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See MBLAQ in action

2012/06/26 | 274 views | Permalink | Source

K-pop group MBLAQ

By Kwaak Je-yup

It is easy to be cynical about K-pop's influence unless you have seen it in action. The story of five-member boy band MBLAQ is testament to this phenomenon.

Thanks to the power of YouTube, curious music fans in countries such as Brazil and Italy can hear the music and see the performances. Soon they make their own online bulletin boards to discuss what they have seen. They may even try to learn Korean to understand the lyrics and even put up subtitles for others. They can quickly master the choreography and participate in so-called cover dance competitions.

When MBLAQ visited Sao Paulo last year to preside over such an event, thousands of fans turned up at the airport in the wee hours, just for an opportunity to see their idols up close. Their hotel had to be barricaded by police for crowd control.

The five 20-somethings ― Cheondung, G.O, Lee Joon, Mir and Yang Seungho ― all admitted to The Korea Times that they and their agency J. Tune Camp were astounded by this happening, which repeated itself in other regions around the world. (In a sparsely-populated area of Peru, members G.O. and Mir encountered a little girl, who unexpectedly serenaded them with one of their hits.)

Though they made their debut with the formidable Rain, one of Korea's biggest solo pop stars and heartthrobs, who groomed them for stardom and still serves as a mentor, they have certainly earned their success; their rise to stardom was only possible by countless hours of hard work and an enormous passion for music. They are, of course, talented: G.O. and Yang Seungho have some of the idol factory's best vocal pipes, and Lee Joon, a formally trained dancer, is one step ahead of virtually everyone.

With songwriting and music-making in the works, MBLAQ only sees its star rising in the future ― and whose place is it to disagree?

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