03-04 Aug. 2023

Seoul Marina / KBS Headquarter

Through ROUND Forum, we aim to revitalize communication and foster closer cooperation between ASEAN and Korea through culture.
In addition, we actively work to promote cultural exchange and music industry development between ASEAN and Korea.


The last ROUND has gone through tough times in our own way that no one has tried.
Now, we all hope it will be OUR festival where we can take a step from there, meet with everyone, and sing together with a joyful mind.
    Opportunities and Challenges in the Asian Music Scene After the Hallyu Wave of K-pop

    For several years, K-pop has been the central topic in the global music market. While there are various perspectives on its success, it is generally attributed to the rise of new media, a collective term for global online platforms that transcend language and space, fostering homogeneity in music trends. Many experts have even suggested that K-pop has effectively leveraged the characteristics of new media. However, it's essential to note that these traits are not confined solely to the K-pop industry; rather, they can be similarly utilized and disseminated across different trends, genres, and even beyond the realm of music.

    The global phenomenon of Korean popular music (K-pop) can be attributed to several factors. First, there was a sense of anticipation in the relatively overlooked Korean market compared to the prominent English-speaking mainstream pop industry. As Korea rapidly developed economically and gained international credibility, expectations for its music scene grew. When these expectations combined with the characteristics of new media, the spread of the Hallyu wave accelerated even further.

    Many Asian countries, including ASEAN nations, have been recognized worldwide for their rich history, culture, and tourism industry. However, in the realm of popular culture, particularly music, they had relatively low visibility. As a result, Asian popular music was considered a relatively unknown territory to many, and when they discovered that its quality exceeded expectations, it became even more appealing and captivating to a wider audience.

    Furthermore, the rise of Asian artists and listeners from the Generation Z and Millennial (MZ) generation can be attributed to the unique Asian emphasis on education and the increasing number of young individuals exposed to new media through early overseas education. As a result, a new generation has emerged, naturally embodying global standards. Now, Asia offers a diverse array of genres and trends comparable to the mainstream market, and the era of streaming is dominated by music and video platforms' playlists and algorithmic recommendations. Listeners now encounter music that reflects their tastes more than the nationality, career, or even the name of the artist.

    However, the increased opportunities and heightened expectations in the Asian music market should not be solely viewed as positive signals. In addition to English, Spanish Latin pop holds significant influence, the Middle East is rapidly investing in culture and opening up due to considerable oil resources, and China and India are combining their population power with their IT expertise. With the global pursuit of popular music globalization, every region competes as both consumers and competitors, emphasizing their unique strengths.

    This is a crucial moment that calls for proactive discussions and vibrant exchanges in the Asian pop music market, including ASEAN and Korea, to prepare for a better future. Collaborative efforts and mutual growth through active engagement are essential for the industry to thrive.

    Embracing Diverse Rhythms : Cultivating Supportive Connections in ASEAN·Korea Music Scenes

    ASEAN countries possess a vibrant tapestry of musical heritage, reflecting the diverse cultures and traditions within the region. However, this rich musical legacy often remains overshadowed and lacks the global recognition it deserves. To strengthen the sense of identity and pride among ASEAN nations, it is vital to embrace and preserve this cultural wealth.

    Recognizing the transformative power of music as more than mere entertainment, ASEAN and Korea collaborate to facilitate the exchange of information, deepens mutual understanding, and places education at the forefront.

    Through resource-sharing, joint events, festivals, digital platforms, and educational initiatives, ASEAN and Korea may foster a deeper appreciation and engagement with their diverse musical heritages. Workshops, training sessions, and knowledge-sharing empower artists and industry professionals, ensuring the growth and preservation of ASEAN-Korea musical traditions while embracing innovation.

    This comprehensive collaboration should enhance intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-Korea cooperation, digging a deeper understanding and recognition of each region's unique musical legacies. By embracing a spirit of collaboration, cultural differences would be celebrated and valued as strengths rather than perceived as obstacles. This creates opportunities for a supportive music community that embraces the richness of diverse cultures, nurtures strong community connections, and cultivates a sense of unity.

    Rooted in education and cultural exchange, this collaboration may unleash the full potential of ASEAN-Korea music scenes, cultivating a legacy of artistic brilliance and establishing a harmonious celebration of shared creativity. Together, ASEAN and Korea have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the global stage, inspiring unity and appreciation for their diverse musical tapestry.

    Promoting the role of Culture and Arts through the Musical Performing for Sustainable Development

    By background of Lao culture, music evolution and musical development in Lao PDR, Popular music in society, and promoting musical activities in ASEAN, we can find out how to promote the role of culture and arts through the musical performing for sustainable development.