Just some personal thoughts...
It was mostly a slow and unspectacular week due to the Lunar New Year. Minimal promotions and releases. But the GRAMMYs are today (Sunday) here in the US and K-Pop is more present than ever before!
BlackPink performed at Universal's GRAMMYs industry/corporate showcase yesterday ahead of their US activities. They'll be on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, and play Coachella.
Then we have Lay (EXO) representing China, Crush, and BTS invited to the actual GRAMMYs ceremony. BTS are scheduled as presenters and will be seated close to front-and-center. The design team behind their LOVE YOURSELF album packaging, Huskyfox, is nominated for a GRAMMY.
It's all pretty exciting!
Downplaying these invitations as GRAMMYs being a dying institution chasing after ratings, or that no one is actually nominated for music, or this is just a flash in the pan... are missing the point.
Not long ago, and forever before, South Korea might as well have not existed on the global music scene. Within a couple decades, they pushed into the rest of East Asia successfully and then quickly took advantage of the Youtube/social media era to gain fans worldwide. And BTS used those tools better than anyone else.
It's not about being under the delusion that K-Pop is the greatest form of music, or that it's going to have constant presence on the charts, or that K-Pop names will be on par with Beyonce or Drake in recognition to the average American. That's all pretty silly.
It's that, as far as the American industry is concerned, K-Pop didn't exist, then it got a snack in the kitchen, then it had a seat at the kids' table, and now it's sitting at the table in the banquet hall. It's here. The largest music industry in the world has taken notice. This is about normalizing Korean music and Korean faces in global entertainment--Increasing much-needed representation. It will probably come and go in occasional surges, like Latin Pop, and that's great! That's worth some excitement!
There will be a bunch of K-Pop tours and festivals through the year. OH MY GIRL and Red Velvet are touring and there will be so many more. It's lovely to see!
Good luck, safe travels to all the artists and fans, and here's to hoping the GRAMMYs go well!