The short answer: No, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.
The long answer: Anyone who has a basic knowledge of J-Pop or K-Pop music knows who BoA is. If you don’t, here’s a brief synopsis: A 12 year old Korean girl auditions and gets drafted into the Korean music scene. She becomes huge in South Korean, then promptly goes to Japan and records a bunch of #1 Japanese records, making her the first Korean to do so. She promptly becomes a superstar all over Asia. Now BoA is 20 and there are dreams for her to make it big in the United States. Don’t they all, really? But this will be easier said than done, because — and let’s be brutally honest here, because I’m actually a really big fan of BoA since her Kimochi Wa Tsutamaru days — the girl can’t pronounce her Rs.
No, seriously. Take this song, performed by teen fashion dolls turned bad pop band Bratz, for example: I played this for a friend once and when BoA butchered the line “All the Girls” as “ARR DE GURRS,” I instantly lost what little credibility I had.
So now BoA is giving another go at it with her new single “Eat You Up,” and the big guns have been called: the song is produced by Bloodshy & Avant, who produced another song you may have heard of called “Toxic,” by Britney Spears. Her video producer is Diane Martel. And Flo Rida is rapping on one of the remixes.
If I was the agent of a pop star, those are the names I would want to be using, really. But at the end of the day, the great American music machine is more than that — it’s promotion, it’s going to radio stations, it’s going to TRL and having 15 year olds from New Jersey being able to love you through an accent and a lot of peace signs. And it’s a shame, because she has the image skills, she definitely has the dancing skills and watching an exhausted-looking BoA learning hip hop moves and auditioning dancers and dealing with Americans that speak 100-words-a-minute, she most definitely has the drive and the work ethic. And it’s for those reasons that I really want her to do well when her single comes out in digital format on October 7th.
But given the track record of Asian in the American music industry? I’m not holding my breath. At all. Here’s to vocoders and chest pops taking you to the top, girl. Vocoders and chest pops.
Update: The full song is available via a YouTube link here.