MAMA aims for ‘Asian Grammys’ with largest ‘MAMA Week’

By Kim So-yeon
  • Published : Nov 20, 2017 - 18:56
  • Updated : Nov 20, 2017 - 18:56
Actor Song Joong-ki will host this year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong, while Park Bo-gum will host the show in Japan.

“MAMA Week,” the largest-scale MAMA event, will kick off at Hoa Binh Theater in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Nov. 25, then head to Yokohama Arena, Japan, on Nov. 29, and finally to Hong Kong for two events -- at W Hotel Hong Kong on Nov. 30 and at AsiaWorld-Expo on Dec. 1.

Song Joong-ki (left) and Park Bo-gum (Blossom Entertainment/ Yonhap)
By expanding the awards ceremony -- previously a one-day event -- into a weeklong event that spans three Asian cities, MAMA aims to promote cultural exchange in the region’s music industry.

“The concept of the 2017 MAMA is coexistance. ‘Coexistence’ here means Mnet and MAMA (exist) together with Asian countries,” said Kim Ki-woong, head of the Mnet division, during a press conference at CJ E&M Center in Sangam-dong, Seoul, on Monday.

“To create music industry ecosystems where various cultures engage in exchanges with each other, we are trying to make (MAMA) a cultural platform, beyond a simple awards ceremony, where all the professionals, singers and artists can receive the spotlight,” said Kim Hyun-soo, head of the convention business department at CJ E&M. 

Kim Ki-woong, head of the Mnet division (left), and Kim Hyun-soo, head of the convention business department at CJ E&M, attend a press conference at CJ E&M Center in Sangam-dong, Seoul, Monday. (CJ E&M)
The music awards aim to be on par with the Grammy Awards in the future.

“Looking back at the past 10 years, many unexpected things happened. There is the success of Psy and there are many artists who are recognized overseas. Our music is becoming mainstream music,” Kim Ki-woong said.

“(I think) if Asian artists together make music that the world knows, that would make MAMA an awards ceremony that can coexist with the Grammys someday,” he said.

This year, MAMA will feature a star-studded lineup of artists, including Seventeen and Wanna One for the show in Vietnam; EXO-CBX, Seventeen, Twice and Monsta X for Japan; and Super Junior, EXO, BTS, GOT7, Red Velvet and Wanna One for Hong Kong. Celebrities such as Lee Young-ae, Nam Joo-hyuk, Song Ji-hyo and Ahn Jae-hyun will also appear at the awards shows as presenters.

MAMA started as the local Mnet Km Music Festival. The awards show took on its current name in 2009 and has been held overseas since 2010, becoming one of the biggest K-pop events.

By Kim So-yeon (syk19372@heraldcorp.com)