Is J-pop being engulfed by K-pop? South Korean entertainment company launches an all-Japanese girl band

By Ji Yuqiao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/1 17:23:42

JYP family concert Photo: VCG

An all-Japanese girl band NiziU has been formed by a South Korean entertainment company and a Japanese record company. Weighing in on the new band, many Chinese netizens commented that it looks more like a South Korean band than a Japanese one. 

"It seems like J-pop music is being engulfed by K-pop," one netizen commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

According to an introduction on the band's official website, NiziU is a nine-member Japanese girl band that was formed through Hulu Japan's reality show Nizi Project in collaboration with Sony Music and South Korean JYP Entertainment and will be managed by both. 

But after the pre-debut EP of the band titled "Make You Happy" was released on Tuesday, some Chinese netizens commented that although these young idols sing in Japanese, they look no different than a South Korean girl band.

"Be it their clothing, makeup or music style, they all make me feel like I'm watching a performance by a South Korean girl band. If you didn't tell me that this was a Japanese band, I would have been sure they were another Twice," one netizen wrote on Sina Weibo. Twice is a South Korean girl group formed by JYP Entertainment in 2015. The group is also composed of nine members.

Another netizen suggested that the band shouldn't completely imitate the style of K-pop, but should keep some of J-pop's own characteristics. 

"It would be boring if every band looks like a K-pop idol group."

When asked if J-pop and K-pop were merging, Fan Zhihui, a music industry analyst, told the Global Times that pop music is converging all over the world and that the two kinds of pop music can learn from each other.

The reaction to the band hasn't been all negative in China. 

"I think this is a creation for cross-border music cooperation. Through training in a South Korean entertainment company, these Japanese idols' singing and dancing abilities might become much better than their competitors in Japan," a Chinese music fan surnamed Chen told the Global Times after watching the music video.

Since the release of the digital album on Tuesday, it has reached No.1 spot on the iTunes Album chart in Japan and on Line Music, a subscription-based music streaming service by the Line Corporation, according to a report by the Idol App on Sina Weibo.

Posted in: MUSIC

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