2016 may have been a “Second Kpopcalypse,” but in its own unique way, it was also a very productive year for K-pop too. We have experienced the debuts of some of the best rookie groups K-pop has ever had, including NCT (U, 127, Dream), Pentagon, Astro, and Black Pink. We also experienced K.A.R.D., a co-ed group who might be the first to attain K-pop idol status. So far, collaborations are what stand out the most about this year.
SM Entertainment led the way with collaborations this year thanks to SM Station. Because of it, entertainment companies and labels were able to work together. SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment collaborated together in which Hyoeyon of Girls’ Generation, Min of Miss A, and Jo Kwon of 2AM formed Triple T and performed “Born to be Wild.” The “Nation’s MC” Yoo Jae Suk collaborated with EXO to perform “Dancing King.” Also, SM Station has further pushed K-pop to be a device for promotion. “Taste the Feeling” by NCT 127 promotes Coca-Cola while “Secret” by Yuri and Seohyun of Girls’ Generation promotes Pantene.
However, the collaborations with the most expansion or at least the biggest impact for K-pop are international. Far East Movement is a prime example of this as their latest studio album Identity featured many Korean musicians, including Yoon Mi Rae of MFBTY, Chanyeol of EXO, Jay Park, Loco, Urban Zakapa, Hyolyn of Sistar, and Tiffany of Girls’ Generation. Now, the next big international collaboration with a K-pop star features Wendy. The K-pop idol of Red Velvet will be featured in the English version of “Vente Pa’ Ca” by Ricky Martin.
Wendy of Red Velvet collaborating with Ricky Martin on the English version of his hit song “Vente Pa’ Ca” was officially announced by SM Entertainment, as reported by AllKpop. “Vente Pa’ Ca” was originally released back in September featuring Maluma. It was a critical success, sweeping music charts for Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America often placing number one. As for its music video, as of the publication of this article, it has over 288 million views, with over 1 million of those viewers liking it.
Wendy seems to be the busiest member of Red Velvet this year. Besides her two K-pop comebacks with extended plays (EPs) or mini-albums with Red Velvet this year, the first being The Velvet featuring “One of These Nights” and the second being Russian Roulette featuring a song of the same name, she’s done two other collaborations prior to her upcoming collaboration with Ricky Martin.
Back in March, Wendy collaborated with Eric Nam to sing a duet titled “Spring Love” and is currently promoting “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with pianist Moon Jung Jae and violinist Lee Nile, as reported by Soompi. Wendy will also release another collaboration after the English version of “Vente Pa’ Ca” releases too. She is collaborating with Yesung of Super Junior, Sunny of Girls’ Generation, Luna of f(x), Taeil and Doyoung of NCT, and fellow Red Velvet member Seulgi to perform “Sound of Your Heart.”
International K-pop fans who back Red Velvet have complained that SM Entertainment was hindering Wendy probably because Korean is her second language and she wasn’t as good with it as she is now. Although born in South Korea, Wendy lived most of her life in Canada so English is her first language. It is possible her collaborations were a way for her to become more confident in speaking Korean. In turn, she could be collaborated in English songs to help promote K-pop.
The English version of “Vente Pa’ Ca” will release as a digital single this coming Tuesday, December 27 at midnight KST. It will be available on MelOn, Naver Music, Genie, iTunes, and Spotify.
[Featured Image by SM Entertainment and Vivian Fernandez/Getty Images]