Friday, January 6, 2012

K-Pop Artists: BoA

One of my favourite Korean artists is Kwon Boa, known as BoA. BoA is considered the Queen of Korean Pop and was discovered by SM Entertainment in 1998, one of the major labels promoting and managing Korean musicians. She was a mere 11 years old. Although very young when discovered, BoA trained for two years in SM Entertainment's Academy before releasing her debut album. Her second album, Listen To My Heart was a huge success in Japan and represented a breakout for her.

Unlike North American artists, it seems Asian artists release an incredible number of albums in a very short period of time and BoA is no exception to this. She has released nine Korean albums including Hurricane Venus in 2010, seven Japanese albums and one English language album, BoA which was released in 2009. 

There are several factors responsible for BoA's success; she's able to speak Korean, Japanese, Mandarin and English, and in addition to remarkable vocals, she can dance. The brilliant marketing by SM Entertainment has contributed to her success. Her attempt to break into the American music scene has had mixed results and has been largely untracked by the mainstream media.

Recently BoA has re-released a self-titled album BoA Deluxe in an attempt to recapture American interest. My favourite videos are "I Did It For Love" which has her trademark hip-hop dancing. There's lots of Michael Jackson/Janet Jackson influences in both costuming and dance moves and of course the requisite catchy tune. What I don't like is the black outfits BoA and her backups are wearing against a mostly black background. The girl can dance. Let us see her!

To get a good look at BoA's dancing skills check out her "Eat You Up" video. This is more representative of BoA as an artist instead of her above attempt to sexualize her dancing to make her more marketable in the USA. I like the idea behind Eat You Up - BoA goes into an audition and blows the place apart. Just what every young artist hopes to do during an such an important and stressful life event.....

Throughout the years, this young performer has matured, drawing on and developing her hip hop influences and her Korean heritage. What attracts my interest to this performer is her hip hop dancing and her R&B vocals. Her videos are highly stylized and typical of the Korean genre with fast clips.

For more on this talented young artist, check out her website.

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