SEOUL - Young boy and girl groups may take centre stage in South Korea's music industry. But a South Korean state-run content agency is looking to expand K-pop's scope by promoting a number of emerging small-label artists to the world, including Singapore.
The Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca) will host the K-pop Night Out at music events in Singapore, Canada and Cannes, France.
"We hope to introduce global audiences to a wider variety of Korean music," Song Sung Gak, president of Kocca, said at a recent press conference.
"We also aim to provide support to younger emerging musicians with passion and talent who are in need of funding."
Twelve Korean bands will perform music of various genres - ranging from rap, rock and electronic to reggae - at Music Matters Live in Singapore, Canadian Music Week and Midem in Cannes.
Music Matters Live, a leading indie music festival in Asia, will be held from May 20 to 23. Canadian Music Week, one of Canada's largest music festivals, will be happening from Friday to May 10, while Midem, an annual business-to-business music event, will run from June 5 to 8.
"There are so many different musicians coexisting in Korea today," said Choi Chul Wook, leader, vocalist and trombonist of Kingston Rudieska, a nine-member band that performs a blend of ska, jazz, reggae, dub and nyahbinghi, a Rastafarian ritual drumming rhythm.
"We get a lot of Facebook messages from fans in areas like South America, asking us to perform there."
Their music is not mainstream in South Korea, but the band said they want to show the world that there are people who love the music of the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.
Other bands such as Glen Check - a new wave, synth-rock indie duo - believe they can bring subtle new colour to the electro-pop genre.
Idiotape, a three-person electronic band, pride themselves on their distinct Korean identity.
"The first thing foreign fans tell us is that our music is original, and that something about it is distinctly Korean," said DJ Dgruru of Idiotape.
Glen Check, Idiotape, Kingston Rudieska and girl group Sonamoo will perform at Music Matters Live.
South Korean groups that will participate in Canadian Music Week include Lunafly, a four-member acoustic pop band; Sultan of the Disco, a five-member disco, funk and soul band; and rappers Verbal Jint and Illionaire Records' Dok2, the Quiett and Beenzino.
Progressive indie rock band Loro's; Coreyah, a fusion band of folk, funk and traditional Korean music; groovy dance-rock band Rock 'N' Roll Radio; and retro-themed female trio The Barberettes will be joining Midem.