Despite HYBE‘s Chairman Bang Si Hyuk‘s recent assertion that K-Pop’s growth may be slowing, two major industry leaders have countered his views. In an exclusive conversation with The Recording Academy Marion Van der Wees, (A&R Consultant at VDW Music Group) and Simon Jakops (CEO/Executive Producer at XGALX) put forward their insights about the current status and future trajectory of K-Pop.
Earlier this year, Bang Si Hyuk expressed his apprehensions about the future of K-Pop to CNN, stating, “K-pop is not as hot in the market as you might perceive.” However, Van der Wees and Jakops, who have extensive experience in the industry, beg to differ.
Van der Wees, who has had the opportunity to work closely with industry giants like BTS and TXT, held an optimistic perspective about the current state of K-pop. She described, “On the song side it’s the opposite. More than ever, competition is at its peak, in my opinion. A lot of people reach out to me to work in K-pop, and it feels like it’s fast-growing.” These words reflect the excitement and vigor in the industry, showing that K-Pop’s appeal to global audiences is undeniably strong.
Furthering this narrative, Simon Jakops, a seasoned producer and a former member of the boy group DMTN, responded with a fresh angle. Jakops currently oversees the rise of girl group XG, and his experiences in the industry speak volumes. He shared that Bang’s quote is actually proof of just how big of an influence K-Pop currently has on the global music market. “The most fearful moment could be when you are receiving the greatest love.”
He also underscored the importance of novelty in K-pop.
As a producer myself, I always focus on ‘novelty.’ Whatever the element, I would like to propose an idea that has not been seen in the existing K-pop scene. Fans are also waiting for that kind of music. New sounds, new members, new visuals, whatever.
— Simon Jakops
These words from Jakops further emphasize his point that K-Pop is not slowing down. On the contrary, it is an evolving and dynamic phenomenon, always seeking to bring something new and unique to the table.
Despite the words of Bang Si Hyuk, these industry leaders’ insights paint a more hopeful picture of K-Pop’s future. They highlight the unwavering dedication of artists, producers, and fans alike, which could continue to propel the genre into uncharted territories of success.
kpop is not slowing down. groups are selling millions of albums every comeback. debuts are becoming bigger and bigger. he knows after this length of time in the business what enlistment does to a group and he’s panicked. why can’t he just be honest? not to mention he has other… https://t.co/BSu4NYDtWi
— 𝖪𝖩²⁹ ✨𝖨𝖲𝖥𝖩 ✵ (@music_remedy33) March 3, 2023
Indeed, while the industry might face challenges, the opinions of Van der Wees and Jakops suggest that K-Pop’s alleged slowing success is far from a foregone conclusion. With its constant evolution and massive global influence, K-Pop might just be gearing up for a resurgence rather than a slowdown.