Posted : 2013-05-17 18:24
Updated : 2013-05-17 18:24

K-pop industry seeks leap forward

For the "I Got a Boy" album, the Girls' Generation feature the clothes of designer Kim Ji-hee. / Korea Times file

Collaboration with foreign composers becomes new trend

Above is G-Dragon's character for the popular mobile game "Wind Runner." At right below is his the animated character for his dog, Gaho.
/ Courtesy of YG Entertainment
By Kim Ji-soo

Once, "cross-over" attempts dominated the cultural landscape. Replacing that word is "collaboration." From music to fashion, artists are pairing up to put forth unprecedented styles and items. And such a trend is conspicuous in K-pop.

Recently, fans got an opportunity to see G-Dragon and his faithful dog, Gaho, appear as cartoon characters on a popular mobile game in Korea called "Wind Runner." The animated version of G-Dragon reflects the real-life singer's stylishness, sporting pink hair and flashy accessories.

He is also joined by his companion dog Gaho, dressed up with a red scarf around its collar. Gaho plays a protective role in the game as G-Dragon's necromancer. G-Dragon and Gaho's characters are only available to high level players in "Wind Runner."

G-Dragon is not a stranger to collaboration. In 2012 and this year, he launched accessories with Japanese accessory company Ambush. Earlier this year, he gave a song he wrote to Nicola Formichetti, who is well-known as Lady Gaga's stylist. Formichetti later tweeted that she used the song on the runway for Mugler's men's attire.

His group Big Bang released a collaborative t-shirt line with Uniqlo to mark their Japanese tour in 2011. The t-shirts featured Big Bang logos and the names of its members — T.O.P, Daesung, Victory, Taeyang and G-Dragon.

Cho Yong-pil's joint works with foreign composers for his 19th album "Hello" has helped him top the charts and resonate with fans young and old, new and existing. / Korea Times file

In 2012, T.O.P and G-Dragon featured on Pixie Lott's "Dancing on My Own."

The four-member 2NE1 has worked with choreographer and producer Travis Payne and designer Jeremy Scott for their 2NE1 Global Tour in 2012.

SM Entertainment's artists have been actively carrying out collaborative projects.

For their recent song "I Got a Boy" released in January 2013, the nine-member Girls' Generation wore hip-hop style attire featuring Oriental pop art by designer Kim Ji-hee. The clothes bore the names of the nine member and images such as colorful glass-frames, the national flower Rose of Sharon and ice cream. Last year, Girls' Generation released a perfume aptly titled "GIRL" made by Gerard Anthony and sold at the fashion boutique store 10 Corso Como in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul.

Another trend in K-pop industry is active business with the foreign composers. SM artists led this trend by working closely with North European composers largely led by Pelle Lidell, Universal Music Publishing's European A&R executive. Such hit songs as Girls' Generation's "Hoot," "Run Devil Run" and "I Got a Boy" and BoA's "I'll Eat You Up" were created by Lidell's team of writers. SHINEE's "Juliet" and f(X)'s "Nu Abo" were written by foreign composers as well.

The longest-surviving K-pop group Shinhwa also recently released their 11th album "The Classic" with 10 songs on it. The album's lead off song "This Love" was composed and arranged by Lee McCutcheon, Andrew Jackson and James Flannigan. The song "Hurricane" was composed by Samuel Waelmo, Robert Vadadi and Kim Young-hu.

The latest to join in this trend is Cho Yong-pil. His record-breaking 19th album "Hello" contains 10 songs, six of which were composed by foreign music writers including "Hello." The title song was composed by Scott Krippayne, Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus H. Bharadia. The song "Bounce" written by Carl Utbult, Marty Dodson, Alexander Holmgren beat out Psy's "Gentleman" on Korean music charts in the first week of May.

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