THE recent remake of “Little Apple,” a song by the Chinese duo Chopstick Brothers, by South Korean girl band T-ara has once again shined a spotlight on Korean pop culture.
The song has received nearly 8 million YouTube views in just two days, according to allkpop.com, an English website devoted to K-pop news and gossip.
“Perhaps one of the most defining parts of K-pop is simply the language. Korean is a snappy, popping language, full of densely packed, tight syllables,” Mark James Russell, author of the book “K-Pop Now! The Korean Music Revolution,” tells Shanghai Daily.
In “K-Pop Now!” Russell takes a fun look at South Korea’s high energy pop music. It covers profiles of new artists such as Big Bang, TVXQ!, BoA, T-ara, and, of course, Psy, best known for his smash hit “Gangnam Style.” It also looks at how they made it to the top from an insider’s view.
Featuring attractive and talented singers and eye-popping visuals, K-pop has fans around the world. However, K-pop also refers to fashion, fun and the future.
In one chapter, Russell provides readers with an insightful look into Seoul and prominent districts that would be of interest to tourists visiting the country. Shopping and landmarks that should be included on a K-pop fan’s must-see list are included. The book also includes a brief look at lodging options.
Having moved to South Korea in 1996, Canadian Mark James Russell has spent more than a decade working and living in the country. He served as The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard’s South Korean correspondent. As a witness to the birth of the Korean Wave, known as hanliu in Chinese, Russell knows the South Korean entertainment industry inside and out.
“I think what makes K-pop so fascinating is that it is in many ways so far ahead of the curve. Broadband Internet forced Korean music companies to make big changes more than a decade ago, and those business changes have led to better music and better marketing, always looking internationally,” Russell says.
Featuring 128 glossy pages of Korean pop eye-candy, Russell’s “K-Pop Now!” is a delightful read for anyone who wants to better understand the power and creativity of Korean producers and artists.