Sunday, April 5, 2009

Natalie White, aka PumaShock, on Star King

I got the video link to this yesterday. Someone asked me if I knew about it. Outside of my first year in South Korea, I never got in the habit of watching Korean TV shows. Plus, when this was all getting stirred up I was getting ready to move and when she was on the show I was back in the States.

This is the background story. There is a San Francisco based singer songwriter who goes by the name of PumaShock. Her real name is Natalie White. She's also a black American. She started putting up videos of her singing some of her favorite Korean pop songs: Natalie's YouTube Channel. Koreans took notice. There was a scandal when Taeyeon from a group called Girls' Generation said something like Ms. White was pretty for a black girl. (video link) Oooops! I'm not even going to touch that because after years of living in it I will get angry if I dwell on it. Plus, it's hard to get into someone's head. Maybe it was an innocent faux pas or maybe she is a blockhead. Either way, Ms. White is the focus here.

Anyway, it worked out for Ms. White that she got on Star King and seems to be on a marvelous PR junket in Seoul. She's meeting people in entertainment and, since that's what she wants to do, I say good on her. Here are the videos of her appearance on Star King.

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  1. Hey ExpatJane
    Natalie did a great job and I wish her nothing but continued success. I believe the controversy arose over Taeyeon of SNSD(Girl's Generation)making the comment that for a black girl Alicia Keys was pretty.
    I am like anyway can't dwell on ignorance and as Taeyeon isn't the first to make stupid comments and won't be the last.

  2. Yeah, maybe the comment was about Ms. Keys. Whichever black woman it was about, it was stupid. However, like you, I'm more about focusing on Ms. Wood's success and I hope she goes far. As for Taeyeon, if it wasn't just a faux pas and she meant what she said, she can kiss my very pretty black a$$ ;)

  3. Er. Ms. White. Outside of the mad girl crush I had on the legendary Natalie Wood, I have no idea why I want to rename Natalie White ;)

    I caught it, but I initially typed out this entire post using Ms. Wood. I caught it and corrected it. However, in the first comment I botched it. What genius that is...

  4. Nice to see her with dreds. Thanks for posting this. I would have never saw it.

  5. You're welcome. Someone turned me on to it, so I blogged it. I'd not seen it either.

  6. Very interesting,

    thanks for continuing to keep an eye on things a la bando...

    I'm wondering, though, does Natalie have a handler (or, is she employing one), she mentioned she was in the music industry...and considering her talents/looks, it certainly doesn't seem like a case of coincidence...

  7. Judging just from her videos, which are in what looks like a well set-up audio recording space, she's definitely managed. When I first heard the story, I envisioned it as ~a black female amateur who had videos of herself singing Korean pop songs actually appeared on TV in South Korea.~ I expected someone looking into a webcam and singing with headphones on ;) Then, again, when I saw the clips, the professional set-up and I didn't believe for one second that she didn't have a manager or agent.

    I say more power to her. Korean pop acts are packaged and managed into oblivion. Whoever hers is has done a great job because they leveraged her appearance on Star King into other stuff. She made an appearance at Microsoft Korea and I saw another clip of her working on a dance routine with another Korea pop star. I think both sides are exploiting this for all they can get out of it.

    I do think it's coincidence in the sense that someone had the idea to put those videos up, but Koreans have responded before to foreign faces singing or speaking in Korean on YouTube. Everyone remember Kimchiman?: Kimchiman - Arirang Canada Guy.

    It's similar. It's just that he didn't have aspirations to be a professional singer/songwriter, wasn't managed and he isn't as pretty as she is ;)

  8. Thanks for this heads up! I remember first seeing her cover song vids a year or so ago.

    Mutual exploitation is a lovely thing. I hope we get a great collaboration song or video out of it!

    I'm thinking Pumashock & Rain or Pumashock and Gdragon

  9. Ms. White and Mr. Cutey aka Bi or Rain is my choice ;)

  10. When I heard that comment I could not believe what I hear. That’s totally ignorant comment but I could understand if you know the background that we, most of Koreans have not seen and thought about different races because we are living in Korea which still pretty isolated from other side of world…

  11. Yeah, the same happens here. Now that I'm back in the States, I'm really sensitive to comments about diversity. It's not just a Korean problem. It's a human one. ;)

    It just grates because it's so common.

  12. Just as a late side note:
    The comment from SNSD's Taeyeon was directed at Alicia Keys and was mistranslated. What she said was "My black friend is pretty" not, "She's pretty for a black woman".

    I am excited to see how Natalie will do, given her recent success for her MBC audition. If nothing more, than to shame the nay-sayers who do not think a Black woman can make in the Korean market whilst they conveniently forget that Beyonce is the 2nd most popular foreign celebrity in Korea. After Usher. Whoops.

  13. Yeah, I don't have the skill set to get into what was said, so thanks for that.

    Alicia I saw in concert in Seoul and, as you mention, if the popularity of other black artists like Usher and Beyonce are any indication, Natalie will do just fine.

    As comic Kat Williams says, "Haters gonna hate. That's their job." ;)


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