Education First Annual International Day March 8, 2019.
Luna Speidel, Belgium
Although K Pop generally classifies “popular music” within South Korea, the term is often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of Korean pop that is influenced by styles and genres from around the world. The Asian pop singers are becoming more and more popular and, therefore, the music industry is pushing them harder so they can be at their best on stage, which is understandable. CDs, music videos and interviews have been taking their lives to a point where it becomes too much. Is it normal that at almost every concert at least one of the group members faints? Is it normal that they are doing more then 30 different dance routines per night for many months? We should take a deeper look and see if this is human abuse or not.
The multi-million dollar industry that is controlling the lives of the big stars, makes everything look so glamorous and nice. But what the fans and the outside world in general doesn’t know, is that behind that fake image the artists are working 12 hours and maybe more a day every day to make everything look perfect. This leads to a form of abuse and is often hidden by the industry itself. You can’t force someone to stay on their feet and give everything they’ve got on a stage in front of millions of their fans. The fainting and collapsing on stage is a message and gives all the hidden darkness away. The industry can’t control everything and certainly not health.
When you become someone famous in that industry, your whole life is being controlled and getting out of it is almost impossible. Things like dating and getting married are not allowed, unless the significant other is approved by the industry. Everything is made for the artists to become more famous and for that to happen every detail counts. Most of the Kpop singers need to have plastic surgery to maintain their beauty and achieve the perfect look that the fans want. But again, this is something that the entire industry keeps secret so the performers look like natural perfection. Their diets are really strict and can go to a point where these celebrities starve themselves to keep up with their perfect body image. That’s also one of the things that causes the lack of energy and fainting on stage.
With all that negativity that’s hidden, you would think that the artists make a lot of money out of it so it’s at least worth something to them, but even on that level, the Kpop stars are victims of financial exploitation. For one show, a regular Kpop group generally earns $4000, 90% of which goes to the company and 10% gets divided between the singers. The singers are also threatened with blackmail so they don’t break the contracts, which are often for long terms, and stay in the groups. In the end, it’s a really dark industry that’s is created to give people what they want so the company gets to make as much money as they can.
By Mareike Rupaner, Germany
The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an international competition in Europe. European nations must choose each year a singer, who represents their county. The best singer, who has the post points, wins the contest. He hosts the next contest in next year in May.
It all starts on the 24 March 1956 with seven nations. A very strict rule for participants was to sing in their country’s national language, but it relaxed with the year 1973. After that in 1999 the participants could sing in every language, which they want. Today it’s mostly in English.
In the contest, the participants have two options to get points. One the one hand, normal people can vote with televoting by telephone or SMS. On the other hand, there is a national jury, for each participant, which gives the other country’s points. The point’s Scala starts at 1 – 8, 10, and 12 points.
Since the 1990’s more and more countries join to the contest, so the organizer takes two semi-finals to find the Top 50. Only the “Big Five”: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are automatically in the Final. The map shows, how many and in time the nations join to the contest by decade.
Fun Fact: In 1974, ABBA wins the contest for Sweden
In 2015, the ESC celebrated 60 years anniversary. For the first time Australia joins to the contest and since that, it is very strong part in the contest.
The ESC is very important thing in Europe and in the European culture. Almost all nations of Europe join to one place, local or watching at the television. Look and enjoy the next contest. On the 12th May, 2018, the Final is in Lisbon; don’t miss it or you can watch it next year 🙂
Take a look to the official site: https://eurovision.tv/
Paula Mota – Uruguay
Edward Christopher “Ed” Sheeran is a really talented singer and songwriter, who also play the guitar. He was born on February 17, 1991, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. With only 26 years old he is doing very well in his career, everybody knows him and loves his songs.
He has a characteristic romantic and melodic style, and sometimes he does some raps too. Besides singing and writing songs, he also plays the guitar. His talent led him to compose for important artists. ‘Love Yourself’, the ‘megahit’ of Justin Bieber, is an example. Like ‘Everything has Changed’, by Taylor Swift. He also did it for One Direction with ‘Little Things’ and ‘Over Again’. Also, originally, ‘Shape of You’ was written for Rihanna.
Sheeran comes from an artist family. His father John is an art curator and his mother Imogen is a jewelry designer. Also, he has an older brother, named Matthew, who has studied music at university and is now a classical composer. He had been playing music since he was a child in Framlingham, Suffolk, a small town of 3.000 inhabitants. His childhood was not perfect. His stuttering, reddish hair and the fact that it was not good for sports made him an easy target.
Sheeran started writing music in his early teens, recording a self-made album called Spinning Man when he was thirteen in 2004. In addition to making music at home -he put out an EP titled The Orange Room in 2005- he’d busk on the streets and play whatever stage he could find. At age of sixteen, Sheeran dropped out of school to start his professional music career in London.
In ‘Take it Back’, included in the deluxe edition of his album X (2014), sings: “For four years I did not have a place to stay, but that kept me focused (…). I went from sleeping in a subway station to sleeping with a movie star (…). You found me singing in the streets when it was cold. And now I’m perspiring on stage on a sold out tour.”
Sheeran made his first steps playing comedy, hip-hop and jazz clubs, and open-mic nights. Uploaded songs to the web and thousands of students began to share their music. It did not take long to get the attention of Elton John, today his musical godfather.
Nowadays, he is paired with Cherry Seaborn, his high school sweetheart, with whom he reunited in New York. Moreover, he has a group of friends he has known since he was 10 years old. He is doing pretty well, he is on the best moment of his career, and we can see that his personal life is going really well too. I believe that a lot of good things are coming with him. So be aware!!