C'mon ride the Korean wave

C'mon ride the Korean wave
Korean singer Psy.

For two guys who already have more than six million subscribers on their YouTube channels, Sam Tsui and Kurt Hugo Schneider, seem clueless about what's stopping them from achieving even more stratospheric figures.

To me, the answer is simple: K-pop.

Ever since they started collaborating in 2009, the Pennsylvanian musicians and YouTube superstars have covered literally everything in the Western pop world, from Michael Jackson, Adele and Justin Timberlake to The Band Perry.

However, apart from a blink-and-miss reference to Psy's monster hit Gangnam Style in their Summer Pop Medley 2012 - where the duo strung together 12 of the year's most popular tunes - K-pop has been a glaring omission from their repertoire.

It's a huge pity, considering K-pop's enormous influence on the youngsters of today. And we're not just talking about Asian youth.

In the US, where Tsui and Schneider live, SMTown Live - a music fiesta gathering of SM Entertainment's hottest acts such as Super Junior, TVXQ and SHINee - played to sold-out crowds of 15,000 each at New York's Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles' The Staples Center.

KCON, the largest annual fan celebration-cum-convention of Korean entertainment and culture in the US, has been described by Billboard.com as "the mecca for K-pop".

Should Tsui and Schneider - who will be in town for a concert at the Kallang Theatre on June 27, 8pm - decide to ride the Hallyu wave, here are three K-pop song suggestions I have for them.

2NE1 - Lonely

This feminist girl power anthem by the pop quartet has got to be the most-covered K-pop song on YouTube. Guitar maestro Sungha Jung has given his own instrumental spin, while The Voice runner-up Dia Frampton and Asian-American all-female rock band Nylon Pink have turned in English versions. It would be interesting to hear Tsui's testosterone-charged take on Lonely.

Big Bang - Blue

The boy band's soulful ballad has always been a popular cover pick. Tsui's smooth tenor and Schneider's slick music production skills would definitely spawn a winner.

Girls' Generation - Run Devil Run

Tsui has a knack for transforming electropop earworms such as Lady Gaga's Applause and Zedd's Clarity into emotional piano-based pieces. We're sure he and Schneider will have a blast reworking the girl group's catchiest dance number into a lush ballad.


This article was first published on June 04, 2014.
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