If you follow k-pop, then you probably have heard that Boa, one of Japan's favorite female pop stars, intends to dance her way across the American charts. I think the Motherland is full of talented performers, but I've always been skeptical about the ability of Korean pop singers (i.e., Rain or Se7en) to translate their appeal for mainstream American audiences. Asian artists in general just have so many hurdles to jump over. First of all, mainstream America still isn't used to seeing an Asian faces in entertainment, unless they're dropping some martial arts moves, draped across a sports car, working the 24 hour deli on Law and Order, or Lucy Liu. Secondly, mainstream America does not find Asian accents sexy. Perhaps feelings will change years from now, but as it stands, despite the fact that there are two Korean characters on Lost, it's not going to be easy for a Korean performer to go gain the attention of Walmart America without being able to enunciate the word "really." Also, it's difficult for an Asian singer to perform pop, R&B, or hip hop without coming off like a poser. Asians are associated with cellos and pianos. God forbid they should try to pop-n-lock, freestyle, or sing a run.
Though I am skeptical (and desperately hope that I am proven wrong), I think that if any Korean artist or group has the potential to become more than a blip on the American pop scene, it will be a female singer. After all, provocative dance moves and bare midriffs seen to translate well across many cultures.
Okay, just my two cents. Back to Boa.
Boa's team just released the MV for her first English language single "Eat You Up." I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised. I don't consider myself a Boa fan, but I am familiar with a few of her singles. From the looks of her MV, she seems to have adjusted to a more American style of pop dancing. The girl can definitely dance. I also liked the fact that she didn't have to doll herself up as pop tart. She kept it simple in some fitted cargo pants and hoodie. (Though, me thinks that she kept the hood up for the first half of the video so that she could remain ethnically ambiguous.)
As for the song, "Eat You Up" it's not bad, but it's not all that memorable either. It seems to be in line with what Britney Spears has been releasing as of late, but Britney can get away with a lot. At this point, the public is just happy to see that Britney can perform without melting into a puddle of a Red Bull and Cheetoes.
I would have liked to seen some other Korean pop acts (e.g., Big Bang or Clazziquai) make it to the American pop scene first, but I'm happy that Boa is making a solid attempt to break the barrier. Go get 'em, Boa.
(By the way, I'm so used to hearing the name Boa. Does the name sound weird if you're not familiar with the k-pop scene?)