K--Pop Concerts Head To New Countries As Hallyu Expands

The Korean Wave (Hallyu) is showing its strength as more Korean artists perform around the globe.

Several recent Korean concerts gained attention for being held in unlikely locations, places where Korea's soft power has gained traction. The Korean Wave has taken the world by storm for some time now, first dominating Asia, and then gaining global attention through Psy's "Gangnam Style." Korean singers and idols have held concerts before in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, but for the first time idols are heading to Africa and India.

Eric Nam appeared at the "Moroccan Fans of Korea Kpop Battle" in Rabat, Morocco on August 31. Despite the fact that it was not a full concert, Eric became the first Korean idol to perform not only in Morocco, but all of Africa. In 2013, Morocco was named, along with Egypt, Israel, and, as one the countries in the region with the most growth in interest in Hallyu entertainment, particularly K-Pop.

KBS World Radio already broadcasts shows in Arabic, interviewing the most popular idols and bringing content to the estimated 290 million speakers around the globe.

India also recently had its first K-Pop show, with boy band N-Sonic performing a day before Eric's appearance in Morocco. N-Sonic performed in New Delhi at the third K-POP India Festival, judged a competition where Indian fans tried their hand at K-Pop songs and dances, and performed at the finale.

N-Sonic recognized the importance of their performance, and how they needed to make a positive impact on India in order for Korean entertainment to continuously grow. In an interview, N-Sonic's J. Heart said, "The chance given to us is important for further relationship (between South Korea and India) too. More artists can come if Indian audiences like us. That way we feel responsible and honored. We hope it encourages more exchange programs. We would love to come back here."

Korean entertainment companies have recently begun to focus more on countries outside of Asia to promote Korean music, prominently seen with Super Junior's Latin-infused "Mamacita." The song's title is in Spanish, and the dance includes Flamenco-style moves.

As K-Pop becomes a more globally recognized form of entertainment, and entertainment companies cater to their fans, it is likely that more and more cultures will be represented in the music.

eric nam
kbs world arabic


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