Wednesday, February 08, 2012

OVERHEARD ON TWITTER: Girls' Generation "Slays", Teddy Riley Loves KPOP, SHINee's Comeback

This post will be all over the place but I regret nothing.

For those of you who don't follow my Twitter account (for shame!), you might not have caught me spazzing a bit last week regarding some upcoming SM Entertainment-related KPOP goodies...

The nine ladies in Girls' Generation returned to New York this past week to promote their one-off English version of "The Boys", an urban-KPOP fusion produced by Teddy Riley. The group appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" (how they all managed to fit and dance around provocatively on that tiny stage will forever be a me-ster-ee) and "Live with Kelly" (complete with loud fanchats -- KPOP fans are so awesome and Soshi's are kinda a good way, I promise) performing "The Boys" live on American Network Television for the first time. For more on the song, see my post about it following SMTown New York last November.

While they got some flack for lip synching at SMTown New York (although I swear they performed it live when I saw it - it was just synched for the YouTube "music video" provided by SM), the girls were very much live during these two performances (get it, Taeyeon!). They even had a short interview with Kelly Ripa and guest host Howie Mandel -- and both were floored by how enthusiastic the crowd was, clearly impressed by KPOP's frontrunner girl group. (Hyoyeon -- how you dance like that in those heels, I'll never know, but you're my hero.)

A lot of people were freaking out about the group's official hat toss into the American market, including Paris Hilton, Katy Perry, and even my fave in Simon Curtis who apparently got Ro Danishei hooked on it! Some will bemoan SM for their lack of promotion of the group, but I'm not. Interscope Records managed to nab them two huge coups in performing on live television, something their unnie sunbae in BoA never received (and definitely deserved) during her stab at American success when SM was going at it alone.

Objectively, this is clearly SM/Interscope's attempt to not do what the Wonder Girls did. "The Boys" is the only English offering on the full The Boys album, which is now available for American consumption on iTunes. They are not trying to overly sell the group with an American sound, and instead are promoting them based on the fact that they are very popular in Asia -- take it or leave it. Unlike the Wonder Girls, who came to America with the intent to record an entire album in English (while the progress the group made in Korea became eclipsed by other artists, including GG themselves) only to still have tangibly little success-wise to show for it in the US market years later, Girls' Generation are spinning out an English version of a song that worked in the Asian market, produced by an American producer who is both familiar and to some degree trusted by the music-buying public. If it works, more will follow. If it doesn't, then it doesn't
We are still in a Tastemaker Phase with this whole KPOP Going Global trend. KPOP fans need to remember that. Just because we dig it, doesn't mean Joe America will. Still, "The Boys" producer Teddy Riley was, of course, over the moon by the press & success the group received, stating...

"I hope to work on more SM projects. Where ever or whatever projects they assign for me I will do. So I hope to work with SNSD again. 'The Boys' was a learning process and first time SM project for me. It was my chance {sic} to learn The SM Way of doing things, at the same time learning what the kpop fans like. I'm a true student of kpop."

Riley also tweeted the following to a fan:

Are you seeing that? My little babies in SHINee?

SHINee is currently in Studio Beast Mode for their upcoming third Korean album, which is what I'm guessing this prospective Teddy Riley collab would be for. I highly doubt it would be for an International (read: English/USA) release, mostly because it just doesn't seem probable at this point in time. Although, this is SM we are talking about, and if anyone in their boy band arsenal has a chance of going Stateside, it's SHINee, without a doubt. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Teddy can pull something out of his sleeve that is phenomenal for Onew, Key, Jonghyun, Taemin & Minho, because they deserve it. It's just yet another pointer toward World Domination in Album #3 for SHINee, as rumors are already swirling of a proposed comeback stage that will be an attempt to display Manly SHINee (a la "Lucifer" to a new degree). So long as they use this stage as a template, I don't foresee that being a problem.

Still, a part of me kind of weeps that Teddy Riley clearly wasn't even thought of for use during Super Junior's Mr. Simple recording. I'm guessing that was Eunhyuk's feelings too, seeing as he's such a fan of "No Diggity" and all...Fast forward to 4:14 to see what I mean.

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