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2010 Music Matters Hong Kong | Exporting Asia "When Not If?" 

(HONG KONG) : Music Matters 2010 will take place over a jam-packed three day programme including face2face sessions, high-powered discussions, keynote presentations and in-depth analysis along with our fantastic and, often late night, networking events including Asian music showcases, parties, lunches and sector-themed breakfasts.

In 2010 Music Matters culminates in the inaugural "Music Matters Live" - Hong Kong's newest music festival - featuring some of the very best independent bands from around the world.

Music Matters 2009 surpassed all expectations and, going by our testimonials, clearly delivered a tremendous story for Asia's music industry. But we're not without our challenges and Music Matters 2010 will set out to unearth new business opportunities presented as the world's economies continue to move into positive territory and we invite our attendees to, once again, Plug into Asia.


Including sessions with some of Asia's and the world's most innovative and successful companies and individuals, the Music Matters programme examines the full music entertainment ecosystem in Asia. With focused panels and hard-hitting keynotes, Music Matters addresses the most important issues, challenges and opportunities that face the industry today, and promises to deliver the controversy and dynamism we do every year.


Most predict that economies of the East will continue to boom and dominate in the years to come.  As China and other Asian markets continue to increase their global influence, we will discuss the reality of Asian artists following the same path to success in Western markets.  It's not IF Asian artists will ever become popular in the West, it's WHEN. 
Steve McClure : Executive Editor, McClure's Asia Music News  
Terry McBride : CEO, Nettwerk Music Group
Atul Churamani : Vice President, Seregama India Limited
Bernie Cho : President, DFSB Kollective
Gary Mackenzie : Co-Founder & Business Development and Strategy Director, Valleyarm  
Daniel DiCicco : President, Sony Music Entertainment Asia
Gao Xiaosong : Songwriter & Producer
Seymour Stein : CEO & Co-Founder, Sire Records / VP, Warner Bros Records

Korea Representative/Featured Conference Panelist : DFSB Kollective (Bernie Cho)


MTV Iggy : The 25 Best New Bands In The World 

(NEW YORK CITY USA) : For every amazing new band there's at least a drillion terrible ones. So to save you time, here is our totally subjective list of the 25 Best New Bands In The World. From Chinese no wave to New Zealand dance-punk to home-growned Brooklyn indie rock we've got it all. Take a look at what we came up with -- and see who, you, the viewers voted for as the Best of the Best. The band who got the most votes will get an MTV Iggy weekend homepage takeover and a studio taping next time they roll through New York City!


It's the 21st century. Regular old bands that just play music are so old-fashioned. We prefer our bands to follow the model of Mad Soul Child: One part dance-floor ready electro, one part sexy diva singer, and one part visual feast. Because yes, the trio that makes up Korea's most revolutionary pop-electro is made up of a DJ, a Diva, and a Music Video Director -- who at each show plays visuals to correspond to the tunes. Both impossible not to dance to and impossible not to watch; Mad Soul Child is the perfect mind-boggling smorgasbord of awesome in our over-stimulated culture.

Mad Soul Child was formed in 2001 by savvy electro genius DJ Chanwoo as way to get out from behind the tables and into the lime-light. Recruiting statuesque vocalist Jansil was step one. Convincing his old friend VJ Kwon to direct the visuals was step two. They've since collaborated with K-Pop royalty such as Lee Hyori and Jo Sungmo and gained a reputation as the go-to soundtrack for tons of TV ads. But that was all groundwork for their 2009 debut, La La La, a catchy, hook-filled album of jewel-toned electro, topped with Jansil's sly, sultry vocals.

On their big hit, "V.I.P. Girl" Jansil acts like the Korean Madonna, singing her own version of "Like a Virgin." "Kiss and touch," she sings breathily. "We gotta go on that runway." Yes, they do. Appearing at America's CMJ Music Festival last year they kicked off an international reputation that is still growing. We think they're set to get bigger than ever in 2010.

EXCLUSIVE MAD SOUL CHILD INTERVIEW : "The visuals are essential."

MTV IggyExclusive Mad Soul Child interview: "The visuals are essential."
Mad Soul Child

Mad Soul Child, AKA DJ Chanwoo, Jinsil and VJ Kwon sit down tell us about how they formed and what to expect from their live show.


MTV IggyMad Soul Child - "VIP Girl"
Mad Soul Child

Hailing straight from Korea, Mad Soul Child consists of DJ Chanwoo, VJ Kwon, and Jinsil on vocals. Formed in 2001, and active in the Korean music scene ever since, Mad Soul Child spin together electronic beats and Jinsil's alluring voice that flows freely from Korean to English and back. Their catchy tunes never seem to want to leave your head. "VIP Girl" is a single from the band's debut album “La La La" released in 2009.

Featured Artist : Mad Soul Child
Artist Management : Mad Soul Child

International Digital Music Distribution : DFSB Kollective


10 Magazine (03/2010) : Life in Korea - 10 Questions

Bernie Cho: President of DFSB Kollective

By David Carruth

1. As a Korean-American who grew up in the States, what was it like making the transition to Korea? When I grew up in the US, I always lived in sleepy countryside towns. Moving to Seoul was like stepping onto the set of Blade Runner—way too many bright lights in this big city. The noise, the crowds, and the speed of Seoul were a bit overwhelming at first. But daily reminders such as taking off my shoes at the front door, having kimchi served with almost every meal, and getting yelled at in Korean all the time made me feel at home.

2. How did you get involved with the music industry? I originally came here in 1993 to attend graduate school. When I crashed a movie launch party one night, I happened to meet an executive who asked me to apply for a job at his new music TV channel. On a whim, I went in for an interview and somehow ended up getting hired. So a week before classes started, I dropped out and never looked back. Over the next dozen years, I worked both in front of and behind the cameras as a presenter and producer for Korean music TV channels such as MNET, MTV, and Channel [V]. Thanks to such opportunities, I’ve had amazing front row views and backstage stage access to the rapid rise of the K-Pop music scene.

3. So how has K-Pop developed over the past fifteen years?
The first K-Pop music clips I saw on TV felt like cheesy, kitschy karaoke—I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But then, surprisingly, the quality of K-Pop music improved dramatically. Imitation gave way to innovation. Thanks to the emergence of slick beats, sexy stars, and sophisticated videos, K-Pop became hip, hot, and happening. Within a decade, K-Pop dominated almost 70% of the Korean music market. By the time the 2002 World Cup kicked in, K-Pop artists were topping music charts all over Asia. Fast forward to 2010 and K-Pop is now starting to climb the charts in North America and Europe.

4. What does “DFSB Kollective” stand for? “DFSB” is a semi-meaningless, pseudo-heavy acronym of our favorite Fatboy Slim song chorus, “Da Funk Soul Bruthas.” Being that we were a bunch of guys from Seoul, it kinda sorta made sense. Over drinks, it sometimes gets misinterpreted as “Delta Force Seoul Base.” Over a lot of drinks, some people try to confuse it with the popular boy band Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK).

5. What led you to start this agency?
Over the years, my business partner Dalse and I developed not only professional but also personal relationships with many Korean artists and their management. What we kept hearing was a growing sense of frustration. Although no one would argue the quality of Korean music was getting better, the financial incentives to make great music seemed to be getting worse. They had to spend more time and money in marketing, only to make less profit, and split it with more people and places. Korean music TV channels were playing less videos in favor of reality TV shows and local online music stores were pricedumping digital tracks practically to free. This kind of business logic seemed dyslexic to us. As fans of music, we felt compelled to create a more sensible, sustainable, artist-friendly business model. Hence, we opened our creative agency.

6. So what exactly does DFSB Kollective do?
For Korean artists and management companies who want to go direct to their fans and go direct worldwide, we are a convenient, one-stop shop. We essentially provide label-like services without being a label. As the first official K-Pop aggregator for iTunes worldwide, we offer them the most direct distribution avenues into the most international digital music stores. We strike revenue-sharing deals with the world’s leading audio and video streaming sites on behalf of the 150 K-Pop acts that we represent, and we offer our clients overseas PR, concert productions, and a wide range of digital media solutions. And given that we not only offer 15% more but 15 times more in profit for every digital music sale overseas (compared to what they make in Korea), we provide non-rocket science reasons for them to work with us.

7. Just how important is the internet to artists these days?
In this day and age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, anybody anywhere at any time can become the next big thing. If the Korean Wave is to shift from fad to phenomenon among those surfing the net, we need to empower K-Pop artists with the right combination of digital tools to enable music fans all over the world to discover them in a simpler, better, faster manner.

8. How would you describe the Korean digital market? DMZ: Digital Media Zeitgeist. In 2006, Korea became the first country in the world where digital music sales surpassed physical music sales. By 2007, Korea emerged as the #4 digital music market in the world. But below these staggering sales numbers are some hidden landmines. Although Korea is admired as one of the most wired (and wireless) societies in the world, the Korean internet has spawned a virtual walled garden that hinders non-Koreans from finding out more about K-Pop. Local portal sites’ reliance on ActiveX plug-ins makes it tough to preview and purchase K-Pop music from overseas and their reluctance to let foreigners register makes it rough for them to access K-Pop fan clubs. As much as K-Pop has surged in popularity in Asia and beyond, I wonder how much bigger K-Pop would be if Korean websites were more open and in tune with global standards and practices.
9. What is your personal opinion on Hallyu, the so-called Korean Wave? I’m very optimistic. But try asking 10 non-Asians to pronounce ‘Hallyu’ and see how many can pronounce it correctly and how many even know what it is. Until a bad hair perm takes on the name, I think it’s a lot safer and easier to sell K-Pop as part of the “Korean Wave.”

10. What advice would you give to a newcomer to Korea who wants to explore the indie music scene? If you’re on the ground and want to go underground, the only answer is Hongdae. It’s the mecca for Korea’s best and brightest new music talents. If you’re looking for some action in outdoor mosh pits, you can’t go wrong checking out amazing events like the Pentaport Rock Festival, Jisan Valley Festival, and Green Mint Festival. If you’re online, I recommend the quirky site Indieful ROK (indiefulrok.blogspot.com), run by a woman in Sweden (no joke) and the US-based sites AllKPop (allkpop.com) and Soompi (soompi.com), both of which generate way higher web traffic than any and all Korean music sites in Korea (go figure).


Monocle Magazine (11.2009) | Culture Report - How To Be A Band In 2010

By Robert Bound

Rock stars are now essentially CEOs of their own small (and big businesses). Learn how to harness patrons, sponsorship and the digital revolution, and you could soon be selling out, without selling out.

Pro Tip 04 Bernie Cho
President of DFSB Kollective entertainment agency South Korea

iPhone apps are an artist’s new A&R ally. Internet radio services, such as Spotify, are available as apps and reward artists with a new “Pay2Play” business. Apps such as Shazam make music discovery easy. And for artists wishing to connect directly with fans, app development costs are dropping because it’s hot."


Featured Commentator : DFSB Kollective (Bernie Cho)


Lift Asia 09 Conference | Serious Fun! (The Social Web, A Place Only For Friends?)

(JEJU KR) : Social networks, online games, robots, communicating objects: these technologies and services were originally designed for entertainment purposes. They are now giving birth to a whole new range of opportunities and challenges. Games are used for education. Robots are linking patients and doctors. Social networks are the playground of marketers and recruiters.

올해 ‘Lift Asia 09’에서는 혁신, 사회 변화, 경영, 비즈니스, 디자인 및 교육 등 다양한 적용될 수 있는 기회 및 가치에 대해 이야기 하고자 합니다. 보다 자세한 내용은 프로그램을 확인하시기 바랍니다.

Are these "fun" technologies changing as they become more and more "serious"? What new opportunities and challenges are arising from this ecosystem in the making?

본래 학문적인 목적으로 시작된 인터넷은 거대한 비즈니스 플랫폼으로 변신한 뒤 현재는 엔터테인먼트 무대로 활용 중입니다. 인터넷 사용자들은 웹에서 재미를 찾고, 휴대폰으로 가상 공간에 접속하며, 로봇이나 네트워크 객체와 교류합니다.

Lift Asia 09 will explore these questions, and focus on the examples provided by communicating objects, social networks, design, architecture, storytelling and community engagement. The conference will also feature an open program where members of the audience can present their ideas and projects, and we will have our traditional sessions on sustainable development and inspiring stories.

우리는 이러한 서비스와 플랫폼이 단순한 레저 수단을 뛰어 넘을 것을 확신합니다. 비즈니스, 교육 등 다른 분야로 확산되어 새로운 사회적 관행을 낳고 혁신을 주도하게 될 것입니다.

Session 4: The Social Web, A Place Only For Friends? 소셜 웹, 친구관계의 공간?

Online communities and social networks have been around for a while, and we start to have a pretty good sense of the opportunities and issues they create. Beyond collecting a maximum number of friends, social networks are where big companies try to advertise and control their brands, where a picture can make or break a career, where users increasingly broadcast rather than socialize.

온 라인 커뮤니티와 소셜 웹은 한동안 존재해 왔고, 우리는 이것으로부터 생겨나는 기회와 이슈에 대해 어느 정도 인지하고 있습니다. 많은 친구와 관계 맺는 것을 넘어서서, 소셔웹은 이제 대기업이 브랜드를 광고하고 관리하는 공간이 되었고, 업로드 된 사진 한 장으로 직업을 얻거나 잃는 경우도 생기고, 유저들이 사회적으로 활동하기 보다 정보를 퍼뜨리는 공간이 되고 있습니다.

What are the new models emerging? Are we forced to participate? How to deal with a world whose rules are still being written?

앞으로는 어떠한 새로운 모델이 나타날까요? 우리가 참여하도록 강요 당하고 있는것일까요? 아직도 글로 쓰는 것이 편한 사람들에게는 어떻게 대처해야 할까요?


• Jean-Henry Morin, Digital Rights Management Guru, Professor at the University of Geneva, former professor at Korea University
• Benjamin Joffe, Beijing-based Social Media Specialist and CEO of +8*
• Patrice Nordey, Trendspotter, Asian director of think tank L'Atelier
Bernie Cho, New Media Innovator, President/Strategic Planning Director at DFSB Kollective


Conference Speaker : DFSB Kollective (Bernie Cho)
Conference Photos : courtesy of Creative Commons (Jinho Jung)