The American rapper and producer, Swizz Beatz, recently sat down to an interview with The Fader to talk about his recent announcement on a partnership-contract between himself and ON-Media, a South Korean broadcasting company. Swizz Beatz has shown a huge interest in k-pop lately – and especially in BIGBANG.
Read the interview below:
So explain the K-pop situation.
“The deal with ON-Media is an amazing creative deal, starting with a music component, TV component, touring component, a production component, a label component. My role is basically to migrate the cultures. My goal is to have music speak as the international language it is. I’m not the first person to tap on K-pop. There’s other artists out there like Will.I.Am and Kanye that have collaborated with K-pop artists. But this isn’t just a collaboration. I’m not trying to just do a feature. I’m really trying to migrate culture. I don’t have to produce everything, I don’t have to rap on everything. I want to set up tour and TV shows and just have a super creative outlet for people to express themselves. We need to start bridging those gaps, and thinking globally is the way to go. The world is global. It feels like Korea is in your backyard, the way the internet makes things. I just want to be the tunnel for that. I want to be the tunnel for music, art and fashion on a global level, and I want to start in Korea with K-pop. They still have artist development out there. Their artists really go through training and professional classes before they become stars. We’re missing that on our side.”
So you think there’s a professional missing in the American music industry?
“I think that’s one of the things we can learn. It’s not necessarily the artists’ fault [in the US]. Labels used to have money for artist development, but now they’re looking for access all ready to go. Artists feel seasoned off of YouTube views or whatever. But you know, it’s certain rules on how to be a star, certain things you have to be educated on. The whole lifestyle is overwhelming, and if artists don’t know how to handle it and it’s too much, by the time they figure it out it’s too late. It becomes a factory: one artist goes out, another comes in. Nowadays the biggest song in the world, you won’t remember it by the summer. I think there’s certain elements that are missing that cause people to lose respect for musicians and music, and I think educating people on the global side will bring in new answers and cool opportunities to do things better.”
Can you talk about any specific plans?
“Just setting up cool ways of presenting the universal language. Bridging the gaps with collaborations can be the start of a global phenomenon. We’ve got this group called Big Bang, they dropped a song called “Blue,” and I’m like, everybody should know about that. That shouldn’t only be K-pop news, it should be everybody news. So how do you keep communication going? When you’re a big artist in the states, they roll out the red carpets for you, and I don’t feel that love for artists from other countries when they come here. I’m like, wait a minute, that’s not fair. Why can’t they get some respect? So my thing is to team up a Big Bang with a Chris Brown, somebody like that. Team up 2NE1 with Nicki Minaj or Rihanna. You take an international hit and make it even more international, even more familiar. Bridge that gap. Communication gets spoken on both sides. This side is getting familiar, that side is getting familiar, and the synergy lets new creative things happen outside of the usual boundaries. It helps people become more open minded, and that’s what art and music should be. The freedom to fly and go anywhere you want to go.”
Besides the interview, Swizz Beatz also held a press conference regarding the contract with ON-Media. At the press conference he said; “”What I found in Korean pop music is a new expression. The world is open for new things and I think right now K-pop in Korea is leading in that area. I’d like to be the one to introduce that to the West.”
Watch the press conference below:
When asked what his exact goal with the collaboration with ON-Media was, he answered: “My idea to bridge the world together with music starting in Asia and going to the West is something that is new, untapped and leading to the future of bringing the worlds together. And this partnership is the beginning in making a history.”
The agreement calls for the two companies’ partnership in helping U.S. pop artists advance to the Asian market and new K-pop artists to the U.S. market, according to the local entertainment agency. The two sides also plan to produce joint albums of leading musicians of both countries, it said.
In addition, Beatz stated that k-pop represented by such leading groups and singers as Kara, Big Bang, 2NE1 and Boa has already had many successes in Asia but can appeal to the world with help from the partnership.
So what do you guys think? Would you look forward to a collaboration between BIGBANG and Chris Brown or maybe 2NE1 and Nicki Minaj?