main

Home > 언론보도 >

언론보도

2003년 이전 게시판 보기

제목 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [INTERVIEW] Billboard columnist says BTS, the Beatles comparable [코리아타임즈 2019-07-05]
글쓴이 webmaster 조회 151 등록일 2019.07.10

Music journalist Jeff Benjamin at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Korea Times photo by Kim Kang-min


The Beatles. AP


By Dong Sun-hwa

Anyone interested in K-pop should be familiar with the name "Jeff Benjamin." Benjamin, a New York-based music journalist, has been writing about K-pop for America's music media outlet Billboard since 2013. CNN once dubbed him "the perfect person to talk about K-pop." 

He also boasts a special bond with K-pop phenomenon BTS. The journalist has been keeping his eyes on the seven-piece band long before it rose to meteoric stardom. During a recent interview with The Korea Times and the other media outlets at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Benjamin revealed he has been wowed by the septet's musical feats, but said he wanted something more. 

"I want to see more interviews where BTS get more credits as the artists," he said. "Maybe this could help them in something like the Grammy. These days, I think I have not seen many juicy interviews in which BTS talk about their artistic inspirations and influences." 

The remark came as he answered a question about BTS' chances of winning a Grammy ― one of the world's most prestigious music awards in the world. 

"Billboard Music Awards is based solely on numbers, statistics and charts, so BTS could have solidified their place in 2018 as the top group on the U.S. charts," he said. "But the Grammy is a bit different as it is about artistic integrity, critical responses and the way the academy votes."

Benjamin also mentioned Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi's smash-hit Latin pop song "Despacito" released in 2017. The number won four Latin Grammy Awards, seven Billboard Latin Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards and received three Grammy Awards nominations. 

"BTS have not had a crossover song like 'Despacito.' Although I think BTS are Grammy-worthy, more can be done for sure," he said.



Nevertheless, the columnist has been impressed by the K-pop sensation for bringing about meaningful changes around the world.

"BTS have changed the perception in a way that people love these boys who change their hair colors all the times and wear makeup," he said. "I think this is awesome because people respond to them not only for their music and visuals, but also find them attractive and beautiful. It seems they are changing some stereotypes about Korean males and the idea of what an attractive man is." 

Benjamin also compared the group to the Beatles, the iconic English band from the 1960s.

"The Beatles were not a trend in America when they first came over," he said. "Back then, people were into the Beach Boys, very clean-cut surfer boys from California. But the English band had long hair, wore long coats and boots. They were not the boys you would bring home to your dad."

But he said the Beatles changed the perception of the British pop music as well as the definition of attractiveness, and he believed BTS had done the same. 

"There is still more work to be done, but these changes are definitely happening and for the better," he said. 

Benjamin also said BTS had gradually been growing up and had learned many things ― such as what is working and how they can improve ― along the way. In particular, with the band's latest release "Boy with Luv," it could be seen they had realized radio was the last piece of the puzzle in the U.S.

Although they had good album and digital sales and engaged well on social media, they were not getting the radio play, according to Benjamin. But he said they made a smart choice this time by bringing in someone like Halsey, who has had a lot of radio play, and doing more interviews with radio stations. 

"They have been very analytical about what to do next," he said. 

After sharing his thoughts on the seven K-pop superstars, Benjamin moved on to the broader topic, K-pop. He began with its charms and potential. 


"K-pop is not just about music. It has entertaining music videos, choreography and the artists perform on music programs almost every day," he said. "There is a lot of additional content and elements to get people excited about the music, and this has led them to overcome the language barrier."

Benjamin said language was not as important as the song itself. 

"Music is the universal language itself," he said. "When analyzing K-pop songs, I visit multiple websites for the official translations of the lyrics, but lyrics are just one part of the song for me. I believe music is more about feeling and energy." 

He also had some thoughts about what should be done to enhance K-pop. 

"Artists do not need to be perfect idols all the time," he said. "Let them be human and show their personalities." 

He added, "I think K-pop stars try to be seen very formal and perfect, but fans do not seem to appreciate this much. It is frustrating for the writer as well." 

"We become fans not only for music but for personality, too. So I hope the record labels will just let the artists have some more fun. This seems significant in terms of a larger international connection. The industry as a whole should be less rigid." 

He ended the interview by offering some tips on targeting the global market, especially the U.S.

"Korean media and Western media work very differently and the artists need to learn how to make both sides happy," he said. "Being rigid and not changing their ways will not help anyone. I do not think people want to see their artists being so uptight and giving only formal answers. They want to see something beyond. It would be significant for K-pop stars to share more about themselves as creative artists."

He also advised them not to be scared of such a challenge. 

"Groups like BTS and NCT127 went through many awkward interviews and sometime even faced mild racism from the interviewers or media (as they newly entered the market)," he said. "But the world is going to change. So K-pop singers still have to work hard to spread their names, experience different kinds of interviews and give diverse answers to reveal themselves. All these will pay off in the end. Please be bold."

The columnist also delivered his thoughts on K-pop at the 2019 Culture Communication Forum (CCF) at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on Tuesday. He was one of 11 content creator delegates to the event, organized by the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI). 

번호 제목 글쓴이 날짜 조회 수
1243 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] 콘텐츠 시장의 미래는 어떻게 될까?…2019 문화소통포럼 토론회 개최 [MBN 2019-07-03] webmaster 2019.07.15 171
1242 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] 문화소통포럼 열려…"K-POP 넘어 다양성 모색해야"[TV 조선 2019-07-03] webmaster 2019.07.15 172
1241 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] BTS 무명시절부터 '눈에 콕'…BTS 뜨자, 이 사람도 떴다! [SBS 2019-07-02] file webmaster 2019.07.15 168
1240 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] 각국 크리에이터들, 이래서 한국문화가 좋다···10번째 CCF [뉴시스 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 197
1239 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] "결국 중요한 건 사람"···문화소통포럼 CCF 성황리 막내려 [뉴시스 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 211
1238 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] "한국문화 폭발적 인기…K팝 넘어 문화 다양성 모색해야" [연합뉴스 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 182
1237 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] Understanding the worldwide appeal of K-pop culture: Journalist Jeff Benjamin has tracked the global rise of K-pop since 2013 [코리아중앙데일리2019-07-03] webmaster 2019.07.10 157
1236 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] CICI looks to international content creators to grow Korean culture [코리아중앙데일리 2019-07-03] webmaster 2019.07.10 152
1235 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [INTERVIEW] Andreas Muhe questions photography [코리아타임즈 2019-07-09] webmaster 2019.07.10 154
1234 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [INTERVIEW] How versatile Gabriela Kook draws 940,000 YouTube subscribers [코리아타임즈 2019-07-08] webmaster 2019.07.10 155
» [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [INTERVIEW] Billboard columnist says BTS, the Beatles comparable [코리아타임즈 2019-07-05] webmaster 2019.07.10 151
1232 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [INTERVIEW] Korean folk song master reveals why he acts like 'alien' [코리아타임즈 2019-07-03] webmaster 2019.07.10 143
1231 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] 2019 Culture Communication Forum wraps up [PHOTOS] [코리아타임즈 2019-07-03] webmaster 2019.07.10 145
1230 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [Herald Interview] Drag queen singer opens up new future for traditional Korean music [코리아헤럴드 2019-07-04] webmaster 2019.07.10 147
1229 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [Herald Interview] Chef without restaurant but 1 million diners [코리아헤럴드 2019-07-04] webmaster 2019.07.10 181
1228 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] [Herald Interview] Observing K-pop crossover from other side [코리아헤럴드 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 154
1227 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] CCF 2019 discusses content creation culture of Korea and beyond [코리아헤럴드 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 137
1226 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] “영어가 중요한가요?…한국어·화려한 춤, 그게 K팝의 본모습이죠” [경향신문 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 181
1225 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] “케이팝 스타들 미국에서 성공하려면 ‘한국 그대로’ 지켜야” [한겨레 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 145
1224 [문화소통 포럼 CCF] “한국 아이돌, 정해진 답변만 하면 오래가기 힘들어” [국민일보 2019-07-02] webmaster 2019.07.10 125

HOME SITEMAP CONTACT US ENGLISH goMain instagram facebook youtube