The Korea Herald


Indonesian girl group StarBe hopes to win global recognition with the help of K-pop training

By Hong Yoo

Published : Aug. 30, 2023 - 16:02

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Indonesian girl group StarBe introduces its upcoming single Indonesian girl group StarBe introduces its upcoming single "Bang" during a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. (KOFICE)

Popular Indonesian girl group StarBe will release a Korean-language single in the coming week, following a month of K-pop idol training in South Korea.

The quartet — Abelle, Shella, Kezia and Chelsea -- landed in Seoul about a month ago.

They were chosen among many other Indonesian pop groups by the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE) to take part in the cultural exchange project “Grow TwoGether.”

The project, launched in 2021 with the Vietnamese boy group Super V and girl group O2O Girl Band, is aimed at fostering bilateral cultural growth and diversity, as well as enhancing the global understanding of Korean culture.

The annual project chooses a country to work with each year and invites an idol group from the country to Korea.

This year’s project involves training the Indonesian girl group under the K-pop idol training system to help them release a Korean single and music video.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Indonesia, which makes it an even more special occasion for us to foster cultural exchange between the two countries through K-pop. Last year’s project was successful, as it helped the Thai girl group Roseberry win the Rookie Award at the Thailand Digital Awards 2022 with the music produced in our country,” said Jung Kil-hwa, president of KOFICE, during StarBe’s press conference in Seoul on Wednesday.

StarBe’s decision to take part in this project came from their love for K-pop, which is popular in Indonesia.

“We enjoy listening, dancing, singing and rapping to K-pop, just as many young people in our country. We wanted this opportunity to learn K-pop in Korea as we hoped to present music that combines the characteristics of K-pop and Indonesian pop music. You will be able to find Indonesian cultural features in our upcoming single,” said Kezia.

StarBe is set to release its Korean single “Bang” on Sept. 2 and release its music video on Sept. 8.

“We are honored to take part in this project. We’ve wanted to come to Korea for so long to promote our group in this country. We hope to have more opportunities to perform in Korea,” said Shella.

Their upcoming single “Bang” is composed of powerful beats and an addictive melody under the “girl crush” concept.

“We received dancing and vocal training working on this new single. The training systems of the two countries are really different. That includes dance training, as the dance genres that K-pop groups learn are quite different to what we learn in Indonesia,” said Abelle.

“It was really difficult to sing in Korean because the pronunciation of our language and Korean is really different. We had to practice a lot before recording the single.”

They are currently preparing for their stage at the Asia Song Festival, which takes place on Sept. 8.

“We are also shooting diverse content such as vlogs of our daily lives in Korea and also short-form content with famous Korean influencers to let people get a peek into what we are experiencing in Korea,” said Abelle.

“Working in Korea has been amazing so far, as we have skilled staff that have helped us produce the single and its music video. Because this project is also about spreading Indonesian culture in Korea, we tried to put the sounds of our traditional musical instruments into our single. We are also planning to wear traditional clothes when performing in Korea,” she added.