Day by day, K-Pop is gaining momentum in India. Bollywood celebrities and singers are taking notice of K-Pop artists like EXO and BTS as well. A few days ago, we had Tiger Shroff dancing to the tunes of Dynamite by BTS. Armaan Mallik is a self-confessed fan of EXO. On Chen’s birthday (21st Sept.), Armaan even released a short song cover of ‘Beautiful Goodbye’ from his solo debut album ‘April, and a Flower’.

Several K-Pop songs and albums are also charting on Indian iTunes and other music platforms.

The winds of change are not only flowing in India, but they are flowing in the K-Pop industry as well. Three journalists from India were invited for BTS Global Media Day 2020. We bring you an exclusive interview featuring Riddhi Chakraborty of Rolling Stone India, Monica Yadav of Bollywood Hungama and Prakruti Bhatt of Mumbai Mirror Online.

 

In this interview, they share their experience of being a part of media conference in the K-Pop industry. Read on to know more! 

 

 

Preparing for a conference is always an exciting task. It is a mix of equal parts nervous and excitement with a pinch of stress. When it comes to attending a conference with one of the biggest entertainment companies in South Korea, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Here’s what our journalists have to say about their experience of attending the BTS Global Media Day 2020. 

 

KHIGH: Tell us about how you prepared for the conference? Were you Excited? Nervous? All of the above? Haha

Riddhi: This is my third conference with BTS which is incredible and I was familiar with the process so I wasn’t nervous, but I was definitely excited. It’s impossible not to be excited when you have been invited by one of your favourite artists to represent your country. I usually keep it simple for press conferences: my phone, a pen, a notepad and a cup of coffee—early morning press conferences are a part of my life and I love them.

 

Monica: It was a great experience. Having so many Indian reporters at the press conference, it gave a sense of accomplishment that we were finally seen. Indian fans have been working diligently to stream and make sure India gets noticed. So, getting to be part of a Global media day, was an added bonus and a huge opportunity.

 

Prakruti: Honestly, the BTS Global Media Day was a trip down memory lane. It’s always heartwarming to see BTS talk about their most cherished memories, beaming with delight. The night before, there was a surge of excitement as being an ARMY since 2013/14, I was overjoyed with what the seven artistes had achieved, and as a journalist, I was a tad bit nervous – the good kind – while anticipating what to expect.

I had prepared by setting up two laptops — one for watching the event and the other for
transcribing and live-tweeting — and lots of coffee. There were moments where I was so
absorbed and moved by what they said and how emotional they got. It’s one of those
moments that stick by you for a very long time.

 

 

 

 

As fans of K-Pop, we are no strangers to the success of Dynamite by BTS. This was one of the biggest achievements in the history of Hallyu in India. Speaking further on the topic and adding their thoughts on the inclusion of Indian media in the Korean entertainment industry, Riddhi, Prakruti and Monica have shared a good insight.

Riddhi: I think it’s about time both sides started acknowledging each other.

I’ve been writing about K-Pop since 2016 and no other local publications other than Rolling Stone India at the time we’re willing to acknowledge K-Pop on a regular basis, so obviously, even the Korean companies had no clue they had fans in the country. To remedy this, I had numerous meetings with several Korean labels about this issue over the past two years, constantly badgered them with emails and calls and they were always surprised to learn they had Indian fans. Soon more journalists began to fight hard, determined to convince local publications to let them cover K-Pop. As articles about BTS and K-Pop gained traction and numbers, more editors began to understand just how popular K-Pop is in the country and encouraged regular content around Korean artists, especially BTS. Slowly in 2020, Korean companies began to inform me that they were seeing a change, that I was right about the traction in India and they want to give our country a shot because they saw an increase in media attention. Spotify’s entry in the country last year was a BIG help as well.

I mean you can see it in today’s events, in the fact that Big Hit invited more Indians now. I was alone for so long. It’s incredible to see my peers get to join in.

 

Monica: It means we are doing well. There’s so much interest in the group, what they do, what’s their music like. Having media take it further by talking about their music, only reaches more people in the country. The inclusion of Indian media means they are noticing how India is taking a huge interest in them. It’s a new wave of change, it’s exciting.

 

Prakruti: I am extremely happy that BTS is gaining coverage in the Indian media because what they’ve been doing is inspirational. You know, while we know that the seven artists are extremely popular across the globe, the members are always left pleasantly surprised when they find out that have many fans in different pockets of the world or would tune in at any time to watch them when they go live. With that being said, the Indian fanbase has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. To now become one of the top three countries streaming ‘Dynamite’ is enough proof of how massive we are as a fanbase now. Along with this, the Indian media has also expanded coverage to Korean music over the last couple of years.

Now, with the Korean industry inviting the Indian press to attend respective press conferences, there’s a form of acknowledgment, which is absolutely lovely to see. It’s no longer one-sided.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happy #KARD Day. It’s second anniversary of the band. This time last week, I had a great time with @official_kard who were in India for their very first tour. I ‘Don’t Recall’ the last time I had so much fun during an interview. Probably, that’s why we ended up chatting and laughing for over half n hour. Thank you for great time @bigmatthewww @somin_jeon0822 @_zziwooo0 @j.seph_. Come back soon! 💜😘 Thank you @pinkboxevents for a great time with the band. 💜😘 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #KARD #KARDinIndia #PlayYourKARDRight #WildKARDIndia #WildKARDinIndia #HiddenCards #HiddenCard #Kpop #BM #Somin #Jiwoo #JSeph #WilKardInIndia #igers #instalove #instamood #instagood #followme #follow #igaddict #insta #picoftheday #instadaily #instalike #instagood #instapic #selfie #photo #cool #igers #potd #photooftheday

A post shared by Monica Yadav (@monicayadav08) on Jul 18, 2019 at 7:39am PDT

 

 

Each of us dreams for our favourite K-Pop artist to come to India. We all are hoping to attend their concert in India. After IN2IT, VAV, KARD concerts, fans are even more hopeful about bringing in bigger groups such as EXO, BTS, GOT7, etc to India. Here’s what our journalists have to say about the future of the Hallyu wave in India, and maybe, even large scale concerts! 

Riddhi: The future of BTS and K-Pop is extremely bright in India. We are just getting started. Yes, COVID-19 was an unfortunate barrier because so many companies were interested in touring here in 2020 and 2021, the artists were eager to come, meet Indian fans, but in the end, none of it was possible. The silver lining to take comfort in is the fact that they know we are here, we are waiting. We saw a great reaction from the general public to Z-Pop Dream at Supersonic 2020 in February, and it really encouraged those of us in the industry that big things are possible concert-wise, so it can only get better from here.

Sure, there will be a slight delay, but so much good is happening behind the scenes that you don’t know about. Korean companies and artists are way more aware of India than they were even a year ago.

 

Monica: I came across Korean music via Girls Generation. But, it was BTS that introduced me to the whole world of the vast industry. In the past few years, I’ve seen so much growth in the various fandoms especially BTS’ fandom here in India. There’s demand, there’s intrigue and more importantly, there’s now hope that one day India can also see “foreign level BTS concert” here in India. Korean music is now being reported by mainstream media. You will now only see the growth of fans in the country, more interest in finding out who the artists are, more people discovering music. Hopefully, India will also become a hub for bigger concerts from Korean artists. At least, one can hope.

 

Prakruti: I am a firm believer that music has no boundaries whatsoever — be it cultural or language. We’ve reached a point of synergy, where fans find comfort in their favourite group’s artistry, and vice versa. Everyone has that moment where you hear something, and it just clicks — you think, “They understand me. I am not alone.” (For me personally, it was BTS’ ‘Nevermind’). And BTS is that one group that understands whatever emotion you’re feeling through what they say and their music. Feeling inspired? You have ‘Mikrokosmos’. Feeling angry? You have ‘UGH’. Want something groovy to dance to? You have ‘Dynamite’. With that being said, a lot of music lovers based in India have found BTS and love them for their artistry and who they are. You even have Armaan Malik posting a cover of ‘Dynamite’.

Korean music — be it of any genre — has definitely shot up in popularity due to its empowering lyrics, music and fantastic production quality. And there’s only one direction to go from here — and that’s up.

We’ve already had a few groups such as KARD, IN2IT, and MONT perform in India. You can see how passion runs through fans via their performances at the regional rounds of the K-Pop World Festival competition. I have been attending the regional round held in Mumbai, which is organized by the Korean Consulate of Mumbai and the India Korea Friends Mumbai (IKFM), for the last couple of years and am always left feeling overwhelmed and with a sore throat for cheering and supporting the sheer talent and passion the fans carry. I only hope that it grows even further from this point on.

 

 

Additionally, Riddhi Chakraborty also had a chance to attend the media conference hosted for CLC by Cube Entertainment. Here are her thoughts on attending the conference: 

Riddhi: The Cube CLC media conference was lovely because it was a showcase, so we got to see the music video for “Helicopter” before the public and the members performed the track for us live. Cube were good hosts, but sadly there were no English subtitles or dubbing like Big Hit Entertainment’s press conferences, so I couldn’t understand a lot of what was being said. It was still an incredible honour to be invited by Cube—I’ve had the pleasure of working with them when I interviewed Pentagon, and they have always been lovely.

 

 

It is indeed a proud moment to see our country’s journalists being invited to media conferences from the K-POP industry. As they rightly said, the future of K-Pop in India is bright. This is only the beginning!

 

*me right now*

 

 

BTS answers Indian Journalist’s question at BTS Global Media day 2020. Read our cover story here:

BTS Answers Indian Journalist’s Question In The Global Press Conference ‘MAP OF THE SOUL : 7’!

Read about the popularity of BTS’ recent song “Dynamite” in India here:

Mapping BTS’ “DYNAMITE” Explosion In India

 

Written by

Nandini Iyengar

An aspiring translator and a writer!