Global gloss

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

are re­garded as a lead­ing com­mer­cial in­di­ca­tor of US pop mu­sic mar­ket.

Mark Rafalowski, vice-pres­i­dent of the in­ter­na­tional depart­ment of Dick Clark Pro­duc­tions, the or­ga­nizer of the awards, told Chi­nese me­dia that the two in­ter­na­tional awards were es­tab­lished to ex­plore the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket and at­tract more in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences. GongMei, pro­mo­tion di­rec­tor at Youku, the lead­ing Chi­nese video web­site and a ma­jor co­op­er­a­tor with the Chop­sticks Brothers, told the me­dia that it was Lit­tle Ap­ple’s in­cred­i­bly high num­ber of In­ter­net hits in China that per­suaded the AMA to in­vite the Chop­sticks Brothers to per­form at the cer­e­mony.

Like it or not, the mas­sive do­mes­tic au­di­ence group Chop­sticks Brothers has is un­de­ni­able, and that is ex­actly what the mu­sic business, whether at home or abroad, wants. To some ex­tent, the two awards were more like AMA “woos” the huge Chi­nese mar­ket, rather than recog­ni­tion of the mer­its of the song or the per­form­ers.

Fur­ther­more, the com­mer­cial side of mu­sic needs to be sep­a­rated from the cul­tural side. I still re­mem­ber the first time I heard Korean pop singer Psy’s world­wide hit Gang­nam Style. Although I knew noth­ing about the singer and couldn’t un­der­stand the lyrics as I don’t speak Korean, I still en­joyed the catchy melody and funny dance.

The mu­sic video didn’t leave me with much im­pres­sion of South Korean cul­ture, but it was fun and I en­joyed it. I have also used Crazy Frog and The Fox ( What does the fox say?) asmy ring­tone, and I didn’t re­late th­ese funny elec­tronic songs to Swedish or Nor­we­gian cul­ture much. To me all th­ese are just pop songs; they nei­ther rep­re­sent nor dis­credit an en­tire coun­try’s cul­ture.

There is noth­ing wrong with be­ing con­cerned about the de­vel­op­ment of do­mes­tic cul­ture per se, but maybe we can be a lit­tle more re­laxed about it. Just take it easy: we don’t have to prove any­thing to the world. Business is business even when it’s the business of cul­ture. But the coun­try has a thriv­ing con­tem­po­rary cul­ture that can stand on its own two feet, and step out into the world when it wants. The au­thor is a writer with China Daily wangy­iqing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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