Research Outline

Independent Pop Music Artist 2


To obtain 2-3 case studies of oriental independent artists. For each artist, we will identify the issues they faced at the start of their career, how they overcame them, and any comments or statements made by them offering advice to upcoming artists.

Early Findings

Our findings for this strategy will adhere to the Merriam-Webster definition of the word “oriental” as coming from or relating to Asia, in particular East Asia.


Go Tae-seob (Korean: 고태섭; born March 4, 1996) is a South Korean singer and the country’s first openly gay pop idol. Holland’s main struggle is to raise awareness and legitamize the LGBTQ community amongst South Korea’s conversative culture. This is especially contradictory as Korean idol and pop culture frequently uses homoeroticism as comic relief and to engage fan interest. To date, Holland has released his music through his own label, Holland Entertainment, his material centering itself around his sexual minority and identity development. His music video, “I’m Not Afraid” garnered an initial R rating for a same-sex kiss. Holland has stated that self-confidence is a key factor in helping the community and other perspectives be heard, hopefully leading to a more inclusive Korea.

The Landlord’s Cat

This Chinese folk duo consists of singer-songwriter Wang Xinyi and guitarist Wu Peiling. The group considered disbanding in 2016 due to lack of profits, but was rejuvenated thanks to Chinese streaming service NetEase. They were also invited to participate in the service’s reality show Music Friends, collaborating with other artists to reinterpret each other’s songs. This assistance came at an opportune time for the duo, as China’s online entertainment market continues to grow and repair the slew of pirated music on Chinese interwebs. The band’s manager Li Xiancheng said the exposure has “given us exposure on the app by writing about us, featuring us in music shows and recommending our music to users.” Additionally NetEase director Yang Liu observed friendships between the groups invited to the service, and that social media plays a big part in enabling independents to showcase themselves.


For this hour, we have focused on the most applicable use of the word “oriental” to yield relevant artists. However, we experienced difficulty in finding material for independent artists as we noticed that a large portion of artists in this region are tied to major conglomerate labels within the target country (i.e. SM Entertainment) or country-specific branches of international labels (i.e. Columbia Entertainment).