We often, in our little western view of the world, think of Kpop as Korean with a dash of Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, maybe a little Thai, and of course, American and Canadian for the English-speaking crowd. We forget that there is this whole wide world out there with lots and lots of Korean people having settled in various countries, creating their own communities, and integrating into a variety of cultures. I absolutely love that we get see the crazy talented and super motivated multi-lingual kids of these world travelers turn into trainees and idol wannabes, coming back to the homeland and trying to make it big in the industry.
Park Yuri is a Korean-Russian idol on ESVINE Entertainment and was recently part of the duo JXR with Korean idol Baekjin (debuted in 2019 but supposedly has disbanded already). Yuri moved to Korea to break into the Kpop landscape as a trainee for three years on SM Entertainment, on the docket to debut as part of NCT. When that didn’t pan out as planned, he moved over to ESteem as a model for the likes of Calvin Kline. As a hard-working and ambitious trainee, he did his share of background MV work and eventually made it on the survival show Produce X101 where he got a bunch of attention, but was ultimately eliminated at number 40. He’s now appearing on the currently airing survival show Wild Idol, still working his butt off for his piece of the limelight.
Though he hasn’t hit the big time yet, Yuri definitely makes waves with his somewhat scandalous Russian behavior – you know, singing swear words when he’s singing along with Childish Gambino and being all loud and wild like that – his absolutely gorgeous face and body, and his unique mix of Russian and Kpop music aesthetic and fashion. This last week he released the song Нормально with an MV showcasing what appears to be an ethnic Korean-Russian family dinner with Russian lyrics and that very Eastern European white puffy coat and bucket hat in the club vibe. And yet, you can feel the Khip hop influence on the whole thing.
I do so love watching cultures blend.
Especially in music and music videos and in idols.
Нормально (FINE) MV, Yuri Park (Юрий Пак)