main

Home > Press Release >

Press Release

View old bulletin board

Title [CICI Korea] 'Idol' underplays K-pop artistry: music industry expert [Korea Times 2020-01-15]
Posted by webmaster Hit 6504 Date 2020.01.20

K-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin speaks during a media conference for winners of the Korea Image Awards at Samsung-dong, southern Seoul, Tuesday. Yonhap

K-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin speaks during a media conference for winners of the Korea Image Awards at Samsung-dong, southern Seoul, Tuesday. 


K-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin, who writes for Billboard and Forbes, wants media outlets to stop calling K-pop stars "idols" because the term "de-emphasizes" their artistry.

"Many artists in Korea are referred to as an 'idol,' but I think that word doesn't emphasize that there's art, creative merit or artists' leadership in their work," the New York-based journalist said Tuesday.

Benjamin shared his views on K-pop during a media conference for winners of the Korea Image Awards at Samsung-dong, Seoul. The Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI) awards recognize people who promote and spread a positive image of Korea abroad.

He suggested the media should pay attention to K-pop artists' thoughts and true self expressed through their work.

"If we dive deeper into something that connects fans and artists ... and shows the artists in different lights, it's going to create a bond not only between them but also with media readers," Benjamin said.

"These days, especially in America, K-pop is very hot in the media but I don't see a lot of people giving the same respect as they would give to other music genres."

Benjamin has had a keen interest in K-pop artists since the beginning of the 2010s and has become one of the expert critics in the industry.


K-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin speaks during a media conference for winners of the Korea Image Awards at Samsung-dong, southern Seoul, Tuesday. Yonhap

Awardee Jeff Benjamin and CICI President Choi Jung-wha with The Korea Image Stepping Stone Bridge Award.


The columnist attributed the growing success of K-pop in the Western market on the uniqueness of the artists and their messages.

"Language is becoming less important to people around the world, especially to the younger generation," he said. "It's certainly becoming more about the artists and what their message or talent is."

Benjamin said the "K" has become less emphasized to put more focus on the artists themselves and what they can bring out on stage. "Especially how young people are with music these days, it's going to be really exciting to see how Korean music will grow and how the artists will express their identities in the future."

He raised BTS's 2018 song "IDOL" as an example and mentioned Korean traditional instruments and "hanbok" (traditional) outfits in the group's performances. "There were parts of their identity and culture in that song … The biggest change (in the industry) is embracing identity and to be more forward about that," Benjamin said.

Noting that the strength of the industry is in its marketing tactics, the journalist said K-pop has a great music scene for "the digital age."

"K-pop makes a moment out of everything, whether it is a release schedule with teasers of music videos and albums," Benjamin said. "It keeps people hooked. K-pop, which moves so quickly and is digitally focused, aligns with the current pattern of how distracted people are these days."

When asked which K-pop groups catch his eye, he named ATEEZ and (G)I-DLE, pointing out their strong messages and performances of self-written and produced music. "I think it's important to express themselves this way."

No. Title Posted by Date Hit
226 [CICI Korea] Lee Jung-jae, Kim Yuna to receive CICI awards for boosting Korea's image [The Korea Herald 2022.12.12] webmaster 2022.12.19 523
225 [CICI Korea] Lee Jung-jae, Kim Yu-na, Hwang Sun-woo to win 2023 Korea Image Awards [Yonhap News Agency 2022.12.12] webmaster 2022.12.19 584
224 [CICI Korea] Squid Game' star Lee Jung-jae wins Korea Image Awards [The Korea Times 2022.12.12] webmaster 2022.12.19 428
223 [CICI Korea] Korea Image Awards du CICI : Lee Jung-jae, Kim Yu-na et Hwang Sun-woo seront récompensés [Agence de presse Yonhap 2022.12.13] webmaster 2022.12.19 542
222 [CICI Korea] Lee Jung-jae, Kim Yu-na et Hwang Sun-woo to win Korea Image Awards [Chosun Ilbo 2022.12.13] webmaster 2022.12.19 445
221 [CICI Korea] Lee Jung-jae, Kim Yu-na et Hwang Sun-woo to win Korea Image Awards [JoongAng Ilbo 2022.12.12] webmaster 2022.12.19 471
220 [CICI Korea] Lee Jung-jae of 'Squid Game·Hunt’ to win Korea Image Awards [JoongAng Ilbo 2022.12.12] webmaster 2022.12.19 457
219 [CICI Korea] 'Squid Game' creator Hwang Dong-hyuk says he still believes in humanity [The Korea Times 2022.01.13] webmaster 2022.03.11 918
218 [CICI Korea] ‘Squid Game’ director Hwang Dong-hyuk planning story set in near future [The Korea Herald 2022.01.13] webmaster 2022.03.11 929
217 [CICI Korea] Yonhap News Summary [Yonhap 2022.01.13] webmaster 2022.03.11 933
216 [CICI Korea] 18th Korea Image Awards go to Hwang Dong-hyuk, Netflix, Sumi Jo and Kim Je-deok [Arirang TV 2022.01.13] webmaster 2022.03.11 977
215 [CICI Korea] 'Squid Game' creator Hwang Dong-hyuk says he still believes in humanity [Yonhap 2022.01.13] webmaster 2022.03.11 907
214 [CICI Korea] Netflix to step up investment in Korean content, Netflix Korea VP says [The Korea Times 2022.01.13] webmaster 2022.03.11 1433
213 [CICI Korea] Hwang Dong-hyuk, Netflix, Sumi Jo, Kim Je-deok bag trophies at Korea Image Award [The Korea Herald 2022.01.12] webmaster 2022.03.11 989
212 [CICI Korea] (LEAD) CICI Korea Image Awards : le réalisateur de «Squid Game» croit toujours en l'humanité [Yonhap 2022.01.12] webmaster 2022.03.11 1025
211 [CICI Korea] Le réalisateur de «Squid Game» et Netflix reçoivent un Korea Image Award du CICI [Yonhap 2022.01.12] webmaster 2022.03.11 1429
210 [CICI Korea] Hwang Dong-hyuk et CICI [Yonhap 2022.01.12] webmaster 2022.03.11 842
209 [CICI Korea] Lauréats [Yonhap 2022.01.12] webmaster 2022.03.11 861
208 [CICI Korea] Corea Image Communication Institute hosts annual awards [Korea JoongAng Daily 2022.01.12] webmaster 2022.03.11 862
207 [CICI Korea] 'Squid Game' director to receive Korea Image Stepping Stone Award [Korea Joongang Daily 2021.12.14] webmaster 2022.03.11 804

HOME SITEMAP CONTACT US KOREAN goMain instagram facebook youtube