During an interview with Paper, Girls Generation‘s Tiffany gave her thoughts on BTS‘s and BLACKPINK‘s international success.
According to Tiffany, the groups’ global reach has been made possible, in part, by the Internet and the groundwork laid by their predecessors.
Girls’ Generation debuted in 2007, during Korea’s “digital and analog age of the Internet”, when the Internet was just beginning to evolve into what it is today. They rose to fame just as YouTube was taking off.
“I remember when I couldn’t text my family, or it took me a phone modem when all the people in the house were sleeping to type a long email. Oh my God, I sound so old. [Laughs] The Internet isn’t the same as when we were starting.” — Tiffany
The rise of the Internet made K-Pop far more accessible to international fans. It also allowed artists such as Girl’s Generation and Super Junior to pave the way for today’s idols, just as their seniors paved the way for them.
“I think that’s how the evolution went into full speed, from promoting in Korea, then Japan, then China, then Southeast Asia — and then going to fashion week in Europe. We got to travel the whole world. The senior artists at S.M. really paved the way for what Girls’ Generation became. There was a whole generation of girl bands and boy bands when we were really active that created this platform for the younger artists to bloom.” — Tiffany
Now, the torch has been passed on to group like BTS and BLACKPINK, who are leading K-Pop into the American, and global, mainstream.
“You watch BTS, you watch BLACKPINK — it’s undeniable. They’re visually stunning. Now, people are really understanding the craftsmanship to K-Pop. It’s a lot of work. I remember watching The Nutcracker last Christmas with my family… it’s like ballerinas. They do it so gracefully that nobody knows how many hours the workload is.” — Tiffany
Since taking over the American music scene in 2017, BTS has smashed countless world records and repeatedly topped the charts.
They became the first K-Pop group to perform at an American music award show when they performed “DNA” at the American Music Awards…
…and on June 9, the “DNA” music video became the K-pop group music video to reach 400 million views.
The music video for “FAKE LOVE” reached 150 million videos in a record 54 days and currently has over 180 million views. Many of these viewers are international fans.
After a year-long wait, BLACKPINK made a spectacular comeback. The “DDU-U DDU-DU” music video became the fastest girl group video to reach 50 million views and has achieved over 105 million views in less than two weeks.
From their debut until now, BLACKPINK has broken a number of records, including several music chart all-kills, as they take over the global market.
As Tiffany said, these groups are showing the world K-Pop’s “craftsmanship”. They are winning hearts and opening minds, while setting the stage for all the groups who will follow in their footsteps.