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12 small-label K-pop artists to join global summer festivals

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Updated : April 26 2015

Young K-pop boy and girl groups may take center stage in Korea’s music industry, but the Korea Creative Content Agency is looking to expand K-pop’s scope by promoting a number of emerging and diverse small-label artists to the world.

To this aim, the state-run content agency will host the “K-pop Night Out” at music events in Canada, Singapore and Cannes, France.

“We hope to introduce global audiences a wider variety of Korean music,” Song Sung-gak, president of KOCCA, said at a recent press conference.

“We also aim to provide support younger emerging musicians with passion and talent who are in need of funding.”

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The Barbarettes, a retro-themed female trio (KOCCA)
12 Korean bands will be performing music of various genres ranging from rap, rock and electronic music to reggae at the Canadian Music Week, Music Matters in Singapore and MIDEM in Cannes.

Canadian Music Week, one of Canada’s largest music festivals, will be held May 1-10. Music Matters, Asia’s leading indie music festival, will be held May 20-23, while MIDEM, an annual B2B music event, will run June 5-8.

“There are so many different musicians coexisting in Korea today,” said Choi Chul-wook, the leader, vocalist and trombonist of Kingston Rudieska, a nine-member band that performs with a blend of ska, jazz, reggae, dub and nyahbinghi, a Rastafarian ritual drumming rhythm.

“We get a lot of Facebook messages from fans in areas like South America, asking us to come perform there.”

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Kingston Rudieska, a ska, jazz and reggae band (KOCCA)
Its music is not mainstream in Korea, but the band said it wants to show the world that there are people who love music of the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.

Other bands such as Glen Check, a new wave, synth-rock indie duo, aims for subtle new color it can bring to electro-pop.

Idiotape, a three-person electronic band, is going for a look of distinct and originality.

“The first thing foreign fans tell us is that our music is original, and that something about it is distinctly Korean,” said DJ Dgruru of Idiotape.

Korean groups that will be participating in the Canadian Music Week include Lunafly, a four-member acoustic pop band; Sultan of the Disco, a five-member disco, funk and soul band; and rappers Verbal Jint and Illionaire Records’ Dok2, The Quiett and Beenzino.

Glen Check, Idiotape, Kingston Rudieska and girl group Sonamoo will perform at Music Matters Live.

Progressive indie rock band Loro’s; Coreyah, a fusion band of folk, funk and traditional Korean music; groovy dance-rock band Rock ’N’ Roll Radio; and retro-themed female trio The Barberettes will be joining MIDEM.

By Rumy Doo (bigbird@heraldcorp.com)

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