Good job, Taeil!

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Taeil and P.O appeared on the Korean television show Immortal Song 2, where they remade this song

as this.

It clearly impressed the hell out of people–the Korean press was all over it like nobody’s business. Apparently the song, “Why Don’t You Know,” was an early hit by Kim Soo Chul, who is considered a Very Big Deal in Korea, and he had some very nice things to say about the remake (including suggesting that they should all work together some day).

Of course, since it was a respected musician appearing in the mainstream Korean press, not some crazy on Pann who has already been translated into English, the story wasn’t widely covered in the English-language K-Pop press–AllKPop did manage to get it, so good for them for being vaguely in touch with reality this time around.

I know there are people who feel like Taeil really got shortchanged with “Shaking/Inspiring,” and of course if you’re expecting the things international K-Pop fans tend to expect (appearances on music shows, coverage by the English-language K-Pop press), then it really does look like that release just disappeared with a trace and that Taeil is getting no love as a soloist.

But since the release, Taeil has been appearing quite regularly on Korean TV shows that feature singing, but that aren’t like Inkigayo or Music Bank or the other Korean music shows that focus on the latest, hottest music.

Instead, he’s been on shows like 100 Songs 100 People

and King of Masked Singer (if that’s not Taeil, I commend whoever it is for their very fine Taeil impersonation).**

The thing is that Taeil as a soloist is a ballad singer–not a K-Pop act or a hip-hop act. And ballad singers skew to a different audience–they often sing the classics and appeal to older people who would rather hang themselves than brave the mobs at a music show.

It’s definitely a career challenge for Taeil that, say, Zico doesn’t face. While hip-hop audiences and K-Pop audiences are distinct, there’s a lot of overlap–both audiences tend to be young, for example.

The overlap between the ballad audience and the K-Pop audience is much less. As a result, there’s an large potential audience for Taeil of ballad lovers who have never heard him before, because they pay absolutely zero attention to groups like Block B. One of the things that keeps coming up in these Korean singing shows is that people are quite surprised to discover that Taeil can actually sing–meanwhile nobody on the Korean hip-hop shows is ever the least bit surprised that Zico can actually rap.

But Taeil is doing his best to get his name out to that audience, and it looks like he’s doing a pretty good job.

** ETA: Of course it was Taeil, and both he and “Shaking” got a big bump on the Korean search engines. Which is pretty much what’s been happening after these appearances.

And here’s the entire episode of Immortal Song 2, with subs–totally worth watching if you have the time, there are a lot of amazing performances.

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: This is kind of a neat milestone | My Other Blog

  2. Pingback: This is kind of a weird thing | My Other Blog

  3. Pingback: Let’s lighten things up here…. | My Other Blog

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