After being in the shadow of their SM Entertainment seniors like Boa and Girls Generation for quite some time, f(x) is finally getting well-deserved legitimate attention. SXSW is the fitting environment for such a 'world debut'. This year also marks the first year wherein with the efforts of the KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) is bringing in a set of Korean music artists for the K-pop Night Out showcase at SXSW.
The set of artists seeing stages this year representing South Korean music is quite diverse. The interesting lineup includes not only f(x) but also garage rock band Galaxy Express, punk band No Brain, epic rocker Jeong Cha Shik, hardcore punk band 'The Geeks', singer-songwriter Yi Sung Yol and alt-rockers Guckasten.
So, does this make f(x) sort of an electro-rock band then? What does K-pop really mean with this kind of lineup? Honestly, even SXSW is confused, and they are hoping that this showcase with f(x) being one of the main acts will be able to shed some light on the definition of what it means to be K-pop. Some people claim that Kpop are mainly idol acts, while others use the term for popular South Korean music in general. But what does it mean to be popular? The questions on the definition will keep going this way.
Nonetheless, however you may possibly define the word K-pop, it is rather agreeable that f(x) embodies all that K-pop means - with their uniqueness and confidence. Their world-class performance will surely be a must-experience at this year's SXSW. You can find them in Austin, at the Elysium. The lineup begins shortly after dusk, while f(x) will go on stage a little after midnight local time.
A proud moment for f(x) and their participation at this year's SXSW is that 2013 marks Korea's largest presence in SXSW. Certainly, Fuse has every reason for that recommendation.
Country/City of origin: Seoul, Korea
Featured track: "Nu ABO" from Nu ABO
In one sentence: I mean, I can't.
Why we chose them: f(x) will be the first K-pop Idol group to play SXSW. What is a K-pop Idol, you say? An Idol is a popular group trained under "factory like" system, passing stages of auditions held by South Korean talent agencies and labels. (See this New York Times article for more on the K-pop subculture — it's fascinating.)
I have absolutely no idea what f(x) is saying, but the group's list of Korean and European awards runs a couple dozen deep. They're a more "indie" K-pop Idol group, backed by SM Entertainment, and their appeal in Korea reaches beyond the traditional K-pop young-girl fanbase. Basically, the "Korean wave" phenomenon has slowly been approaching the U.S. for a few years. Could this K-pop showcase be a sign of its impending mainstream arrival?
It's fascinating genre and subculture. Plus I like the way these gals dance. Let's give 'em a warm Texas welcome.
source: austin culture map