Ok, first of all, my original reason for starting this blog, to translate articles and improve my Chinese, has really not panned out the way I thought it would. I find myself translating less, and putting more of my own commentary on articles. But if you haven’t noticed I focus a lot on entertainment trends that are happening in Chinese-speaking regions. Because especially mainland China, is very immature in terms of entertainment and it’s exciting to see how it’s changing as the middle class grows. Like I said in my “What is the point of Cfensi” page, economic boom happened there later and only now are we feeling the maturation of that industry. I also predicted there would be boybands and other frivolities and whatnot in 2020. Well, that particular trend has started a bit early…
That pic is of new Chinese boyband Top Combine which is set to debut this month with an EP.
One thing that I always loved about the Chinese music scene was that no matter how you looked, as long as you were talented, you could become not only famous, but achieve the highest level of fame and sell the most records. For example, Liu Huan, who sang at the opening ceremony, is one of the most highly respected artists in China, is not only ugly but also overweight. Jay Chou, Tank, JJ Lin, and Anson Hu, each from a different Chinese-speaking region, are not the best lookers, but have become some of the most famous artist in China because they are fantastic songwriters, and most of them have wonderful voices as well (I’ll let you guess which one doesn’t).
But lately, there seems to be not just a trend, but a wave of boybands showing up on the Chinese entertainment scene. While F4 was popular, they didn’t spawn anything like this. They were just there, alone in their group popularity. People felt they were an isolated phenomenon, famous because of Meteor Garden, but not really because they were a boyband. But I think it was when kpop boybands were sent out across Asia, and people in Taiwan thought, hey, that seems like easy way to make money…and in came Fahrenheit, brilliantly packaged and sucessful. Then Lollipop (and their spin off groups, which I don’t quite get so I’m not going to touch on).
Mainland China, of all wonders then came out with its own groups. Top Combine debuted about a week ago, consisting of four Chinese members, and one Korean. Their company (EEmedia) seems to be dead set on making a success out of them, from the looks of how much they trained and the way their new MV looks. And if they do become successful they may give other companies ideas to start boybands, the same way in Korea SM led to other companies following in their footsteps. There is already another boyband waiting to debut in China, Seventeen, although to be honest, I don’t think they’ll do that great. Promotion is everything with boybands. HIT-5 has debuted with a well-produced MV and is getting a lot of attention and becoming quite successful as well.
China’s new boybands
Since I think most people have heard Fahrenheit and Lollipop’s songs I’ll let you listen to the others and judge for yourself if they deserve to be here. Top Combine has several people from Kuai Le Hao Nan Er, so they should be good singers by default actually.
Top Combine’s first single: Arrival Read more about Top Combine
Seventeen’s first song, Cheng Quan Ai
So do I really think a growing trend of boybands is really necessary? No. But considering that a lot of other music trends in China, such as rock and rap and hip-hop are growing at the same time, I don’t really think boybands will hurt the music industry, or make it become less varied. And I think that China really craves and needs idols because I don’t see how she can survive in Asia, where boybands seem almost like a necessity. I just hope that people like Anson Hu or JJ Lin will always be at the top.
Edit: One more Chinese boyband! Hit-5!
Read More About Hit-5
Edit 2: Another Chinese boyband…A-ONE.
Edit 3: This has gotten officially too ridiculous.
Oh and as requested by idarklight…the first young idol group in China, BoBo, though they’re not really a boyband, and they got put together not to take advantage of the boyband market, but because they were BFFs. Together they are the most popular group in China right now according to Baidu statistics. Read more about BoBo here.