The growing popularity of K-pop bands in Germany indicates that the Korean Wave may have finally made its way to Western Europe.
According to the VIVA Online Clip Charts, girl group 2NE1's recently released song "I Am the Best" ranked top of the charts this week. This was followed by "Mona Lisa," by boy band MBLAQ, and BEAST's "Breath." Songs by 2PM, Super Junior-M and Big Bang also made their way into the top 100.
The VIVA chart is compiled by German music TV channel VIVA based on the number of downloads and music video hits the songs receive online. The station is equivalent in clout to MTV in the U.S., and is in fact now under the management of MTV following a recent acquisition and merger.
VIVA News reported on Wednesday that K-pop, a new force to be reckoned with in the mainstream music industry, has recently moved beyond Asia and into Europe. It said this is similar to what happened in the 1990s with Japanese music, when J-Pop became hugely popular around the world. One of the key to K-pop's success, it said, is the attractive looks of its singers, many of whom have undergone cosmetic surgery.
"K-pop idol groups such as BEAST, 2NE1, TVXQ, MBLAQ, Super Junior and Big Bang were modeled after boy bands and girl groups in the West," it reported. "Korean management agencies, notably SM Entertainment, discover young talents and nurture them into becoming highly successful groups. Many Korean groups are immensely popular in Japan, so they sometimes sing in Japanese."
Meanwhile, JYJ, another local boy band, has expressed its wish to hold a concert in Germany at either the end of October or in early November, the Korean Embassy in Berlin said.
"JYP Entertainment, which manages Wonder Girls and 2PM, is also considering holding concerts in Germany," it added.