Columbia Student Forms K-POP Boy Band With No Koreans in Sight

Bora Kim, an “interdisciplinary artist and sociologist from Seoul, Korea,” is attempting the impossible: to get her non-Korean boy band creation to break into K-pop stardom in Korea.

The Columbia University graduate student signed up 6 talented young men who went through an audition and selection process that she and her associates, Karin Kuroda and Samantha Shao, have prepared.

The project is a result of her thesis titled, “I’m Making a Boy Band,” which branched out into a successful Kickstarter campaign that allowed her to raise enough seed money to make a boy band.

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The band, whose name EXP came from the first three letters of the word “experiment,” is composed of five members — Hunter, Koki, Frankie, Sime and Tarion. They all came from different parts of the world like Hong Kong, Croatia, and the United States.

Kim and her team intentionally groomed the members in the mold of a typical K-pop boy band with a mission to find out whether their creation would be accepted in the “K-pop” world even without Korean artists, RocketNews24 reported.

Part of their motive is also to discover what impact a team of women producers can add to a group of guys whose market is their own gender.

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So far K-pop fans from around the globe have already provided their opinion on the subject and unfortunately, a significant number of them have been negative.

The group’s first single, LUV/WRONG, has earned the group quite a number of racial and homophobic slurs. Fans of the ultra popular Korean-Chinese boy band EXO have also accused them of copying their idols’ tunes.

The members, who have remained optimistic despite their early detractors, have so far released two singles. The boys have reportedly been studying the Korean language and culture by taking daily two-hour lessons from Kim to prepare for their biggest test yet: their first trip to Korea as EXP.

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If things go well, the band may land interviews, media appearances, and others. Their mini-album, funded through Kickstarter, is scheduled to be released on their arrival.

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