KMA2016: Mini-Interview with KMA President Chang-nam Kim

As anyone that has been following this blog during the past month will have noticed, I’m very interested in the Korean Music Awards–it’s always a great joy to see so many of the artists I like get a bit of spotlight and listening through the nominated albums and songs from genres I’m not usually exposed to is a lot of fun. And diving into a bit of Korean music history through the Achievement Award is equally rewarding.

Last year when the Folk genre categories were introduced I reached out to Korean Music Awards president Chang-nam Kim to find out more through a brief interview. With the introduction of the Best Heaviness Album (최우수 헤비니스 – 음반) category this year I did the same, with professor Kim kindly answering my questions.


The Heaviness category was a welcome addition for many fans. What were the thoughts behind introducing it, and why is it limited to albums?

Whether heaviness genre should be established or not has been debated for a few years. Since heaviness genre in Korea is favored by relatively small number of fans, it has been critically alienated. As subgenre of rock, heaviness has been relatively devalued despite its quality. We decided to establish heaviness genre because we thought that it is time musical qualities of heaviness music should be properly valued. We only established album category because due to the nature of heaviness music, we considered that its musical signification is significant in the sense of album.

Why were the award winners chosen by netizens announced ahead of the awards ceremony this year?

In the process of netizen vote the poll score is open to the public thus it is likely that the result is already known before the awards.

The netizens’ votes were re-set midway this year because of fraudulent voting. How do you perceive that netizen behavior and engagement with regards to these awards has changed over the years?

Stopping and resuming netizen poll was among the most difficult. Idol fans competitively increased number of votes inappropriately. It is our mistake that we didn’t design it to authenticate identity. After the awards is finished we will discuss whether netizen poll should continue.

This year we’ll get to see the Korean Music Awards ceremony on EBS Space 공감. Can you already now say something about what will be included on the TV broadcast compared to the live stream?

We don’t know yet how EBS스페이스공감 should be broadcasted. We expect that among the entire show, important scenes such as celebration performances would be compiled and shown.

The 13th Korean Music Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, February 29. The event will be possible to live stream via EBS Space 공감 from 7pm KST. A week later a 2h cut of the ceremony will be broadcast on EBS starting at midnight between Mars 10-11. KimC will be the host whereas last year’s winners B-Free, HEO, Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon, Kim Chang Hyun, and Asian Chairshot will be performing during the evening.

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