A Korean symphony

A Korean symphony

Music contest

A Korean symphony

The catchy, foot-tapping music genre ‘K-pop’ or Korean pop seems to have garnered several fans across the country so much so that the 5th edition of the ‘K-POP Contest India 2016’ is being organised by the Korean Cultural Centre this year.

The contest which has three rounds — online audition, regional round and grand finale — will witness the finale in Chennai on July 30 and the winning team will be nominated for the ‘Changwon K-pop World Festival’.

With the regional round being held in seven cities across India (Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Patna, Mumbai, Chennai and Sikkim), Bengaluru saw a jam-packed crowd of enthusiastic teenagers from colleges across the city who watched ten competitors battle it out in singing and dancing at St Joseph’s College (Autonomous).

The draw for the day were the two judges, Dabit and Hayana, K-pop stars from Korea who enthralled the audience.

 Complementing the participants and the audience for supporting K-pop in India, Dabit said that he was extremely impressed at the enthusiasm the city showed in learning Korean and spreading the music genre across India.

“Since you have made the effort to learn Korean, a foreign language, in return, I have prepared and learnt a Bollywood number,” he said. The crowd went wild with excitement as Dabit sang ‘Janam Janam’ from Dilwale with near perfection. Later, Dabit and Hayana performed a Korean K-pop song together while Hayana performed a song from her upcoming album.

The winner in the singing category was Aarcha S Kumar while the dance category winner was a group called ‘Sparks’ from Hyderabad.

Talking about the response the genre has received worldwide, Dabit said, “I was always into K-pop but no one in my family knew about it or listened to it. It’s progressed a lot and has become a world phenomenon now. It has some ardent followers and Psy definitely gave it a boost with ‘Gangnam Style’.”

 “It’s kind of different from normal mainstream music. It’s very simple yet colourful and attractive. One can happily groove to the beats of the songs,” he added.

Speaking about her inspiration, Hayana said, “As a youngster, I was inspired by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and a few others.

Now I have idols like Rihanna and some more K-POP artistes who inspire me to do good work.” As for Dabit, he looks up to artistes like Jason Mraz and Sheehan.

The duo seemed to be enjoying their second visit to the country. “I assumed India was like one big chunk where everyone speaks Hindi but every city is different.

Bengaluru is much different from the other cities we’ve visited and the weather here is lovely. We had some ‘biryani’ and will also be trying some South Indian food,” said Dabit.

What particularly pleased Dabit was the fact that he saw other people performing in their language with some of them having perfect pronunciation in Korean.

The Director for India, Korean Cultural Centre, Kim Kum Pyoung, was also present at the event and said that he would bring in more K-POP events to the city in the future.

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