Producers and managers at CJ ENM and singer Jeon Somi, second from right, pose for photos during a press conference held on Wednesday in southern Seoul as a preview to the upcoming 2023 MAMA Awards music ceremony set to take place on Nov. 28 and 29. [CJ ENM]
This year’s upcoming MAMA Awards will take place on Nov. 28 and 29 at Tokyo Dome, the largest indoor music venue in Japan. But soon, the awards ceremony will take place outside of Asia and ultimately in the United States — or so the awards’ organizer CJ ENM hopes.
“K-pop is now being consumed globally and becoming a trend worldwide, which means that we can hold the award ceremony wherever there is demand — not just in Asia or any specific region,” Lee Sun-hyung, the live entertainment content planning manager at CJ ENM, told reporters in a press conference held Wednesday in an event held as a preview to the 2023 MAMA Awards.
“Our ultimate goal is to become the No. 1 K-pop music awards ceremony in the world. Should a region be fitting for that goal, then we are open to all options.”
The MAMA Awards was originally known by its full name “Mnet Asian Music Awards,” referring to the music-focused cable network Mnet that is operated by CJ ENM. The ceremony rebranded its name to MAMA Awards last year in hopes of expanding beyond Asia.
MAMA’s ambition to venture into the U.S. market was first proclaimed last year during the 2022 MAMA Awards preview, where Kim Hyun-soo, head of music content at CJ ENM, announced that the company will aim to make a U.S. debut within three years.
Singer Jeon Somi, one of the co-hosts of this year’s MAMA Awards, answers questions from reporters during a press conference held on Wednesday in southern Seoul as a preview to the upcoming 2023 MAMA Awards music ceremony set to take place on Nov. 28 and 29. [CJ ENM]
Producers declined to answer whether they are on par with the timeline, but still emphasized that entering the United States is indeed the main goal. Holding this year’s event in Japan’s largest venue is the very expression of that intent, according to Lee.
“The reason we’re holding it in Japan is because it has the second largest music market in the world, following the United States, which is the largest by far and a very important market for us,” he said.
This will be the first time for a Korean music award ceremony to be held at the largest indoor stadium in Japan. The venue can seat up to 55,000 people at once and is considered a teller of how big a K-pop star is depending on whether they’re popular enough to fill the stadium for their concerts or not.
“We’ll be filling the whole Tokyo Dome, but on top of that, we’ll also be streaming the event live to 200 countries around the world,” said Park Chan-uk, the general manager of Mnet. “We’ll be using the latest technology such as augmented reality to make sure that the performances are delivered to their best and to enhance the visual elements for the audiences to truly be immersed in the event.”
The theme of this year’s award ceremony will be “One I Born,” referring to “I,” who is unique in itself, meeting with MAMA to together become “One,” CJ ENM explained in a press release. Simply put, individuals around the world will come together through the power of music and become one.
Park Chan-uk, general manager of Mnet, answers questions from reporters during a press conference held on Wednesday in southern Seoul as a preview to the upcoming 2023 MAMA Awards music ceremony set to take place on Nov. 28 and 29. [CJ ENM]
Lee Sun-hyung, live entertainment content planning manager at CJ ENM, answers questions from reporters during a press conference held on Wednesday in southern Seoul as a preview to the upcoming 2023 MAMA Awards music ceremony set to take place on Nov. 28 and 29. [CJ ENM]
Having started in 1999, MAMA Awards is known as one of the largest and most popular award ceremonies in K-pop alongside Golden Disc Awards, Melon Music Awards, Korean Music Awards and Seoul Music Awards.
The first lineup of artists to perform at this year’s MAMA was announced last month: K-pop bands Ateez, INI, J01, NiziU, Riize, TVXQ!, xikers, ZeroBaseOne, &Team, BoyNextDoor, EL7Z UP, Enhypen, (G)I-DLE, Kep1er, Le Sserafim, Seventeen and Tomorrow X Together. Dance crews from Mnet’s recently-wrapped-up dance face-off program “Street Woman Fighter 2” were also invited.
Freshly added to the list on Wednesday were boy bands Treasure and Just B, hip-hop duo Dynamicduo, rapper Lee Young-ji and dancer Monika.
K-pop artist Jeon Somi and actor Park Bo-gum, who hosted the show last year, will return once again as co-hosts for this year’s ceremony. Jeon will be hosting the first day and Park the second day. Park had also hosted the MAMA Awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The award ceremony will be broadcast on Mnet and streamed live worldwide through YouTube channels: Mnet K-POP, Mnet TV, KCON official and M2.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]