Three Foreigners Will Co-Host 'K-Pop Connection' on 2nd Anniversary
By Han Sang-hee
For foreigners living outside the country, finding Korean entertainment content can be tricky. To help quench their thirst, the KBS World launched English radio show "K-Pop Connection" two years ago and it is now celebrating its 2nd anniversary along with special guests.
"The program first started out as 'K-Pop Interactive', and then we changed the show to 'K-Pop Connection' with extended minutes following fans' demands", Sophia Hong, the producer of the show, told The Korea Times.
KBS World invited three foreigners to co-host the show through Nov. 15 with the DJs ― Sarah Jun and DJ Young ― and the trio was thrilled to have the chance to talk about K-pop on air.
Cheyenne Dorsey and James Lockett, who currently live in Korea, were given the chance to design their own shows, and although it took time for them to get used to speaking over a microphone, they were ready in no time, talking about some of their favorite Korean songs and singers.
"I came home from class one day and was changing the television channel. I found a channel with subtitles and realized it was Korean. The plots and themes were so interesting and that was when I got hooked on Korean dramas and songs", Dorsey said during a separate interview.
Eager to learn more, Dorsey flew to Korea in August as an exchange student at Ewha Womans University, and has been enjoying every minute of her time here ever since.
Lockett, who has been here for three years, made his way into the Korean entertainment business earlier than Dorsey, as he appeared on a couple of shows after posting clips of himself singing Korean songs on YouTube.
"I was a taekwondo master and had a lot of Korean friends. I was looking for a different experience and so I came to Korea", he said. He is currently an English teacher at Ewha Girls' Foreign Language High School.
Lockett is a fan of "old pop", contrasting with other foreign fans who mostly enjoy listening to the younger and more fashion frenzy crowd.
"(Some of my favorites) would be Yoon Do-hyun
and old folk music by Kim Kwang-seok
and Kang San-eh
", he said.
"My students talk about TVXQ and Big Bang, and I ask them, `what about 10 years from now? Are people going to remember them?' They say, 'Yes', this is forever and I tell them, `You don't remember the songs and singers from 10 years ago!' It's the same in the U.S"., Lockett added laughing.
He also pointed out a characteristic many Korean young singers go through these days: Newcomers becoming popular before making their debut on television.
"Of course, I would be an outsider, but it seems that agencies know exactly what they want. It's not about discovering new talent. Thanks to the Internet, (newcomers) are popular before they even sing a song and people like them already", he said.
The luckiest fan to be selected as a DJ was Kimberly Shaw, who was invited from the U.S. just for the occasion.
"It's my first time overseas!" an excited Shaw told The Korea Times.
Like Lockett, Shaw also got hooked on Korean dramas by coincidence, and has become a proud supporter of Korean dramas and K-pop. Her first and favorite drama is "My Name is Kim Sam-soon
"(I was drawn) to `Sam-soon' (because) the show was welcoming to me and my family because it wasn't promoting negative images that are popular with American television. We could all sit down and watch (it) as a family", she explained.
As a "Korean Culture Advocate", as her business card she made for the visit says, Shaw also expressed her worries toward Korean stars moving to the U.S. to make it big.
"For some reason, when they cater toward the Western audience, they tend to lose their sparkle that made the fans like them in the first place. For example, Se7en
. We felt that he was becoming less than the Se7en
we knew. Have that confidence and don't change that much", she said smiling.
Fans can listen to "K-pop Connection" at 6 p.m. through KBS' media player. For more information, visit Open the link