More and more international stars branching out to Korea

March 4, 2016
Miljenko Matijevic from MBC's "King of Mask Singers," left, and as a member of American rock band Steelheart

Miljenko Matijevic from MBC’s “King of Mask Singers,” left, and as a member of American rock band Steelheart

By Ko Dong-hwan

More and more popular overseas musicians are looking to Korea to extend their Asian fandom.

The latest star to do this is Miljenko Matijevic from American rock band Steelheart. The Croatian-American star began his musical career in Korea on the TV singing talent quest “King of Mast Singer” late last month. The first foreign artist to appear on the MBC program, he drew cheers from the audience by performing K-pop songs and the band’s hit number “She’s Gone.”

Matijevic recently signed with Seoul-based entertainment agency Bad Boss Company.

Eric Benet

Eric Benet

American R&B and soul singer-songwriter Eric Benet late last month released his rendition of K-pop boy band Brown Eyed Soul’s 2003 number “I Love You.” With this remake, the star with four Grammy nominations reached No.1 spot on Mnet’s real-time Korean music chart, a rare occurrence for a foreign artist here.

Filipino-American musician Jeff Bernat has already established a fan base here and last month held a two-day concert in Blue Square, Seoul, after releasing in January his third studio album “In the Meantime” in January. His hit “Queen” from the album took No.1 spot here and he also featured on K-pop rookie McKay’s single “Angle 2 Me” released February 2015.

Jeff Bernat, left, and Kings of Convenience

Jeff Bernat, left, and Kings of Convenience

British singer songwriter Mika, who has Korean nickname “Kim Mi-ka,” toured Korea this year, performing in Seoul Pusan and Daegu. Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice and Norwegian folk duo band Kings of Convenience will also make themselves known here at “Seoul Jazz Festival Royal Night Out 2016″ in May.

Mika, left, and Damien Rice

Mika, left, and Damien Rice

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