AsAm Singers Find Fame Overseas
I remember back in the 80s local African American singers/bands who may have had a hit or two (or no hits at all) picking up and touring Asia for months that turned into years. They love us over there, a band member told me. You can be just a cover singer and have a good fan base.
A lot of Korean American singers are following their lead. One of the hottest singers on the K-pop scene right now is Pennsylvania native Tim Hwang. His current album “Love Is…” is burning up the charts. The 26 year old has a sweet and innocent look that resonates well with Korean fans.
It’s a shift in styles that some Korean Americans aren’t able to make. American Idol hopeful Paul Kim, who has been unlucky with American labels, also tried to make a go of it in Korea. In an interview with KoreaAm magazine Kim discussed his short time in South Korea on a Korean record label.
“It was just rough. They wanted me to do pop and R&B, which I didn’t want to do. Like ‘N Sync stuff. I guess that’s what sells over there,” Kim said. Kim is a soul singer who wasn’t interested in changing his genre of music. In the end the deal ended up not working out.
So if our edgier style doesn’t always hit over there can Korean Americans become stars there and come back and make a sweep here? Doesn’t seem like it. Towards the end of the KoreAm article it recounts Tim performed at a gala and some in the audience found the performance “pleasant but dull”.
Well, sounds like he won’t be opening up for Kanye West anytime soon, but he sounds like a perfect match for a Disney tween TV-show. Ask Hillary Duff and Hanna Montana, that is really how you can break in hard nowadays.