Do you like K-pop songs? Foreigners are now welcome in Korea’s hottest industry


K-drama. K-pop songs. Korean skin care. And today, “Squid game.” It is clear that South Korea has it all. The popularity of its entertainment and culture has transcended borders and even language barriers.

If you’re an international student who’s jumped on the queens and kings of pop like BTS, Blackpink, or other famous K-pop artists, and you’d like to carve out a career in K-pop – however, no necessarily in singing and performing – here is some welcome news for you.

According to The Korea Times, experts say the K-pop industry is hire more foreigners than ever before, and there are plenty of behind-the-scenes opportunities to produce and promote albums.

The report notes that HYBE – a South Korean entertainment agency – is home to boy group BTS and currently has more than 60 vacancies. The total number of its employees is 456 this year, a jump from 73 in 2017.

Conexus Lab co-founder and CEO Lee Sang-hwan told the Korea Times that with many companies expanding their business overseas, an increasing number of opportunities are now open to foreigners and their numbers are expected to continue to grow. ‘to augment.

“JYP Entertainment, home to megastars like TWICE and Stray Kids, recently posted jobs exclusively in Japan to hire workers for its Japanese subsidiary. SM Entertainment, a label behind hotshots like EXO and NCT, said in its latest job posting that foreigners are also eligible to apply for the positions. In the coming years, I think companies might even consider writing job ads just for foreigners, ”he said.

Many of these overseas employees are currently in charge of celebrity, marketing or overseas business management within their labels as they are fluent in different languages ​​including Korean as well as a deep understanding of various cultures. Lee said.

Manage the talent behind today’s greatest K-pop songs. Source: Jung Yeon-je / AFP

To play a role in K-pop song development and talent management, fluency in Korean is required

So what can international graduates do to carve out a career working behind the scenes of K-pop songs and artists? A good start is to speak and write Korean fluently. Other skills would vary depending on the position advertised. Field roles could include public relations and A&R (artists and repertoire).

Lee said applicants will need to write their resumes and cover letters in Korean and meet the basic qualifications specified in the job descriptions. Applicants for marketing positions should also know how to use Google Analytics and have Photoshop skills like other Korean job seekers, he said.

Lee said that Conexus Lab offers educational materials for non-Korean speakers who want to work in K-pop powerhouses. Until recently, all of his online lectures were only available in Korean, but Lee has added subtitles in English, Japanese, and Vietnamese, among others, to reach more people around the world. These courses are taught by seasoned insiders of the music industry.

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