korean Wave has hit Europe but people outside of Asia with different cultures enjoying and supporting Korean singers were something we couldn’t have imagined in the past. I now see the possibilities of advancing into the American market from closely observing the changes that have taken place in the European market. The marketing potential for it is endless. I’m secretly looking forward to the US market as well. China and the US are actually the toughest markets. The US is also the market that most singers are targeting but it’s so big that I think it’s more effective to polish content made in Korea and inform them of it than to promote in the country directly. I think positively of Park Jin Young staying in the US for a long time and promoting his artists there but I’m thinking of a structure where an artist gains popularity, starting in Korea, and as that spreads, it draws in fans from the US. The way that people in France or the US find out about Korean singers is not just over the Internet but through Koreans in those countries which I think plays a big part and I think this could end up forming a market. There are various nationalities in the US so if a market forms there, it’ll be impossible for the US not to become affected. Due to all of this we will open the American market in the next year or two.”
Lastly, Yang Hyunseok talked about the wide support of their international fans – and the connections he and some artists made throughout the years of production :
“I think it would be arrogant of us to consider our music as being better than theirs. But hip-hop has been at the core of our music, since Jinusean’s debut. Even when we do electronica music, it’s been within hip-hop. And just like the times change, music changes and crossover music will change as well so I think we do music that I think is in step with the trends of the global market. As much as our music has been influenced by music in the U.S. and Europe, we can speak of YG’s music naturally when meeting with industry people overseas. It was the same with 2NE1 working with Will.i.am. We didn’t have to pay Will.i.am a single dime. Will.i.am himself had watched 2NE1′s music video and said he wanted to make music for them. And if we were under a contract with him, we would’ve had to release a song on a set date. But this is something we’re doing because both parties wanted it so it’s taking longer to work on the album.”
As of the moment, YG Entertainment intends to focus on 2NE1 as they continue preparations for their second mini-album and Japanese debut. CL, Minji, Dara and Bom are also busy preparing for their first concert in South Korea, as well as their upcoming tour in Japan following the release of their full debut album. While Big Bang is in the process of preparing for their own solo and unit comeback – with GD&TOP recently confirmed to be participating in one of DJ Diplo’s tracks.