What might have seemed like hopeful is now becoming possible as Asia is opening up to Philippine artists thanks to the impact that Charice has had on the music scene in the area.
Charice has made significant inroads in Asia, particular in the traditionally difficult markets of Japan and South Korea. She released her album “Charice” in Japan in July, saw it peak at No 6 in the Oricon Charts and gain a gold certificate. But, she had released her album in South Korea two months earlier, and saw it peak at No 3 in the Goan Charts.
Several other Filipino artists have tried to take on the world, with RnB and jazz artist Kyla going so far as to win the MTV International Viewer’s Choice Awards for South East Asia in 2001. However, only Charice has actually released an album in either Japan or South Korea.
Buoyed by Charice’s success, another artist, Juris Fernandez, has decided to try to break into the South Korean market and in November released her 6-track EP “If You and Me,” which features 2 English covers of Korean hits.
Juris is not a newcomer to the music scene, and her current album, “Now Playing,” has already gone gold in the Philippines. Yet, she is apprehensive about how successful she’ll be in mirroring Charice’s success there.
In a recent interview, the experienced former lead singer of MYMP admitted that she can’t compete with Charice’s brand of performances, but was hopeful that she could find a following in the northern Asian nation.
“Well, I’m not Charice,” she laughed, knowing that as a 30-year-old she will not appeal to quite the same market share. “I can’t sing in as high a voice as Charice. I just hope they’ll like a normal voice.”
According to Juris, it was her EP’s Korean producer that approached her record company with an offer. Now, plans to release a full album there later this year are being considered.
Charice was a major hit with South Korean audiences when she made her first appearance on the TV show “Star King” in October, 2007. She may only have been 15 years old, but her performance left the studio audience in raptures, and viewers at home excited. So much so, in fact, that she was invited back on “Star King” on December 28, as the Most Requested Foreign Act.
No other foreigner has had quite the same effect, and she was even brought back onto the show for an unprecedented third time when she was on her Asian promotional tour in July last year.
Juris’ attempt is a daring one but is a clear sign that, since the rise of Charice, Asian markets that were traditional tough nuts to crack have become more receptive to Philippine artists.
By Robert Sheen, Charicemania.com