K-pop is awful and I hear entirely too much of it, even walking around my humble college campus. That said, this story is awesome:
“On 26 April, a new, American-based K-pop boy band called EXP made their world debut in Long Island City. Like South Korea’s idol groups (the K-pop industry term for a meticulously groomed cadre of attractive, often barely-legal performers), the band was smooth and shiny. The six boys sashayed over the stage in form-fitting clothing, flashing Vaseline smiles and exuding gentle sex as they cooed about relationships in their English-Korean single, ‘Luv/Wrong.’
It was exactly what you might expect out of a fledgling group trying to hack it in the K-pop mold. Except for one little thing: None of the six members of EXP (Tarion Taylor Anderson, Frankie Daponte Jr., Hunter Kohl, Šime Košta, Koki Tomlinson, and David Wallace) are Korean. None of them even speak Korean.”
Good so far, but it gets better:
“After a few days, most of the internet copped on to the fact that EXP was actually a conscious project developed by a conceptual artist. Dreamed up last fall by Bora Kim, a Columbia University MFA student from Seoul, EXP (short for EXPERIMENT) is the centerpiece of a multimedia endeavor, ‘I’m Making A Boy Band’ (IMMABB), documenting her attempt to transform thoroughly American performers into prototypical K-pop boy-toy stars.”
K-pop is more about choreography than it is music, so it makes perfect sense. Formulaic musical product is formulaic. Plug in handsome dudes and/or pretty robotic girls, rinse, repeat.
No linky to their single, because it is perfectly dependable K-pop. Which is to say, it’s fucking awful.
That said, the project is interesting and the interview with the band’s “founder,” Bora Kim, is fascinating.
The best part:
“Kim: Korean society has that military culture. It’s really hard to explain that, and I’m sure it’s hard for people to believe that. But it is. Sometimes I feel that all relationships among Koreans are a bit S&M. Because if they are in any way above you—age, gender, class—you immediately lower yourself. And in the opposite situation, you have to perform that very strong or dominant act towards the other [person]. I think the K-pop world shows that aspect very well. You can see that in the product.”