CultureMap Countdown - 30 days, 30 Artists
Day 13

The Korean wave makes its way to Texas with first-ever showcasing K-Pop Idol group f(x)

The Korean wave makes its way to Texas with first-ever showcasing K-Pop Idol group f(x)

Austin Photo Set: News_caitlin_k-pop showcase_feb 2013_f(x)
Courtesy of SXSW.com

Name: f(x)

Country/City of origin: Seoul, Korea

Featured track: "Nu ABO" (must see video below) from Nu ABO

Genre: K-pop

In one sentence: I mean, I can't.

Why we chose them: f(x) will be the first K-pop Idol group to play SXSW. What is a K-pop Idol, you say? An Idol is a popular group trained under "factory like" system, passing stages of auditions held by South Korean talent agencies and labels. (See this New York Times article for more on the K-pop subculture it's fascinating.)

I have absolutely no idea what f(x) is saying, but the group's list of Korean and European awards runs a couple dozen deep. They're a more "indie" K-pop Idol group, backed by SM Entertainment, and their appeal in Korea reaches beyond the traditional K-pop young-girl fanbase. Basically, the "Korean wave" phenomenon has slowly been approaching the U.S. for a few years. Could this K-pop showcase be a sign of its impending mainstream arrival? 

It's fascinating genre and subculture. Plus I like the way these gals dance. Let's give 'em a warm Texas welcome.

SXSW official show: K-Pop Night Out at Elysium on Tuesday, March 12.