The Student News Site of Los Osos High School

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Americans can be K-pop idols?! A2K

Photo Credit: Teen Vogue

America to Korea, or A2K, is a new global girl group series created by Jin-young Park (JYP) Entertainment. It is a boot camp to train Americans to become Korean music idols, better known as K-pop idols. 

Jeff Benjamin from Billboard said that “A2K launched its own American Idol-style auditions, bringing Park to Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles to select contestants to attend an L.A. ‘boot camp’ […] with semifinalists then flying to JYP Entertainment’s Seoul headquarters” to further their training and possibly become a K-pop idol. This show has recently exploded, reaching over 30 million views. 

While many Americans have gained an interest in K-pop, it was admired from a distance, and not many saw it as a potential career.

In A2K, we can watch trainees from all around the United States perform and work hard to be able to go to Korea. This new show gave hope to Americans who love K-pop just as much as Koreans and helped many, especially those who made it to the boot camp, realize that their dreams of becoming K-pop stars are within reach. 

JYP Entertainment “vowed to jointly produce ‘the first American artist made out of the K-pop system’,” said Benjamin. If this promise is kept, Americans’ interest in K-pop will increase greatly, and it could be the birth of many new American K-pop idols. 

The A2K series has also helped many recruiters find out that a diverse K-pop group actually has numerous benefits. For example, during the star quality test in A2K episodes nine and ten, many of the contestants were able to speak multiple languages. JYP felt that it was a really great quality to have in a group setting.

One of my favorite contestants Camila Ribeaux Valdes is a Cubana from Canada. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. Valdes loved singing throughout her childhood and participated in many competitions in the past.  

When the A2K opportunity came along, it opened many doors for her, some of which she never envisioned before.

Now that Valdes has proven herself in Los Angeles, she is training hard in Korea. She is one step closer to her goal of becoming a K-pop idol. On top of being able to showcase her talent, Valdes also helped broaden the diversity of the K-pop world.

The point of A2K is not just to entertain millions of people around the globe, but also to spread awareness that people don’t have to be Korean to be a K-pop idol. John Yang, an executive who has been in the Korean music business for 15 years, said, “I see this less as where [K-pop was] made, but more of who made it and how it’s produced.” 

The world is changing very quickly and merging as a whole. Music and art from different cultures now can be appreciated everywhere. With an open mind, a plethora of an amazing generation of artists will be born.

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette

Your donation will support the student journalists of Los Osos High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette