How Do Koreans Do It?

It must be thrilling to see North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dancing to the tune of PSY’s Gangnam Style. And i would love to see his partner and his cohorts dancing the horse ride steps in the background. Truly, music is the way to peace. Ha. Ha.

How did the Koreans do it? Singing girl groups and boy bands like 2-NE-1, Superjunior, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, etc. have captured the ears and hearts of the rest of Asia, Africa, Middle  East, Europe and the Americas. My 3-year old daughter and my wife are even going gaga over them. (My wife is a big 2-NE-1 fan because of Sandara, the “Filipina” Korean member of that girl group). I mean, they are so immensely popular elsewhere ever since they started those TV drama series and the once struggling Korean pop. Did you see that episode where PSY guested on The Ellen DeGeneres’ show? He even brought Britney Spears to the dance school, Gangnam Style. Talk about display of passionate fun and serious craft at the same time.

Now, how come the Philippines, the original “idol” of Koreans when it comes to music and arts, is now lagging behind Korea in the international mainstream scene? Okay, the Philippines has Charice and Arnel Pineda and the Speaks and Death Angel and Kirk Hammett and Bruno Mars and Vanessa Hudgens and….do they sound like…. FILIPINO? ;-P

The Korean artists are packaging themselves in Western fashion but anyone who listens to them or watches them perform can easily recognize that they are Koreans. Why? BECAUSE THEY SING IN KOREAN! THEY SING THEIR ORIGINAL SONGS IN KOREAN! Duh. This is perhaps the first reason why we can not sustain a “Filipino fever” in the international music scene: Lack of IDENTITY.

More than that, the Korean artists continue to innovate their pop music, combining Western sound and the Korean language.

Another reason perhaps why the Koreans have overtaken the Philippines, is because most Filipino artists, talent agencies, and label producers have forgotten that this generation is driven by the unlimited power and reach of social media. While each has its own Facebook page, Twitter account, and website, I think a lot or Filipino artists are not doing ENOUGH internet marketing of their songs, films, music videos in YouTube to identify themselves and promote to the world as FILIPINOS.  Forgive me for saying this, but I think the word “expression” has been changed to the less appealing word called “impression” among the Filipino artists. We only love to cater to fellow Filipinos to impress them by sounding like American. If it’s Tagalog or Bisaya, it’s cheap.

Another issue is the lack of creativity and quality of music videos. Compare the directorship, film quality, dynamics, and crazy ideas of the “best” Pinoy music videos to the Korean ones. Be the judge.

While Koreans struggled to find their niche in the international scene as Koreans, Filipinos are still trying to create an identity that will sound American and not as Filipinos. The only consolation for me so far is He bravely used the opportunity of being part of Black Eyed Peas to sing some of his songs in FILIPINO to the world!

How do Koreans do it? More’s PLEASE!!!!