Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wait, What? A K-Pop Group without any Koreans?

Today is my day off and I decided to do a bit of internet surfing to see who the new artists are in the world of Korean Entertainment.  I came across something totally unexpected.  It's a K-Pop group that originated in the USA and has zero Korean members.  WHAT!?!?  I needed to investigate this a bit more.  So I did and what I found was fascinating and honestly a bit inspiring.
Photo Credit to EXP Edition FB Page

The name of this K-Pop group is EXP EDITION and it is made up of four young men from the USA.  As I understand it, Frankie, Hunter, Koki, and Sime all auditioned to be a part of this group in New York.  The group was a part of a documentary and thesis project for Bora Kim that was specifically to see what would happen if you formed a K-Pop group without any Koreans in it.  So, it basically started as an experiment and ended up a real thing.  How cool and interesting is that?  It sounds like a strange way to start a music group, but actually it's not that far off from how other groups started that became HUGE.  Ever heard of a little band called THE MONKEES?  Seriously...that was a band put together specifically to be the cast of a television show and they became enormously popular.  So, this way of starting a group isn't so wildly strange.

However, what makes this group so very different and interesting to me, is that while these guys are from varied places and backgrounds (Sime was born and raised in Croatia, Frankie is Portuguese raised in the USA, and Koki is Japanese who was born in Hong Kong), NONE of them spoke Korean to begin with and yet they chose to sing K-pop. AND they decided to move to Korea to do so.  That is incredibly impressive to me.  It's not easy to learn Korean (trust me, I've been working on it for quite a while now), and throwing yourself into a totally different culture, language, and country simply to follow your dream is a level of dedication that you don't often see in any part of the entertainment industry.  And the world of K-pop is not an easy world either.  It is full of people who expect and attain near perfection in their dance routines and performances.  It entails crazy schedules and demanding hours of practice.  If you simply wanted to be a singer, there are easier genres to tackle, but these guys chose to walk this demanding road and that is inspiring to me.

So, I'm going to keep an eye on this group.  I'm impressed with them so far and I look forward to seeing how they continue to grow as they blaze trails that can inspire those who follow after them.  Keep up the good work EXP EDITION!  FIGHTING!!!

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