Excerpts of Yoon Sang speaking on K-Pop, BTS in his ‘Drunken Talk’
I’ve translated some excerpts of this interview for Ilgan Sports between Yoon Sang, a renowned Korean composer, producer, singer-songwriter, and journalist Hwang Jeeyoung.
[DrunkenTalk②] Yoon Sang “K-Pop is about the charisma of a performer, and, [I] get a little worried when seeing BTS”
Q: What are your thoughts on K-Pop, which is currently gathering a lot of interest worldwide?
Rather than it being about the music in itself, I think it’s to do with the charisma of the person. It’s a change that is not just evident in K-Pop, but in music worldwide. Music is not the protagonist; instead, it’s about who is doing the music, and therefore how charismatic the performer is, in this era. The number of charismatic people continues to grow. The patterns of consumption in the music industry is also peculiar. If, in the past, one bought an album to listen to the songs, now one buys 2~30 albums thinking ‘It’s my artist, so isn’t it obvious that their music is good?’ That is their way of cheering [their artist on]. It is a sad but realistic reason.
Q: How is it when you see those such as BTS receive global popularity?
I’m really curious how BTS themselves feel. Lee Soonjae-sshi also mentioned them in his award speech at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards. That men and women of all ages in South Korea know of them and that they have popularity worldwide is a good thing, and certainly has many positive effects. On the other hand, that BTS is referenced hand-in-hand with issues of raising national prestige is one that worries me. Strictly speaking, they’re not national athletes. It also makes me wonder for how long they’d be able to cope with such things. Personally, as I watch idols cater to a pop industry where fans wield an unusually large amount of power, I become curious of what will become of their futures. It feels as if it will be a clue to what sorts of dreams my two sons will need to have. I am as of yet unsure of the sort of vision I would encourage my son to have if he was to do popular music. If that vision is one of idols nowadays, I would not currently want him to [take that path].