Monday, September 01, 2014

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As part of Asian-American Heritage Week, NY1's Lewis Dodley looks at some Korean entertainers who are working to make it big in the United States.

Korean Sound Wave: Korean-American Star's Popularity Extends To New York

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Korean-American recording artist Jay Park not only has millions of fans across Asia and is also developing a following in the United States, particularly in New York. NY1's Lewis Dodley filed this report as part of Asian-American Heritage Week.

He's a singer, dancer and rapper but his fans say that still doesn't begin to describe Jay Park's talent.

The 25-year-old Korean-American phenom has millions of fans across Asia. But if you want proof of his popularity in New York, look no further than a line for his recent concert in Midtown that wound around the corner and stretched for several blocks 8 hours before the show.

"I guess I'm a really dedicated Jay Park fan," said one fan who waited for over 24 hours for tickets. "I don't want to take the chance that anyone else got those front-row seats. I'm making sure I'm here first."

"He's like a triple threat," said another fan. "I love him. And I love his tattoos too. They're really nice.

"He's such a good dancer and a good singer and he has a great personality," said another. "I like his personality."

"I speak both English and Korean," Park said. "I'm writing songs in both English and Korean. I do rap, I dance, I sing. I do a whole bunch of things. I just feel like I'm a whole new breed of artist."

Park's solo career took off after he emerged on the Internet with a cover of BoB – Bruno Mars' hit "Nothing on You" – sung in his parents' bathroom. It got 2 million YouTube hits in less than a day.

"You sense that there's a little something deeper, which I think we want as an American audience and what Korean-Americans want to see from their pop stars," said Minya Oh of Miss Info. "They want to see behind the gloss."

Now, Park is among a growing list of Asian-American entertainers like Far East Movement, who topped the Billboard charts for a while and Aziatics, who are driven by the catchy raps of Queens native Flowsik.

Park is taking off with his his primarily Korean CD "New Breed," with an English CD to follow. Park says that if mainstream success comes, it'll just happen.

"I was born in the States," he said. "I grew up listening to hip-hop and R&B in the States. When I make music, it's what comes out naturally."

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