Two and a half years have passed since K-pop artist Psy brought “Gangnam Style” stateside. The catchy tune was a viral smash and the South Korean singer was a phenomenon.
Now, as K-pop grows in popularity around the globe, the question remains which artist is destined to become the next Psy?
Here’s a quick look at odds on the next K-pop artist to break big in the United States:
Already known stateside with national appearances and concerts, the South Korean girl group (pictured above) is on the doorstep, ready to vie for mainstream American success. All they need is that catchy single akin to “Gangnam Style” to attract true viral numbers, and they may have it in the form of “I Am the Best”, a catchy ditty that already appeared on both The Bachelor and So You Think You Can Dance.
Super Junior: 3/2
Formed in 2005, Super Junior was one of the original – and seminal – K-pop boy bands. Unlike their American counterparts, Super Junior wasn’t content with a lineup of four or five hunks. Instead, producer Lee Soo-man recruited 12, yes 12, dudes to make up Super Junior. Now, after a decade of toiling away in mere international stardom, the group is poised to reach international super-stardom levels, having just won the 2015 Teen Choice Award for Favorite International Artist.
BTS (AKA Bangtan Boys): 8/1
BTS is like the South Korean Wu-Tang Clan, featuring seven rappers already doing their best to sound American. The outfit is led by an MC named Rap Monster (great name!) and could receive some attention from its recently released debut effort, Dark & Wild.
Rap Monster: 8/1
The aforementioned leader of BTS landed his song “Fantastic” on the soundtrack for the new Fantastic 4 flick. Whether Amurican audiences are more attracted to his work with BTS or his solo stuff remains to be seen!
Big Bang: 12/1
Formed nearly a decade ago, Big Bang – featuring G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri – is already huge internationally, including in Southeast Asia and Europe. Currently on a sabbatical, Big Bang could make a, well, big bang in America in the future.
MAMAMOO is not your standard K-Pop girl group. The group is focused as much on substance and talent as it is on style. If the group leans more on the soulful stylings of ostensible lead-member Solar and less on the rapping of Hwasa, American audiences may eat up their next offering.
This large group seems like a dark horse to become the next Psy in America; however, the group was the biggest K-pop act in Japan last year. One knock against the over-sized pop band is the fact a few members are suing the group. That’s problematic for any band. Odds are EXO doesn’t become huge but perhaps one of its singers does after going solo in the future.
Only time will tell which artist(s) gain a foothold in America. But, if Psy is any indication, once they do, you won’t be able to avoid them!
(Photo credit: ACROFAN [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)