It is not news anymore that K-pop bands include foreign members, most of which, however, have been mostly from Chinese-speaking countries, Japan and Taiwan. Even some band members with U.S. or Canadian citizenship have been of Korean, Chinese or other Asian descent.
With K-pop music going global rapidly, there are a growing number of K-pop star wannabes armed with talent who have increased an understanding of Korean culture while being part of K-pop fandom. Many would-be K-pop singers overseas have got used to how the trainee system, unique to the K-Pop industry, works with a high level of closeness and exclusivity while having access to some South Korean talent show competitions available in other countries. Accordingly, K-pop production companies are enjoying a new bonanza.London-based girl group “KAACHI,” which made a debut in April, consists of four members: a Korean, a Briton and two Spanish girls. Nicole, one of the four members, came from Venezuela. Their debut song's music video "Your Turn” has gone viral with more than 12 million views. Earlier this month, it released its second single album titled "Photo Magic.”
“KAACHI” is being well-received by Central and South American, and European fans. According to data on the classification of nationality of viewers who have watched its music video for the last one month, Mexico takes up the largest portion of 12.5 percent with Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Turkey, Argentina and Peru being among the top 10 countries. "KAACHI members interact with global fans in their local languages and relate to them culturally. This has made them become popular across many parts of the world at the same time,” said CEO Lee Hye-rim of FrontRow, the producer of "KAACHI.” “One of their merits is that they contribute to multiculturalism in content. For example, some Spanish words were added to the new song's lyrics impromptu while the members were recording the new song.”
South Korean girl group æspa, released on Tuesday by major South Korean entertainment agency SM Entertainment, has four members and avatars of the four. The virtual members, representative of each real-world member, also appeared on a teaser of their debut song "Black Mamba” released on Tuesday. AI-produced avatars who have risen from the virtual world may highly likely become a new sensation in the arena of K-pop for the next 10 years.