On August 30, 2018, Genie Music made a grandeur announcement that the music platform has collaborated with broadcasting station MBC Plus to launch its own music awards. They increased the expectation of K-pop fans around the world, promising to feature only the top idol groups and singers of South Korea, who will be showcasing special collaboration stages that no one has ever seen before.
While I had initially scoffed at the news of yet another music awards launching in the small continent of South Korea, I couldn’t help but to have some expectation for it. With their big statement such as above, I figured there must be something special about it that Genie felt the need to launch their own awards.
3 months later on November 6, “2018 MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards” (hereafter 2018 MGA) took place at the Namdong Gymnasium in Incheon, giving out a total of 23 awards to the idol groups and singers they thought most deserved them.
It was a celebratory cause for many artists and their fans around the world, but it was also a disappointment in many people’s eyes.
The most disappointing thing about the event was its lineup. Most idol groups and singers that were on the list of nominees did not show up, implying just how poorly the event was created and organized from the beginning.
On the other hand, the singers who did show up ended up sitting by the bleachers the entire time, looking like a fish out of water. Most importantly, the fact that only three idol groups (TWICE, BTS, and Wanna One) performed during the 5-hour event was just lame.
At the end, my personal hope for the 2018 MGA, as well as the future of Korean music awards came crumbling down as it became clear that these awards have now successfully lost both their prestige and the reason for existence.
In the past, these awards existed mainly for the singers.
They acknowledged the achievement of the artists for the past year, giving a pat on their shoulders to tell them what an amazing job they did for their fans all around the world. The trophies the groups received acted as the tangible product of their hard work – the reason for them to keep moving forward with their career in the music industry.
In return, the artists put on amazing performances to thank their fans and the hosts. These performances were their promise to act deservingly of the awards they were given, making a promise to fans that they won’t let them down. In conclusion, it was a fair give-and-take occasion, both fans and artists gaining something out of them.
Nowadays, these events have become more about the hosts and the fans, more so than they are about the artists. The hosts of these events started to create new trophies that the singers most definitely did not ask for, and so bluntly ask them to perform something in return.
For fans, as I am one myself, this is great since we get to see more of our artists. Also, the singers usually perform something out of the ordinary during these events, which gives us fans a chance to see them in special outfits or collaborations.
But in the process, we have neglected one important thing. We have neglected the fact that these artists already have enough on their plates.
They are already too busy with schedules aside from attending these events that often than not, they simply don’t have time to put together different performances for each awards that take place only a week or two apart from one another.
As a result, a disaster takes place where idols collapse after performances, just like TWICE and BTS did after their performances at the 2018 MGA.
Consequently, the awards have not only lost their reason for existence, but they have also lost their prestige.
In my eyes, the hosts of the awards have now realized how much profit they could make off of these events. Ultimately, they started taking advantage of both fans and artists.
These hosts shifted the focus of these events from the awards to performances, competing against one another on who presented the best stages and had the best lineup of the year. Furthermore, they started to coerce the artists into performing, simultaneously luring in the fans to pay much price to see these performances.
At last, what once used to be an honorable event to celebrate the achievement of our artists have now become just another money making method of big entertainment corporations.
While us fans gain the stress from voting and the artists gain fatigue from performing, these networks do nothing (I say nothing because of the clear lack of preparation that was put into creating the 2018 MGA) and still gain the money, recognition, and the accelerated viewership like never before.
Nowadays, nobody cares who wins what award at what event. The number of nominations a group receives does not indicate how much work they put into their career that year. A number of awards a group receive or did not receive also doesn’t determine the quality of their work.
Fans only hope that the artists don’t obsess over silly music awards that have absolutely lost its meaning, and focus on their future. Skip out on an event if they need to take a break. A true fan will be proud of our artists no matter what and these events definitely don’t get to decide who gets to be the alpha-group of the year.
by. Dasol Kim
Disclaimer: The opinions or views contained in this article may not represent the opinions or views of Kpoplove, The Korea Daily, its employees, agents or affiliates.