Over the years, many foreign artists have been scouted and debuted in the Korean music industry. Chinese artists have made up the majority of these foreign artists. Some of these artists include Super Junior's Hangeng, Zhang Li Yin, f(x) Victoria Song and Miss A's Jia and Fei.
1. The first Chinese artist who debuted in Korea - Hangeng
When Hangeng is mentioned, most would think of SM Entertainment and the immensely popular boy group Super Junior. As the first Chinese artist to debut in Korea, he was put under immense stress and also received some unfair treatment. Despite having to leave his family and working with a language barrier, Hangeng's dream to become a star never deterred. Good and bad things will always accompany any "first person's" journey and despite having to wear a mask on stage, Hangeng was still one of the most popular members. Because of Hangeng's popularity, China also became captivated by Super Junior; ultimately causing Super Junior to become one of the most popular artists in China.
2010 was a year of conflict for two of SM Entertainment's groups - TVXQ and Super Junior. Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong of TVXQ had already filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. Also, due to Kangin's incidents, he enlisted in the army earlier than expected. Following in JYJ's footsteps, Hangeng also filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. Even though the year is coming to an end, SM Entertainment has yet to officially announce whether Hangeng is staying in or leaving Super Junior.
2. Flexible and charismatic beauty - f(x)'s leader Victoria Song
In 2009, Song Qian successfully debuted as the leader of f(x) under the name of Victoria Song. Thanks to Hangeng’s efforts and influence, Victoria received more opportunities to appear on television programs. With her powerful dance abilities and jaw-dropping flexibility, she quickly became one of the most successful Chinese women to debut in Korea.
Following f(x)’s popularity surge in 2010 and especially with the successes of the Khuntoria couple on MBC’s “We Got Married”, Victoria’s popularity steadily increased as well. However, the question is whether or not she will have the same problem as Hangeng. For the girl in a land far away from home, Victoria still has a long career ahead of her, as she has also signed a long contract under SM Entertainment.
3. The forgotten voice – Zhang Liyin
Entering SM alongside Hangeng and Victoria, Zhang Liyin has been given the nickname of “R&B prodigy.” When she officially debuted in 2006 with "Timeless", a duet between herself and Xiah Junsu, she became the first Chinese soloist to debut in Korea. With only one single released, Zhang Liyin easily bagged the “Best New Female Soloist” award and the public became enticed by her husky yet strong and delicate voice.
However, the reality is that it’s very hard for solo singers to achieve the same popularity as idol groups. On top of that, Zhang Liyin is already a “foreigner”, making the deed even harder. One could say that Zhang Liyin didn’t achieve much recognition in Korea. After her Korean single, Zhang Liyin released a Chinese album, yet oddly enough, Chinese netizens felt that her singing a Chinese song felt like that of a foreigner’s. Zhang Liyin was unable to capture either market and a majority of the reason is because of SM’s inconsistent strategy; Zhang Liyin did not fully step into the Korean market, but SM did not fully promote her in China either.
4. Rising newcomers – miss A’s Jia and Fei
JYP’s Jia and Fei can be said to be the newest eye-catching Chinese artists in Korea. Along with two Korean members, Jia and Fei debuted in 2010 in a group called miss A. Their debut was met with immense success thanks to their relatively fluent speech, strong vocals, and catchy dances. The group took home an Inkigayo Mutizen with their first song release, the “Best Newcomer” award at MAMA, and a “Digital Bonsang” at the Golden Disk Awards.
Since miss A is half Korean and half Chinese, this group is both “stable” in Korea and have also opened the doors to the Chinese market. It seems that JYP’s strategy for miss A in the future will include expanding into China.
What do you think of artists from countries besides Korea debuting in idol groups or as soloists? Who's your favourite?
Source: QQ Entertainment + Koreaboo
Why u mention no Zhou Mi, QQ? >:(