* ‘아시아엔’ 연수 외국기자가 작성한 기사의 한글요약본과 원문을 함께 게재합니다.
[아시아엔=라드와 아시라프 기자·번역 김아람 기자] 2015 Mnet 아시안 뮤직 어워드(이하 마마)가 어김없이 한 해의 대미를 장식했다. 12월2일 홍콩 아시아 월드 엑스포 아레나에는 아시아를 대표하는 가수들이 한 자리에 모여 아시아의 눈과 귀를 즐겁게 했다. 중동에서의 한류열풍 덕분에 많은 중동 팬들이 지켜본 마마에서 가장 빛난 가수는 빅뱅이었다. 빅뱅은 아이돌 그룹 엑소, 소녀시대와 함께 공연을 펼치며 청중을 열광케 했다. 중동 팬들은 방탄소년단과 블락비의 멋진 댄스에도 감탄을 금치 않았지만, 다소 선정적이었던 태국 가수 채의림과 박진영의 공연에는 그다지 호응을 보이지 않았다.
이집트에서 빅뱅 팬클럽으로 활동하고 있는 사라 오마르는 마마에 대해 “예년에 비해 아이돌 콜라보 공연도 늘었고, 무대 위에서 배틀을 벌이는 새로운 컨셉도 마음에 들었으나, 아시아에서 큰 인기를 누리고 있는 일부 가수들이 출연하지 못한 것은 아쉬웠다”는 소감을 전했다. 시리아 출신 팬 라칸 오라비는 “다른 좋은 가수들이 많이 있었는데 박진영이 베스트 남자 가수상을 받은 것은 좀 의아했다”며 시상의 공정성에 대해 언급했다. 아랍에미리트의 자나도 “지난 2010년 이후로 마마가 이해하기 힘든 수상자 선정으로 신뢰를 잃었다”면서 거들었다.
한편 올해의 가수상, 올해의 노래상, 베스트 뮤직비디오, 월드와이드 페이버릿 아티스트 수상의 영광을 누린 빅뱅은 논란의 소감으로 화제가 됐다. 멤버 태양이 수상소감으로 “신나는 축제의 장이 됐으면 좋겠는데, 많은 가수 분들이 자리에 계시지 않아 아쉽다”고 말한 것이다. 이에 대해 일부 중동 팬들은 대중들은 스케줄로 먼저 자리를 떠난 엑소와 소녀시대, 샤이니 등 아이돌 그룹과 특정 가수만을 초청한 주최 측을 겨냥한 것 아니냐며 경솔했다는 반응을 보였지만, 대다수 팬들은 그의 발언에 동의했다.
매년 화려한 무대로 아시아를 즐겁게 한 마마. 2016년 마마가 시상에 공정성을 기하고, 한국을 넘어 아시아 각국의 더 많은 가수들을 한자리에 모은다면 더할 나위 없겠다.
MAMA 2015: Asia, United by Music
Mnet Asian Music Awards, originally launched in 1999, once again chose Hong Kong as its arena to award the outstanding performances by idols and stars. The ‘MAMA’ is a major K-pop award ceremony that attracts performers from all over the world. It aims to bring together international fans and musical artists of different cultures and languages on one great stage as well as bring Asian music to the world. This is the sixth time the event has been held outside of South Korea, and the fourth time in a row to be held in AsiaWorld-Arena, in Hong Kong.
“2015’s MAMA was much better than last year’s concert. I liked the concept of group battles and collaborations and how they incorporated it much more this year around. The show’s organization definitely improved over the years,” Sarah Omar says, a VIP (Big Bang fan club) from Egypt, who tuned in for the live show of MAMA.
One of the best collaborative performances was executed by GOT7 and BTS, who previously wowed audiences at KCON 2015 in Los Angeles. The cross-agency stage highlighted the performativity of BTS and the acrobatics of GOT7.
BigBang and Hip Hop stole the show
Among the well-loved performances was the Bae Bae performance by Big Bang, especially when they started interacting with fellow artists, as Seungri joined EXO and Girls’ Generation during his verses, winning the crowd over with this simple gesture as Omar puts it, while Rakan says that 2NE1 “brought the house down” when they performed their classic “Fire” and their hit “I’m the Best” because no one knew if they were going to reunite or attend MAMA at all. Another Egyptian girl commented that they liked the way the show celebrated hip-hop and electronic dance through performances from “Show Me the Money” and “Unpretty Rapstar” stars Lil Boi, Basick, Yezi, and Truedy.
BTS and Black B garnered a lot of attention for their dance skills, as their performances were among the most loved by Arab spectators. Different viewers from Gulf countries and Middle East complemented their professionalism.
On the other hand, some performances weren’t received well by viewers in Egypt, such as Jolin Tsai’s performance with the back dancers and JYP’s Honey dance moves, which were described as cringe-worthy by most of them. But even though this show was quite a success, Sarah said that the show missed older performers like CNBLUE, JYJ, and B.A.P.
EXO, despite having a huge fan base especially in the Middle East, were met with outrageous comments as a lot of people didn’t like their performances, and more specifically, that they won a large number of awards.
Winners, deserving or not?
This year, some artists won the same award that they have been winning for a couple of years in a row, while new artists were introduced. Big Bang managed to dominate the grand prizes, taking home ‘Artists of the Year’ award and ‘Song of the Year’ for “Bang Bang Bang”, while ‘Album of the Year’ award went to EXO’s album “Exodus”.
Best Female Artist award was given to Taeyeon, the leader of Girls’ Generation, who made her solo debut a short while ago, and performed her solo song “I” with killer vocals. Best Male Group award was presented to EXO who executed a wonderful act, combining their songs “Call me Baby” and “Lightsaber” breaking out the mythical “Star Wars” swords for their performance, unlike the video for the special release, proving that the song could have longevity beyond serving as a tie-in for the popular action film franchise.
But when it comes to other categories, people note that a lot of the nominated artists didn’t really deserve to win, such as HyunA who won the best solo dance performance. Omar says that Ga In who had a much better dance in her conceptual music video “Paradise Lost” most deserved to win. Rakan Orabi, another avid watcher of MAMA from Syria, said that he was disappointed that J. Y. Park won the best male artist, when the other nominees like CNBLUE’s Yonghwa, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, and ZION.T had better vocals. A lot of netizens agreed on TVXQ, Vixx and BEAST, when asked who they think should have been nominated as well.
As the list of nominations came out, a big number of fans were outraged such as Atheer, from Saudi Arabia, who was quite surprised to see that groups like BEAST, TVXQ, and Super Junior were omitted from the awards despite being more famous than other artists who had the chance to perform this year. Another fan from UAE, Tasneem Gamal, noted that even though the numbers show that Super Junior should be on top, they didn’t attend the event. She said, “Maybe they didn’t get the award because they didn’t attend?”
Another fan, Jana from UAE, said that she had lost her trust in MAMA since 2010, as she repeated what many fans said that Super Junior and TVXQ deserved to win over the new artists who dominated the show.
Veterans vs. new artists
Big Bang proved to have been the main reason the audience filled the auditorium, as their performances of “Bae Bae” and “Bang Bang Bang” were true crowd pleasers, and their “Loser” performance had a perfect harmony between melodic vocals and rap. Their fans screamed the lyrics, throughout the performance and were entertained by their audience interaction throughout the night.
But besides that, Big Bang were one of the few veterans attending the show, surrounded by newer and debuting groups than previous years. When it came to the prize distribution, after the performances, a lot of artists had already left, which was criticized heavily. Taeyang, one of the members of Big Bang, even took note of that in his acceptance speech of their “Artist of the Year” award saying, “I wish it could have been a festival to the end but many artists are now absent.” This comment by Taeyang was actually met with a positive reaction by Arab people. Even those who weren’t Big Bang fans, agreed with him.
The 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards were truly a sight to behold, from wonderful Michael Jackson-like dance routines and lavish entrances to surprising performances.
People from all around the world tuned in for the red carpet and the live show to witness one of the best music awards shows in Asia.