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[Exclusive] Interview with Music Editor of Billboard Benjamin M. Ingram, "Keyword of K-Pop and Psy's Popularity? It's Inside of Visual"

By Staff Writer | September 04, 2012 11:49 AM EDT


The K-Pop movement this year is nothing like how it's been in previous years. The popularity of the K-Pop wave in 2012 is incomparable to that of any year in the history of K-Pop. Following after global recognition of 2NE1 as the group was awarded "Best New Band in the World 2011" by MTV Iggy, Girls' Generation (SNSD) began their global stardom with TV appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "Live! With Kelly" in the United States and in countries in Europe.

International star personally approached YG Entertainment requesting to work on a collaboration project with the members of 2NE1, and Akon appeared in Wonder Girls' music video of "Like Money" and made headlines.

In the midst of the rising recognition of K-Pop, Psy made history with his music video of "Gangnam Style" and stirred up a whole new crowd of K-Pop fans internationally.

Is that the reason why Benjamin M. Ingram, the music editor of Billboard who is the former executive editor of VIBE magazine appeared at the K-Pop festival in New York? The K-Pop Festival that took place at the New York University's Skirball Center was organized by the Korean Cultural Service New York to celebrate and to spread the growing K-Pop culture in the United States.

KpopStarz was able to get an exclusive interview with Benjamin M. Ingram who appeared at the K-Pop festival as one of the judges.

How did you end up all the way over here as a judge at a K-Pop Contest Event?

I have a really good relationship with Jaeki, MC, and Donni, senior editor of ESPN, one of the judges of 2012 NY K-Pop Festival. They are my good friends and they invited me.

What did you think of the contest today?

It was really nice to see. It wasn't the level of Madison Square Garden or anything epic and fancy but it was still interesting to attend.

How far do you think K-Pop will go and where will it go from here?

That's the million dollar question and the most important one facing K-Pop. The Internet is certainly helping K-Pop out a lot. Internet outlets like YouTube are helping music videos spread out and be distributed worldwide without any cost. K-Pop must have faced the same situation that American pop did with language barriers but it made it through. One of the most important things for K-Pop is the visuals. If you just take a look at Psy's music video, the kind of visuals in that music video are incredibly unique and so it was easy for people to remember. People don't necessarily know or care about what he's saying but it's so fun to watch.

Would you want to plan on meeting Psy sometime soon?

Billboard did a story on him last week, actually.

What does K-Pop mean to you?

It's incredibly magnetic. It draws you in and there's a lot of excitement around it because of its target audience being mainly the youth and young people. There's a lot of energy as well. 

What about K-Pop in the US? 

I can't tell but it'll be interesting to see what will happen. The more interest around something, the more money gets attached and that means more business. At this rate, K-Pop will definitely grow. 

Tagged :  K-Pop Festival, Gangnam Style, Billboard


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