For the past few years, a huge influx of audition shows like “Superstar K,” “Produce 101” and “The Unit” have led the trend of Korean music programs, with their focus set on competition. A few weeks ago, Mnet’s music show “The Call” threw its hat in the ring.
Created by the production team of “I Can See Your Voice,” another popular Mnet music show, “The Call” originated from the question, “What would happen if two of my favorite artists collaborate?” Trying to answer to it, the experimental show teams up noted musicians with anonymous artists with hopes of mashing up something unexpected and creative.
Casts of Mnet‘s music program “The Call” pose during a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (CJ E&M)
“For the past three years when I worked for ‘I Can See Your Voice,’ I’ve always wanted to see more of artists’ performances,” the program’s chief producer Lee Sun-young said during a press conference for the show in Seoul on Wednesday.
The previous episodes of “The Call” featured four artists ― Shin Seung-hun, Kim Jong-kook, Wheesung, and Kim Bum-soo ― who chose their duet partners among the secret soloists. When a secret soloist receives a call from a lineup artist, a new song has to be written in two weeks to be performed live on stage.
Artists like Hwang Chi-yeol, Taeil of Block B, Ailee, BeWhy, Gummy, UV and Crush, have appeared as secret soloists in the past few weeks. Their performances from the show have been receiving positive reactions, with the show’s viewership peaking at 4 percent, its highest, last week.
The newly-invited artists whose genres range from hip-hop to indie and pop, also deeply emphasized with the program’s intention of blending genres and expressed satisfaction with the results.
“I’ve been on so many music shows, the reason why I initially wondered if I could bring anything new to the program. But now that I’m in it, I’m really enjoying the show,” Gummy said. Taeil also said, “It’s been a great honor to collaborate with senior artists. As I’m in a group, I’ve actually wanted to let people hear my voice as a soloist. I’m satisfied that I’ve achieved what I wanted.” BeWhy, who recently made headlines with his masterful rapping in the show, said that he wasn’t interested in appearing in TV shows at first, but the program’s focus on music changed his mind. “While working on my own album, I always hoped to work with other musicians. This program is full of learning for me,” he said.
Chief producer Lee emphasized that the program’s main goal is to offer new music to listeners.
“Music charts these days are mostly led by fandoms and streaming. Our program hopes to make more room for new music,” she said.
“The Call” airs every Friday at 8:10 p.m.