Non-Koreans pop up in K-pop acts

NEXT BIG THING? The K-pop group NCT 127 has three foreign nationals in its seven-member line-up. It made its debut yesterday. PHOTO: VYRL


    Jul 08, 2016

    Non-Koreans pop up in K-pop acts


    A NEW generation of multinational K-pop groups is emerging to take on the global music scene.

    Earlier experimental groups have not always been a big hit. Girl group ChoColat, created by Paramount Music in 2011, included members of German, Italian and Puerto Rican descent. But they have not been active since 2013.

    One group that may lead the resurgence of multinational K-pop groups is NCT 127.

    The group has seven members, including Chinese national Winwin, Japanese Yuta, Canadian Mark and Korean natives Haechan, Taeyong, Taeil and Jaehyun.

    NCT 127 made its debut on air yesterday and will release its first album on Sunday.

    The title track, Fire Truck, is beat-heavy, fusing hip hop, trap and reggae.

    NCT, which stands for Neo Culture Technology, is a new project that SM Entertainment launched this year.

    It said NCT is an umbrella brand for different groups that will be "localised" for fans in each country.

    The number 127 in NCT 127, for example, represents Seoul's longitude.

    NCT U, which includes Thai and Korean members, debuted in April with singles The 7th Sense and Without You to significant global popularity.

    The video for The 7th Sense was the most-viewed K-pop video on YouTube in April, notching over 13 million views.

    The 12-member girl group Cosmic Girls is another rising multinational group that has been active abroad.

    The group, which has three Chinese members - Cheng Xiao, Xuan Yi and Mei Qi - debuted in February with its EP Would You Like? and title track Mo Mo Mo.

    Just this week, Cosmic Girls signed an advertising deal with cosmetics brand Skin 79. The group is also currently on a reality show, Would You Like Girls: My Cosmic Diary.

    Meanwhile, boy band Cross Gene, made up of Chinese national Casper and Japanese Takuya alongside Koreans Shin, Sangmin, Yongseok and Seyoung, held its first fan meeting in Singapore on June 20.

    The event attracted fans from Thailand, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia, according to its agency Amuse.