After my Speed opus, I’m proud. Proud in the piece itself, but also proud of those four women. I was able to convey my admiration for them in a piece that was more than a couple thousand words which could be summed up as, “TOZ loves Speed!”
But how many other Asian Pop acts could I write about in the same way? How many are there I could write a theoretical spiritual successor piece about? The criteria/recipe that made the Speed article worthwhile for me were:
- Prior knowledge/Willing to research
This is critical. Just being a fan I already had that prior knowledge. But, I wanted to go digging around to fill in the gaps. Not only to make sure the writing would be credible, but also it ended up being fun trying to find random TV interviews and the like.
One of the major points in the piece was that Speed had a career to look back upon and refer to. It’s important to me that I could do the same. Not to say to write something about a group that is relatively new doesn’t have it’s own appeal, but I want to be able to write with more facts than fabricated fiction.
- Being a fan
Obvious, but still needs to be addressed. If I wasn’t a dedicated enough fan of Speed, there’s no way I would’ve began to do the work for the writing. There are tons of various groups and soloists I am a fan of, but I have to care enough to dedicate serious time to it. Without it, every other bullet point is useless.
How many other Asian pop acts fulfill that criteria?
- Morning Musume (Up to 2008 or so)
- Utada Hikaru
- Girls’ Generation (?)
That’s probably it.
There are plenty of acts that I am certainly fans of. But for groups like Secret and T-ara, they are still too new. Brown Eyed Girls, while have been in the game a bit longer, they don’t quite resonate with me enough to write a spiritual successor piece about. Both BoA and Namie have much longer careers, but again, I’m not quite there as a fan. (It pains me to say that.)
We are left with four.
While I don’t follow Morning Musume or H!P actively as I once did, I still have a reverence for the previous flavors of MM. The name certainly has the longevity, and I have no qualms about revisiting classic MM material.
Same for Utada. Especially since she’s been on hiatus, there is a (hopefully temporary) finality to her music career that I can dive into. Plus, I know there are prime Utada videos and other material I don’t know exist yet.
Girls’ Generation is the anomaly on that list. Technically, they don’t fulfill the longevity aspect (since they debuted in 2007). But, I’m still a pretty big fan of the group. Genie was the last single/moment where I was excited about their music. From then on, they just haven’t grabbed my ears in the same way. Yet, when they put out a new video or new music, I’m there. I want to be there. Weirdly, I miss when I was, well, obsessed with them. The catalyst for that was the music. On Selective Hearing, I’ve worked on three separate articles related to SNSD. It’s taken this brainstorming session to realize that I want to back to being obsessed with them.
S.H.E stands out cause they are the only C-pop group. They have been in my ears as long as MM, Utada, or Speed has. I can’t deny them. My prior knowledge of them isn’t on par as with the others on the list, but the ceiling for the research is much higher. Plus, I can get back to trying to learn Mandarin again.
Looking at the list of four, two of them pique my interest for an article.
I’m cutting Morning Musume and SNSD.
Because I’ve done multiple pieces on SNSD, it would be a bit redundant to revisit them. While doing some sort of MM article would definitely be fun to work on, they simply fall compared to my interest to work on a Utada or S.H.E piece.
That was a look into my though process as I look for a possible feature article. I haven’t committed to any writing about Utada or S.H.E, but if I decide to work on another feature, either of them are very viable subjects. Nor could I guarantee that I might write about another person or group. I could swing the other way and write yet another piece on SNSD or write about MM.
So what was this post all about? I wanted to share some of the things I think about working on for Selective Hearing. If you want to read something about Utada or S.H.E, please post in the comments. I would love the audience narrow my focus.