Asian Heritage Week: Korean Producer Wants USA's Next Big Pop Star To Be Asian
Two years ago, the Korean pop star Rain invaded Madison Square Garden with hopes of being the first Asian to become a music superstar in America. Rain may not have made it, but his teacher Jin Young Park still wants to launch America’s first Asian megastar. NY1's Lewis Dodley filed the following report as part of the station's continuing coverage of Asian Heritage Week.
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For the past ten years, Korean pop sensation Jin Young Park has been planting the seeds of his master plan -- the creation of an Asian megastar on American soil.
Recently performing at Madison Square Garden, Park, also known as “JYP,” left the crowd screaming for more.
He has produced 25 number one singles and 19 number one albums in Asia, and now wants to close the trade gap with the U.S.
Park said, "Cars -- Honda -- opened the way for Asian cars to move in. TV -- Sony and Samsung. Sports -- [Hideo] Nomo actually was the first Asian pitcher in the Major League and Yao Ming was the first MBA player. Movie -- Bruce Lee and then Jackie Chan and director Ang Lee. Music -- nobody [yet].”
Park's first remedy was his prize student and Korean superstar Rain, who Park taught every nuance of the entertainment business and eventually orchestrated Rain's debut at Madison Square Garden in 2006.
But they would soon part ways, and Park turned his attention not to another singular talent, but to an all-out-assault.
"The first girl is the 16-year-old girl called Min that I co-produced for Lil John," said Park. The next artist is this 25-year-old R-and-B musician called J Lim that I’m co-producing. And there’s G-Soul, a 19-year-old soul singer that R. Kelly decided to work with. And then, of course, Wonder Girls."
If Min, J Lim and G Soul are Park's snipers, then the Wonder Girls are the cavalry. These 15- to 19-year-olds are hands down Asia’s most popular girl group and Park's latest secret weapon to penetrate the market.
“I just wanted to make [Asia and the U.S.] understand each other more through music, and my part is building that bridge, bringing Asian music here and bringing record music over there,” said Park.
JYP made his name in the U.S. by writing songs for the likes of Mase, Will Smith and Cassie. Now with a studio in New York and alliances with some of this country's top talent, it may not be long before an American pop icon has an Asian face.
"Maybe it is the right time. If I came here five years before, I don't think so," said Park.
If Park's future is anything like his past - you can consider it “mission accomplished.”
- Lewis Dodley