When the nominees for the 12th Korean Music Awards were announced a couple of weeks ago it was the first time since 2009 that all-new categories were introduced: Best Folk Album (최우수 포크 – 음반) and Best Folk Song (최우수 포크 – 노래). A few hours earlier a Tumblbug campaign to sponsor this year’s prices had been launched–a campaigned that closed successfully few days ago. Curious to find out more about both I reached out to Chang-nam Kim, the president of the Korean Music Awards, to find some answers.
Why were the Folk categories introduced? Were any other new awards discussed?
We founded the Folk category because we decided that since folk pop/rock songs have been ceaselessly released, folk became a significant genre in the Korean pop music scene. It has been continuously suggested that the folk genre must be founded since the earlier days of KMA. But there also have been objections that naming certain songs folk in Kpop wasn’t appropriate, while we figured there weren’t a legitimate amount of musical products so it has been postponed. Meanwhile folk-oriented songs were categorized as pop or modern rock. Recently acoustic-guitar-based folk music gained success and critical acclaim. So we made the folk category.
The Tumblbug campaign to fund this year’s price statuettes appears to be going well. Where did the idea for crowdfunding come from?
The biggest difficulty KMA has to endure is lack of financial security. We have to look for sponsorship annually which is hard work. This time we got a certain amount of support from KT&G but still it’s not satisfactory. Tumblbug crowd funding is considered a good way of getting support and promotion.
What would you say are and have been the Korean Music Awards’ most important contributions to Korean music?
One of the biggest contributions KMA has made is introducing music which couldn’t be seen or heard on TV to the public and gave them chance to have a listen to the music. Currently there are many kinds of music in the Kpop scene but only mainstream pop and dance are broadcasted. KMA’s main goal is to diversify the Kpop scene.
What is your dream for the future of the Korean Music Awards?
I wish KMA would have authority like that of the Grammy Awards. If then, the Korean pop music scene would be very much developed in diverse aspects.
I wish the very same for the awards. Many thanks to Chang-nam Kim for taking the time to answer my questions in spite of a no doubt very busy schedule.
The winners of the Korean Music Awards 2015 will be announced during the awards ceremony on February 26th. The ceremony will be held at Mapo Art Center with the two members of Okdal as hosts. Last year’s winners Oki Kim, Rock’N’Roll Radio, Sunwoo Jung-A, Yellow Monsters and Yoon Young Bae will be performing during the event.
If you have a Daum account you can yourself contribute to the result by voting in the Netizens’ Choice categories. And if you like Sangha and myself find predicting KMA winners to be a fun activity, please don’t hesitate to give it a go and share your picks through IROK’s readers’ KMA predictions poll.