How non-Korean businesses are developing new "K-pop" groups like XG in order to enter the worldwide market utilising the South Korean market as a launchpad


How non-Korean businesses are developing new "K-pop" groups like XG to enter the worldwide market utilising the South Korean market as a launchpad

K-pop" groups like XG_ichhori.webp

As K-pop becomes more popular worldwide, entertainment businesses in other parts of Asia are striving to develop their own Korea-based, K-pop-inspired bands to become internationally successful.

It is nothing unusual for non-Korean entertainment organisations to debut K-pop artists in Korea, as was the case with the well-known girl group Everglow, who is signed to the Chinese label Yuehua. However, new acts are concentrating on appealing to audiences around the world, utilising the South Korean market as a springboard, while those acts focus on the local South Korean music scene.

On paper, the seven-member girl group XG, which markets itself in Korea and is stylized in the manner of K-pop idol groups, appears to be a fairly typical K-pop girl group. They sing in English but are actually Japanese. When they are not on stage, they normally exclusively speak Japanese and Korean.

They are overseen by the Japanese entertainment corporation Avex subsidiary Xgalx. Additionally, XG aspires to be known as a "global girl group" rather than a K-pop outfit.

The band XG, which stands for "Xtraordinary Girls," made their debut in March with Tippy Toes and followed it up with Mascara in June.

Their origin was likely purposefully kept a mystery when they first appeared. A "global entertainment production firm to generate artists with a defined world view, promoting a culture of "bold" creation," is how their label Xgalx was only ever described in press releases.

It seems like Xgalx wants to introduce XG to music markets outside of Asia.

With over 40 million views combined for their two-song videos, XG is undoubtedly connecting with average K-pop fans. The group's promotion in Japan is frequently compared to that of K-pop groups, and some organisations even form groups specifically for the Japanese market, such as size, which is run by JYP Entertainment in Korea.

But XG ran into trouble in July when Avex's CEO, Max Matsuura, allegedly made disparaging remarks about K-pop artists, XG songwriter Sakai Simon (also known as Jakobs, formerly of K-pop duo DMTN), and the Korean music business during a Livestream.

The girl trio, however, has continued to advance; a video of a recent dance performance set to Mary J. Blige's Family Affair had over 500,000 views on YouTube in just one day after being posted.

According to early rumours, they would have more than 16 members, but as of now, promotional photos only show 13.

OCJ Newbies will differ from XG in that its members are mostly, if not totally, Korean or of Korean heritage. This is based on social media posts. Many of them are already well-known to K-pop fans since they either had their debuts with other groups or because they appeared on well-known K-pop television programmes like the Produce competition series.

Unknown factors include the release date of OCJ Newbies' debut album and whether they will sing entirely in English from the start, like XG, or in Korean.

Companies in South Korea are also going worldwide. JYP revealed in July that it has partnered with Republic Records, a US company that represents artists like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande, on a new television programme called America2Korea, or A2K. The goal is to form a K-pop-influenced band that, like XG, will pursue international success.

In related news, Jessica Jung, a singer and fashion designer best known for her time as a member of the K-pop girl group Girls' Generation (from 2007 to 2014), recently finished in second place on the third season of the talent show Sisters Who Make Waves (also known as Sisters Who Brave Winds and Waves), which is only broadcast on Hunan TV and only features celebrities 30 years of age or older.

Jung will be a part of a future girl group made up of the show's victors, which will also include top-ranked Cyndi Wang Xinling.

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