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UK media: All-female K-pop groups conquer Britain

Posted August. 29, 2023 08:27,   

Updated August. 29, 2023 08:27


In a surprising cultural shift, the United Kingdom, which gave us iconic girl groups such as Spice Girls, is now being captivated by the allure of K-pop girl bands. Leading British publications, including The Guardian, have spotlighted the upcoming London concerts of various K-Pop girl groups—TWICE, aespa, ITZY, and (G)I-DLE—scheduled for this September. The articles underlined that 90% of K-Pop's consumer base resides outside South Korea.

On Sunday, in local time, The Guardian ran a feature titled "Here come the girls! All-female K-pop groups conquer Britain,” noting that following a groundbreaking concert by BLACKPINK in July, four more groups have London appearances booked for September. It's worth mentioning that BLACKPINK had already set a precedent by becoming the first Korean act to headline the esteemed "Hyde Park British Summertime Festival."

This wave isn't limited to live performances. MAMAMOO, another notable K-pop girl group, had their concerts screened in theaters throughout the U.K. this month. Moreover, tracks from emerging artists such as FIFTY FIFTY and Newzins have made inroads into the U.K. charts.

In its analysis, The Guardian credits the soaring popularity of these Korean girl groups to their savvy use of social media and a finely tuned winning formula that has seamlessly stepped into a space vacated by U.K. girl groups. A significant point highlighted is that Overseas audiences now make up a very lucrative 90% of K-pop consumers, with only 10% of fans residing in South Korea.

“The music is catchy, the fashion styling is on point, the choreography is brilliant, and the stage production is meticulously thought out,” says Claire Rodrigues Lee, the songwriter behind hits for groups such as Girls’ Generation and Red Velvet. “The girl group songs have a real female-empowered energy to them. It’s like ‘come and be in our gang.’”

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com