EXP Edition Update: Non-Korean Boyband Living in Seoul Gains Fame in K-Pop World
In the last few years, K-pop music has greatly evolved into a cultural force that has taken the world by the storm. This time, an American boyband in the form of EXP Edition has released their K-pop debut track, “Feel Like This,” on Monday.
Comprised of four members, EXP Edition has attempted to fit into the K-pop world with their style and approach to music. The group sings in Korean and incorporates a K-pop approach to their songs, although their accent is not quite impeccable yet. While all of their members are of American descent, the boyband is striving to make a name for themselves in the K-pop community.
EXP Edition’s “Feel Like This” single has already been unveiled through music streaming services in South Korea, including Melon and Bugs Music. The music video has also been made available through YouTube and Facebook and shows typical K-pop video components, such as a smoky environment, an abandoned warehouse, and cheerful scenes of the band members while singing and dancing.
EXP Edition is comprised of Frankie, Hunter, Koki, and Sime; the four members have been residing in Seoul since last year as they prepped up for their debut single. The K-pop boyband was initially a project developed by 33-yar-old Kim Bora with the help of two of colleagues at New York’s Columbia University. Taking on a master of fine arts program, the three came up with the idea of establishing a K-pop group with non-Korean members.
"I wanted to throw out the big question: what defines K-pop?" Kim explained. The trio conducted auditions in November 2016 and came across the band that was then known as EXP with five members. Currently, EXP Edition is living together in a Seoul apartment and is keeping up with the K-pop trends by receiving regular vocals, dance and Korean lessons. The boyband, however, has already received public backlash after Buzzfeed published an article saying that people are not impressed with this American boyband in the K-pop world.
“Most people that I meet in Korea don't share the idea that EXP Edition is appropriating Korean culture. They take interest that K-pop's stature has grown big as to bring foreigners to Korea to learn K-pop," Kim said in response to the criticisms.