The use of AI has become a scarily big part of K-Pop. Whether it is a completely AI group or netizens using it to imagine their favorite idols singing certain songs, it has become a trend online.
All AI group MAVE: | Metaverse Entertainment
DEAN AI cover of NewJeans “New Jeans” is going viral in Korea. pic.twitter.com/dnBfocmJhP
— Kpop Charts (@kchartsmaster) July 10, 2023
Recently, artist Lauv made use of AI when he released a video saying he worked with Kevin Woo to create a Korean version of his song “Love U Like That.”
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Yet, while many praised Lauv, the artist has come under fire from international fans, especially after posting a tweet talking about how he had worked with Kevin Woo and then sharing the process of how the song happened. He explained that Kevin translated the song into Korean, sang it, and then AI was used to turn it into Lauv’s voice.
So crazy and honored that we used AI to create the Korean version of Love U Like That – alongside the amazing help & talent of @kevinwoo91 in translating and singing…basically Kevin translated and sang in Korean and then @djswivel and Hooky AI took my raw vocals to create an AI… pic.twitter.com/7Zz7P4Tqly
— lauv (@lauvsongs) November 8, 2023
While the tweet seemed excited about the project, reactions from fans couldn’t be more different.
— 파룬 (@balloon_wanted) November 9, 2023
Many also shared the double standards for K-Pop and Asian artists. While many spend years trying to learn English and the pronunciation so they aren’t criticized, Lauv did it without even learning any and many described it as a “Quick cash grab.”
the double standard of kpop and asian idols/artists to learn english so their pronounciations wouldn’t be ridiculed by the general public and lauv using fuckass ai instead or learning at least pronouncing the korean lyrics for a quick cash grab https://t.co/2mbVA7FOj3
— (@prodtaeks) November 9, 2023
woke up to this rubbish. kpop idols have to learn a whole ‘nother language just to make their music for the west. years upon years of learning grammar and speaking, and yet some american white guy decides he’s just gonna do AI to tap into that market. couldve just sang it, mate. https://t.co/BbDrzNsvwM
— To. emily (@snsdoncrack) November 9, 2023
Others pointed out that in reality, while AI is good, this took it too far. They thought that he took credit for a project that was basically done by Kevin Woo, with the translations and singing the words, all for it to be changed to his voice by technology.
I love productive AI & use it daily but this? This is not it. Kevin translated. Kevin sang the words. An AI changed Kevin’s voice to Lauv. Lauv gets the credit for releasing a Korean pop song. The fact that no one attempted to see the optics of that is wild. https://t.co/0Vm4MHIsd3
— Rafranz ⁷ (@rafranzdavis) November 9, 2023
So what I just watched was: a white guy had a Korean person do all of the labor to release a product made to capitalize off of Korean people while he did *checks notes* nothing? https://t.co/Rk9pwY7Pec
— – (@jendeukmyeon) November 9, 2023
In particular, people pointed out that it wasn’t that hard to learn a language to release a song in it.
They used the example of loved artist Peder Elias. Not only is the artist besties with idols and has worked with them, but he went out of his way to learn to sing in Korean for fans. While he might not be fluent in the language, he took time to learn how to sing for fans to showcase his love for Korean culture.
If Peder Elias could do it, what was stopping you?
Laziness, greed, and colonialism, that’s what.
— Kathrina || Seventeenth Heaven || #TEAMSVT (@vindicatedtruth) November 9, 2023
Some even shared that girl group Little Mix also released a song in Korean, genuinely learning it and recording it in the language for their fans.
— 𝐭𝐲𝐥𝐞𝐫 ♡ (@narutovelvets) November 9, 2023
Even within K-Pop itself, idols learn to sing in different languages to connect with global fans, none of which use AI.
Anyway… check out GOT7’s Lullaby, available in FOUR LANGUAGES: Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and English (bonus: instrumental!) All 7 members sang and recorded these without the use of ai https://t.co/SGAwhlO6eB pic.twitter.com/ufAvv4EcRb
— jha || (@ludic_jha) November 9, 2023
this is just..kind of sad really? When EXO’s been learning and singing in Japanese, learned to sing in Chinese, Junmyeon’s learning English just to talk to us and vice versa, that’s a genuine connection. That’s bridging a gap. Punching some lyrics into ai and calling it+ https://t.co/1kqCYvs1Ep
— JUPolaris (@xaqonyx) November 9, 2023
While AI is good for many things, fans think Lauv is capitalizing on the Korean market without respecting it. Idols spend years learning languages to greet fans, and they think Lauv’s attempts fall flat as there is no effort.
You can read more about the project below.