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K-Pop Sets Eyes on Bigger Stage

2006/01/22 Source

By Han Eun-jung
Staff Reporter

On Jan.18, two Koreans made impressive music charts entries in Japan signaling the start of yet another year of local singers showing strong presence abroad.

Singer K's first full-fledged album "Beyond the Sea" debuted at No. 2 on the Oricon Daily Album Chart while BoA's 18th Japanese single "Everlasting" came in third on daily single chart.

In a statement last december, Oricon said in 2005 popular K-pop stars managed to put out best-selling albums whereas past chart entries were related to Korean dramas.

In hope of living up to last year's success, musicians and their Seoul-based management companies say they will continue with efforts to further strengthen their influence across Asia.

SM Entertainment, the agency fronting BoA, said that the 10 million albums sales mark is close at hand and the recent issuing of "Everlasting" in Japan and her fourth Korean album slated for release on Feb. 15 will be enough for it to happen.

The 19-year-old dance singer has issued 21 albums since stepping onto the international stage in 2000.

To promote her new Japanese single she already has lined up a string of appearances on Japanese networks TBS, Asahi TV and NHK throughout February. A best hits album will also hit record stores in May.

After spending all last year promoting his music in Japan and Thailand, singer Se7en will be taking his artistic energy to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan Malaysia and Singapore in 2006.

"The Jan. 9 release of his first Chinese album marked the start of the singer's mission of covering all of Asia by the year's end", publicist Ahn Duk-geun said.

He added that 2006 will most likely be the singer's busiest year yet as he will be dividing his time between China, Japan and Korea.

K, whose given name is Kang Yun-soung, after seeing his first recording effort fail in Korea in 2004, crossed over to Japan last year where he made a name in J-pop with the release of four Oricon Chart top 10 entry singles.

According to his management company Doori Star, in March K will be embark on a six-city tour of Japan

Singer Rain will release his first Japanese single "Sad Tango" on Jan. 25, which will follow with a promotional tour that will continue throughout the first half of 2006.

He will also be picking up where last year's "It's Rainy Tour" left off with "Rainy Day in New York" to be held Madison Square Garden on Feb. 2 and "Rainy Day in Bangkok"in Thailand on Feb. 25 and 26.

In the fall, Rain will launch a fan club comprised of some 200,000 fans from all over Asia.

Drunken Tiger is giving Taiwan a dose of Korean hip hop with the recent release of a best hits album made up of tracks off his fifth and sixth album..

Tiger JK of Drunken Tiger, in a phone interview last week, said breaking through a new market seven years into his career is to speak out to people and also in hopes of seeing hip hop blow up in Taiwan.

"It's all about my wanting to tell stories I believe in (through my music)". Tiger JK said.

"I'm not trying to ride on it (hallyu)", he said adding with a laugh thought he wouldn't mind "letting" it ride on it if all goes well.

Last weekend Drunken Tiger visited Taiwan where he held a showcase before 1,000 fans at a local club.

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