View Full Version : The Big Four - Asian Music Comes to the USA

2 Mar 2009, 12:58 am
Everyone is looking towards America for a piece of the American pie lately. This March is going to be a whirlwind as Four of Asia's biggest stars look towards The English speaking world.

Cover art for single/album

The veteran Utada Hikaru brings her native English here for a second try at making it big in her homeland. Her first single off of her sophmore release "This Is The One" is a step in the right direction of mainstream music. Her first release, Exodus, in 2004 was an experimental mix with producers The Neptunes and Timbaland. This time though, she's taking a more mainstream approach. She has said that she wanted to make a really great pop album and she was tired of experimenting.

"Come Back To Me" is a story about losing the man you love because the mistakes she made some mistakes. It showcases her powerful deep voice that made her famous in Japan. Her voice is enchanting and hypnotic. The video for Come Back To Me was released last night and you can see all the changes that she made this time has paid off. Instead of using an American make up artist (like she did with Exodus and Easy Breezy mv) she flew in her Japanese make up artist. She has said that it's hard to make up an asian face and that what they did to her on Exodus was not who she was. She is now sporting a very short bob.

You can watch her video on youtube here:

YouTube - Utada - Come Back to Me (MV) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PgUaVixAq4)

Video from Ningin interview

Utada’s A-Day-in-LA video, hard at work for “This Is The One” Ningin Blog (http://blog.ningin.com/2009/02/20/utadas-out-in-la-video-hard-at-work-for-this-is-the-one/)

Utada is currently living in New York and is prepping for her album release on March 24th. You can pre-order on Amazon (Amazon.com: This Is the One: Utada: Music (http://www.amazon.com/This-One-Utada/dp/B001SMC8Z4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1235936481&sr=8-1_) for $10.49. The single "Come B ack to Me" is avaialble on iTunes.

BoA with Sean Garret on set of "I Did It For Love" MV

Korean entertainment has taken the spotlight in Asia from the help of BoA pioneering the industry in Japan with the first number one song and album in Japan from another Asian. The tensions between Korea and Japan have been held taught all these years, but the tension has begun to lessen as the Korean wave headed by BoA invaded the island nation. BoA was signed to SMEntertainment while only a tween and has been groomed to become the next big thing - not just in Asia, but also in the Western World. Last October BoA sportted a broken arm at a news confrence where it was relased that she would finally break into the American market. Her first single would be called "Eat You Up" and would be produced by Bloodshy & Avant, one of the world's top pop producers.

After the digital single was released in October, the song skyrocketed to the top 50s of many of the most popular dance and club charts in the United States. BoA followed this by preforming at MTV studios for a taped special set to air at an unknown date. She also showed her song and dance skills in Los Angeles at KiisFM's JingleBall 08 in Anaheim as well as Kollaboration 09 at The Shrine Auditorium in the heart of Los Angeles. BoA has done numerous US apperances and is now set to release her debut album here in the United States simply entitled "BoA". The album is entirely in English and has a dancey feel to it from what is known so far. "Eat You Up" "I Did It For Love" "Look Who's Talking" and "Energetic" have all been played for the public thus far and all have a dancey feel to it. In February BoA shot the MV for her next single "I Did It For Love" with industry mogul Sean Garret. The video has not yet been released.

Her debut album is available on pre-order from all major retailers (amazon:Amazon.com: BoA: BoA: Music (http://www.amazon.com/BoA/dp/B001RTP3SW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1235936997&sr=8-1_) for about $12, and her digital single EYU is avaialble on amazon and iTunes for less than a dollar. March 17th is when the album drops, and she will be doing a special signing at a Virgin Megastore in Los Angeles (my best guess is the one on Wilshire) the day of the release.

Eat You Up on Youtube
YouTube - Eat You Up Korean MV [HQ] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxKETGkTPRc)

BoA is currently in Los Angeles.

Se7en in the Korean Drama "Princess Hours 2"

Se7en has taken similar steps to his predecessor BoA. He jumped into the music scene in 2003 in Korea and then made the hop across the pond to Japan where he also reached the top of the charts. In 2005 he crossed over into the Japanese music scene and began his plans to become a sucsessful recording artist in the United States. In 2007, he recorded a track with US rapper Fabulous, but due to an early leak of the track online, the song was trashed and his record company YG went back to the drawing board. After his first English song, Se7en recorded "Them Girls" with rapper Lil' Kim and has been working the club scene promoting this track by doing listening parties and performances in Los Angeles, Washington State, and Washington DC. Them Girls was produced by Dark Child, a very famous producer.

A video has been recorded for "Them Girls" with Lil Kim and parts of it were leaked onto the internet late in 2008. Last week, his official US website was launced with a preview of "Them Girls" along with a contest "Win a date with Se7en" which starts later this month. There is no release date for his U.S album, but his single "Them Girls" is now available on iTunes is a step in teh right direction for an offical release (finally)

SE7EN (http://www.se7enworldwide.com/intro.html)
Official English Website

YouTube - Them Girls Se7en ft Lil Kim (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdeDs-KlfhI)
Them Girls audio

Wonder Girls English interview at Grammy Pre-Party

Their single "Tell Me" in Korea skyrocketed out of control all over the internet spawning many people to imitate their insanely simple dance all over Youtube. Wonder Girls is the next JYP project aimed at filling the girl-group gap since many of the popular groups have disbanded indefinitley (finKL) or have gone to Japan (The Grace). The group of girls are young, but are full of life and egar to bring their super-cuteness to the United States. Their music is simple and their vocal range is even simpler, but they have captured their nation's heart.

Wonder Girls are made up of five high-school aged girls Yubin, Te-eun, Sunye, Sun Mi and Sohee. In september of 2008, the group was elevated to world wide recognition when Virgin media (owners of the Virgin Megastores) put the Girls in the same category as US group Pussy Cat Dolls and British phenoms Girls Aloud. They have also been regularly featured on PerezHilton.Com, one of the internet's most hit website. Though they have been put in the same category as these groups, the girls lack the sex appeal of these major groups, which may hurt them. What stands out about them is their freshness in the American music market, which is full of over-processed hard electro-pop and rock and roll. Their beats are simple, their vocals are easy on the ears, and they are certainly full of adorableness anyone can see.

Wonder Girls on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads (http://www.myspace.com/wondergirlsusa)
Wonder Girl's Official Myspace page

YouTube - Wonder Girls- Nobody (english version) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BabUXKHJ5Og)
Debut single "Nobody" laid over the korean MV for the same song.

The Wonder Girls are currently in the United States doing small club performances to get their name out there. They will release a cleaner version of "Nobody" on March 5th.

It's really amazing to see the growth of the Asian music industry. I remember back in 2000 when I first started to listen to Utada Hikaru that the idea that any artist would ever try to crossover was unimaginable. Now, four artists that I hold close to me and follow are all coming to the United States at the same time. I hope that they do well, and I hope that maybe me writing this will encourage someone to buy an album or two. Remember, an artist is only as good as their fans, and it's up to them to support them financially.

Peace out everyone, and please support the artists you love. They will continue to make music for you if you do. <3 every CD counts!!!

2 Mar 2009, 4:34 am
Utada is gorgeous in any language (^_^)

2 Mar 2009, 5:12 am
<3 Utada Hikaru, one of my major influences that got me into J-music.

2 Mar 2009, 8:54 am
They should have no problem in America's current music era (WTF happened to the 80's metal? Bring it back dammit!).

Ahwell, maybe this will change people's thoughts on Asian artists?