Peter Ho missed out on covering Wonder Girls' "Nobody"

Singers love singing covers. Not only does it give a fresh experience, but Rock Records artists Yuki Hsu, Tarcy Su, and Alex To owe their pop music existences to their covers of K-pop songs back in the day. Not only has the K-pop wave been sweeping East Asia, but Taiwanese covers of K-pop songs have been a trend.

So while songs from the South Korean side are achieving high-profile status, obtaining the rights to cover those songs are hard to come by.  So why bother with outsourcing music from South Korea? A veteran agent in the music industry emphasized that it really isn't about blindly conforming to the trend, but instead that "there's too few Taiwanese producers that can write uptempo songs!"

In Peter Ho's song "I Remember I Once Loved", which is a cover of South Korean singer Baek Ji-young's "Like Being Shot by a Bullet, discussions with the original copyright owners for one-year exclusive usage of the song yielded a price tag exceeding US$7,000, a considerable sum. The music industry agent stated that when choosing the song, the country of origin is not factored into the equation, and that after listening to over thousands of songs from Europe, the US, and East Asia, as long as it has that intensity would he not hesitate in buying the song rights.

Peter Ho's "I Remember I Once Loved" (Baek Ji-young cover):

The style of Korean songs are quite distinctive, with their uptempo songs having a lively electronic feel, and their slow songs exhibiting a strong momentum that matches the flow of a televised drama's plot, which is why Peter's cover song is the theme song to his idol drama "Summer's Desire".

Peter's agent expressed that before Wonder Girls' "Nobody" became popular in Taiwan, he was competing for the cover rights of the song, but Peter missed out on the chance when the Korean side had politely declined due to "preparations for their own Chinese cover".

Another example is when Lachie Rutherford, president of Warner Music Asia Pacific, became a huge fan of the tear-provoking tune "Unable to Have You (가질수없는너)" by South Korean singer Bank. She was so interested in the song that she had it adapted into Chinese Mandarin as "Stone That Knows Pain (會痛的石頭)" by one of her company's signed artists, Taiwanese singer Jam Hsiao. An individual responsible for the planning expressed that although the song is catchy, it was not selected as the title song. "In the past, it was prevalent to cover songs, but now we work hard to pursue original music."

Jam Hsiao's "Stone That Knows Pain" (Bank cover):

With the push for songs from their own country's music, it is difficult for domestic veteran singers to escape the misgivings of covering songs, while comparatively lesser-known young artists lack that burden. For example, Singaporean singer Jocie Guo covered South Korean groups Davichi's "8282" and Wonder Girls' "Tell Me". Taiwanese singer Yao Yao herself covered South Korean group KARA's "Honey", which promoted her dance music element and further molded her cute image.

A music industry insider divulged that when they reject plans to cover a K-pop that they originally coveted, they look outside the nature of the song itself. This includes factors such as the high cost of the rights that would result in higher production costs. The South Korean side may also request to do a background check of the candidate singer planning to cover the song, as well as the content of the translations to the original song, which can be a time-consuming affair lasting several days.

Jocie Guo's "Tell Me" (Wonder Girls cover):

As music listeners are scrambling for good songs, artists not only fear having a song become a dud, but they also fear a song accused of being plagiarized even more. An individual behind the scenes commented that it would be better for Taiwanese group Lollipop to take the best elements of their image from European and American groups, and to refrain from resembling South Korea groups.

Inspired from American music, South Korea music is a fusion of elements from the east and west. As Show Luo makes preparations for a new album, not only has he invited music industry experts from Canada and Europe to help produce original content, but he has also invited those from South Korea as well for a K-pop style. What is most important, according to the Taiwanese singer, is to keep up with then trends from around the world.

Show Luo's "Do You Dare" (F-iv cover):

Source: UDN

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