Seven to Return to Korea this Fall via US, Japan

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Seven’s US debut song to be unveiled on iTunes March 10

“Singer Seven will wrap up his activities in the US and Japan and return to Korea this fall at the earliest.”

In an interview with the domestic Yonhap News, YG Entertainment President Yang Hyeon-seok (39) announced the upcoming plans of the pop idol Seven (real name Choi Dong-wuk, 25) who has stayed in the US for the past two years.

Yang said, “Seven’s US debut song ‘Girls’ and its teaser video will be released on iTunes March 10, and he will release his second single two to three months later. He will then stay in Japan in July and August before coming to Korea around October at the earliest.”

Yang detailed Seven’s plans in the US, saying that his first single is more about signaling his US debut than album sales.

“The digital single ‘Girls’ was produced by the famous Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, and rapper Lil’ Kim took part in the music video for a 40 percent portion with no guarantee. We don’t expect an entry on the Billboard chart 100 or success in America. The participation of such renowned musicians itself is a half-success.”

On the delay of Seven’s US debut, Yang said, “We didn’t expect it to take this long. Seven was learning English and recording all this time. The one year delay was due to the need for more research on analyzing the US market for Asian singers.”

He continued, “There’s no weekly music ranking TV programs, like Korea has, in the US. Radio broadcast and music videos are crucial in the US. MTV won”t be willing to play the song of a foreign singer with different looks and musical taste and who doesn’t speak English. Having Seven’s song and MV air on local US radio and MTV is a major breakthrough.”

Yang met with industry officials in the US, including officials from Interscope Records, conducted market research and was able to strategically clinch Lil’ Kim’s participation in the album.

Yang says a true world star is someone like Korean actress Kim Yun-jin, whom all Americans know. He said many Asian actors succeed in the US and this is because they are part of the acting circle and exist as characters and are not recognized solely as Asians.

But he said singers must succeed or fail completely on their own. Lil’ Kim’s presence in Seven’s album was a strategy in this sense. He said a prominent US musician will also take part in Seven’s second single.

He said, “I also stressed to Seven that he is not a Korean star in the US but a complete novice. Money doesn’t guarantee success. You must make music thoroughly to the taste of the US market and have fluent command of English. We must also attract local capital in album production and sign deals with major record agencies and have them shoulder the promotion and marketing cost.”

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