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K-pop as a Soft Power

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This essay examines national leaders’ shaping of K-pop into a foreign export, specifically looking into how K-pop is used as a soft power for South Korea. I also examine how effective K-pop is as a soft power. Because of its

This essay examines national leaders’ shaping of K-pop into a foreign export, specifically looking into how K-pop is used as a soft power for South Korea. I also examine how effective K-pop is as a soft power. Because of its growing global popularity and use of K-pop artists for international relations, such as Red Velvet performing for Kim Jong Un, we might expect K-pop to act as the gateway into South Korean culture, often being the first exposure that other countries have into this country’s way of life. Through a qualitative analysis of resources ranging from news articles, videos, and social media posts, we see that K-pop idols, a term for K-pop celebrities, are heavily groomed and shaped by their labels to promote the South Korean national brand. Combined with a well-made business model to appeal to different countries, they also create sentiment for South Korean culture throughout the world with the support of the government and a strong fanbase. This plan is extremely effective in generating revenue for a multitude of South Korean brands beyond K-pop and even fosters South Korean affection in North Korea.

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2020-05

color

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Our perspectives and experiences are constantly shaped by the music around us. Through the writing, recording, and producing of color, an eight track concept album, we seek to explore and reflect upon life's most significant milestones. This paper chronicles the

Our perspectives and experiences are constantly shaped by the music around us. Through the writing, recording, and producing of color, an eight track concept album, we seek to explore and reflect upon life's most significant milestones. This paper chronicles the year-long creation process of color and highlights the important influences, challenges, and approach which made the album all the more transcendental.

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2018-05

Digital Lover, a Thesis

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Digital Lover, A Thesis is a short film about two young Black women who fall in love over the internet. The film can be classified as a music video, utilizing the song Digital Lover by lil qwerty and Lee, but

Digital Lover, A Thesis is a short film about two young Black women who fall in love over the internet. The film can be classified as a music video, utilizing the song Digital Lover by lil qwerty and Lee, but breaks slightly from generic convention by utilizing an entirely narrative-based approach. This thesis submission shows the scope of this work’s creation, including the primary ideation and pitch document (the treatment), a version of the script from the middle of pre-production, and a late-stage version of the film.

Set in 1999, the film focuses much of its time on exploring alternative visual interpretations of a color-saturated digital space, and contrasting these with a less-vibrant analog world. This contrast intends to provide a visual differentiation between the digital and analog worlds, serving as the basis of the film’s storytelling. The built worlds privilege the emotional context of the internet, and contain an inherent thesis statement: that the digital experience can be as rich and meaningful as that of the analog, if not more so. The visual direction is the result of integrating several perspectives, including contemporary representations of the internet on film, personal observations, digital themed art installations, and experiences of others on the internet. As such, this film intended to engage with the existing body of work, and provide an artistic contribution to what already existed within the film and music video landscapes.

With this, I intend to use storytelling as a tool for conceptualizing worth. Specifically, with the centering of two Black women as romantic interests, I hope to provide a nuanced affirmation in a space where representation is often lacking.

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2019-05

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No Breaks: An Examination of Mental Health in the Music Industry

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No Breaks: An Examination of Mental Health in the Music Industry is a photo book with journaling that attempts to dismantle common perceptions of the touring lifestyle. Drawing on my experience as a photographer on the final Vans' Warped Tour,

No Breaks: An Examination of Mental Health in the Music Industry is a photo book with journaling that attempts to dismantle common perceptions of the touring lifestyle. Drawing on my experience as a photographer on the final Vans' Warped Tour, as well as interviews with artists and crew members, the book examines the origins of these misconceptions, the conditions of touring that agitate mental illness, factors that encourage those suffering to speak up or stay silent, and ways the public can alleviate the pressure put on members of the music industry.

While touring may have been all about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll back in the 70's, the money in music has transferred to tour profits, rather than album sales. Thus, artists tour harder and more frequently, leading to an industry of overworked and usually underpaid individuals. It isn't unusual for a touring professional to work 14+ hour days, 7 days a week, and the work is sometimes back-breaking labor. Physical illness and living with coworkers can also add to the stress of an already strenuous job.

Even worse, pressures from the public, their clients, and even their coworkers can prevent those suffering with mental health issues from speaking out about it. No Breaks describes the "cycle of silence," or the high probability that those experiencing mental health issues will continue to stay silent if members of their touring crew or larger music community also fail to speak up.

The book concludes with a list of actions the public and industry can take in order to prevent and alleviate the intense pressure the music industry feels, including putting money back into music, donating to organizations that work to treat mental illness in them music industry, and offering support those who do choose to speak out. The purpose of No Breaks, however, is not to eradicate the conditions that exacerbate mental illness with a turn-key solution, but rather to explore these complex issues and create awareness. Many of the problems discussed in the book are self-perpetuating or linked with each other, and will take time, awareness, and cooperation to move forward and create a better industry for all.

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2019-05