2013 New York K-POP Festival

By Bak Keung Ko

In recent years, k-pop has become a rising music culture phenomenon, sparking a whole new level of music appreciation. Fans from all over the world are learning Korean; adopting new dance styles, and more to fulfill their love for their Korean idols and music. This is “hallyu” aka the Korean wave. The Korean Culture Service of New York (KCS) organized the 2013 NY K-POP Festival for the 3rd year to search for talented individuals who are not only k-pop fans, but future singers and dancers. To enter, U.S. fans had to upload their k-pop video clips onto Youtube during the submission period for judges to select the final contestants. The few selected will go to New York for a final showdown at NYU Skirball Performing Arts Center on August 20, 2013.

This year, KCS selected solo performers Arnelle Nonon, Fernando Anibal Farias, Mace Noona, Shervonne Brown, and group performers Haru, M^2, The DeeDees, The Electro GirlZ, and Toy Soldiers. The deciding judges at the event were Jeff Benjamin (Billboard Writer), Christina Lee (Superstar K Top 4), Kyung Hee Kim (president of KBS America), Doo Sung Guk (Asiana Airlines NY Division Chief) and MJ Choi (I Love Dance, chief).

The festival commenced with a k-pop performance from I Love Dance followed by the contestant’s performance. Each performer sang and danced gracefully to their choice of k-pop song. At the mention of a popular debut song or a well-known dance move, the audience went crazy! Fans were ecstatic to listen and watch a k-pop routine by their fellow fans. In addition to performances, there were plenty of giveaways including free t-shirts, free gift bags, all that wre free, free, free! Winners of the pre-event contests and those who created a k-pop poster were given souvenirs for their hard efforts.

To conclude the fun, Christina Lee from Superstar K’s Top 4 gave a short performance followed by the awards ceremony. To quote Woo Sung Lee, president of KCS, k-pop is “rhythmy, harmonious [with a] stringy beat.” The contestants were “close neck and neck” so it’s hard to decide the top 3 winners. Despite that, he stated that everyone is a winner and congratulated them for their wonderful performance and effort.

Congratulations to Arnelle Nonon, Fernando Anibal Farias and Haru for making it to the top 3! Arnelle Nonon won first prize, earning her a free flight by Asiana Airlines to compete in the Korea K-POP festival in October and a check from the KBS Music Bank.

Avatar photo

About AsianInNY

AsianInNY.com is New York’s leader in Asian networking and a multi-cultural entertainment site. AsianInNY has established itself as the premier social and cultural authority for Asians in New York City. AsianInNY maintains the highest standards in providing reliable online content and producing live offline events. AsianInNY seeks to inspire, educate, and connect our community, using a versatile platform that engages our audience via a multi-layered digital presence that showcases the best of New York City. Our pages are updated daily with a rich cultural mix of news, events, interviews, and more. AsianInNY: Connect with Everything Asian!