“‹Mainstream audiences will eventually crave for sing-and-dance groups with new faces, or should we say, from other races.
This is what a dream project called Z-POP seemed to be truly addressing with the launch of concert brand Z-Pop Dream Live last February in Seoul, featuring the groups Z-Boys and Z-Girls, which are comprised of talents from seven Asian countries, namely, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Japan, Taiwan, and, well, the Philippines.
Open auditions were done in these countries and those picked were sent to Korea for a kind of training that successfully produced K-Pop groups. For the Manila auditions, former Pop Girls member Carlyn Ocampo and G-Force dancer Josh Bautista deservingly made it to the roster.
The Z in their tag pertains to Generation Z, implying they are young talents born from 1995 onwards. Curiously, it essentially suggests that millennials will enter the coming decade no longer in the forefront of youth revolution.
Yet, this changing of the guard seems to be eyeing for an emphatic Asian domination in the pop scene, hence the shift from K to Z. “It is the opening of a new chapter of cultural exchange for Asia as the Z-pop shows will be held in different major Asian city every year,” said K-Pop visionary and Zenith Media Contents CEO Jun Kang who met the Filipino press last week.
The Z-Stars, the collective labeling for the chosen boys and girls, are currently in Manila and will perform at the CR3W concert tomorrow, April 5 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Viva Communications, partner for the Grace Lee-spearheaded Glimmer which represents Z-Pop in Manila, is largely making the special guesting possible. Viva Chairman and CEO Vic Del Rosario, Jr., noted, “This goes beyond K-Pop and has a One-Asia goal that will not only create stars but revolutionize the methods used and how it affects the global entertainment industry.”
It’s no secret that the Korean way is admired all over the world and following its lead shouldn’t hurt at all. If it gets to benefit the Asian branding in a global sense, then all the more it should be embraced by fans in the world’s largest continent.
Lee added, “We hope to be able to widen the K-Pop arena and pave the way for other Asian dreamers to fully realize their potential.”
Three songs expectedly pop and written by some hit factory have been put out to help promote the Gen Z acts, with Z-Girls singing “What You Waiting For” and Z-Boys taking on “No Limit.” A collaborative track is called “Our Galaxy.”
Asked how they deal with diversified roots and language barriers, one of the popsters admitted, “We use translator apps or get help from interpreters.”
Another mentioned about the challenge of perfecting K-Pop’s distinct dance moves, stating, “We practice to match every move of every member in detail so that we’ll have that knife-like precision.”
The 2020s look promising for young Asian talents on a scale broader than ever. For all its worth, it is the grandest expression of gratitude that K-Pop can offer its beloved mother continent, and the world.