LIFE&STYLE

Indie musicians, global music businesses to connect at MU:CON 2020

By Song Seung-hyun

MU:CON 2020 director Yoon Sang praises BTS becoming first Asian hip-hop artists to top Billboard Hot 100

  • Published : Sept 16, 2020 - 17:38
  • Updated : Sept 16, 2020 - 17:38

Yoon Sang, singer, producer and director of MU:CON 2020 (Korea Creative Content Agency)

Yoon Sang, a seasoned recording artist and a prolific producer, said he hopes to provide more opportunities for local indie musicians to connect with global music business operators through the international music festival MU:CON 2020.

Yoon is an art director of this year’s showcase, which will be held during the four-day international music industry gathering organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency that runs from Sept. 23-Sept. 26.

“BTS topping the Billboard chart as an Asian hip-hop artist (group) is a phenomenal result. This result is especially valuable as it was achieved during difficult times, in which all the art industry is in a downturn due to the coronavirus,” Yoon said during a press videoconference held via Zoom. “I met Sunmi who sang the hit song ‘Pporappippam’ yesterday. She was upset that her world tour was canceled. If Sunmi’s situation is this bad, think about the situation of indie artists who we are trying to introduce through MU:CON.“

Yoon added that this is the music industry‘s reality and also why indie musicians need opportunities like MU:CON 2020.

A total of 70 groups were selected from among over 180 that applied to perform at the festival’s showcase. Among those selected, Yoon especially highlighted eight acts: Kisnue, Seodo Band, Leebada, the Funcity, ID Earth, Chimmi, Lim Kim and Oriental Express.

“From Kisnue to Oriental Express, all eight teams’ music genres are different and they are the ones that received the highest scores during the audition,” Yoon said.

Included among the selected acts are foreign artists like Munich-based KIDSO, Swedish act the Magnettes and Shi Shi from Taiwan.

“This event is not only organized for the public to enjoy music. It is for musicians to pitch themselves and the music industry buyers to select partners to work with,” KOCCA official Lee Hye-eun said during the conference. According to the KOCCA, 150 music business operators have signed up to participate in this year’s festival, which will take place online.

“We are still accepting music business participants for another week,” Yoon added.

Yoon brought up indie rock band Hyukoh, who participated in 2015, as an example of success at MU:CON.

“Hyukoh grabbed the chance to do the world tour through 2017. MU:CON provided this opportunity to connect with the organizer and after that, it is the artist and its agency’s ability to expand further,” Yoon said.

Along with the showcase, the festival will also offer discussion sessions, business pitches and network opportunities.

During the discussion session, music industry insiders including Yoon will talk about “Post Corona, Next Music Industry.”

During the press conference, Yoon shared his thoughts on convening an online festival.

“I think we can be proud of proceeding with the international music fair online when global festivals like South by Southwest and Midem are being canceled,” said Yoon. “Despite the challenges (due to COVID-19), we hope that we can successfully go ahead with the show by maximizing the use of online systems.”

The conference and showcase will be mainly streamed through the KOCCA Music YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/koccamusic. Some of the events will also be streamed through Naver’s V Live, Kakao TV and TikTok. For more information, visit the event’s official website at www.mucon.kr.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)