Backbeat: Not Your Daddy’s World Music: 2NE1, Yuna, La Vida Boheme Rock MTV Iggy Concer

17 Dec

Their crowning moment: 2NE1 were named MTV Iggy’s Best New Band of 2011. (Photo: Nick Gascoine)

Walking up to the NYC’s Best Buy Theatre on Monday afternoon the scene outside resembled nothing so much as a multi-ethnic Beatlemania. Throngs of predominantly young girls of varying ethnicities were jammed up against barricades held signs and craned their necks hoping to catch glimpses of their music idols…but not from Liverpool; rather, they crowd clamored for rising internationsl stars from Venezuela, Malaysia, South Korea and Jamaica.

MTV Launches Iggy, Giving World’s Bands a Platform in America

Welcome to MTV Iggy, the cable channel’s multi-platform global music brand launched in October. On this day it crowned 2011′s Best New Global Band based on 4.25 million votes from 169 countries. The globally live-streamed extravaganza approached the thrills and chills of MTV’s hallmark VMA Awards. Here were top shelf VJ hosts Matt Pinfield, Sway and SuChin Pak and Bollywood actress Shenaz Treasure; live feeds from remote locations broadcast on the Times Square Jumbotron; punched-up interstitial videos; cameras on low-hanging booms swooping over an ecstatic audience and above all else electrifying performances.


Venezuela’s La Vida Boheme’s frenetic energy would give The Rapture or Franz Ferdinand a run for their angular rock money; ethereal Malaysian songstress Yuna is blessed with a gorgeous, silk-smooth voice; and Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian has an estimable flow. But it was the all-girl K-Pop quartet 2NE1 whose blend of hi-energy dance pop and lockstep choreography blew the roof off this sucker and were rewarded with “Best New Band of 2011″ honors.

“This really isn’t ‘world music,” said MTV’s Nusrat DurraniSenior VP and General Manager of MTV World. ”The notion of world music is steeped in negativity. It’s the section at the back of the Virgin Megastore or downstairs in Tower Records where you have hardcore people looking forRavi Shankar, Buena Vista Social Club and some other esoteric thing Ry Cooder did that’s called world music. This is pop music that happens to come from other parts of the world.”

Indeed Yuna, who literally grew-up half a planet away in Malaysia, name-checked Led Zeppelinand the Rolling Stones as bands she was weaned on before citing the relatively obscure indie rock band Foals as a contemporary band Malaysians listen to via the Internet. Her debut full-length U.S. album comes out this spring on the Fader label (whose roster includes Matt & Kim, Neon Indian, Editors). Her first single “Live Your Life” was written with Pharrell Williams and is due out in January.


Check out the full article with more photos here



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