MAMA Awards are reintroduced with new name and new trophy
This year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards have been rebranded to the MAMA Awards and are also presenting a brand new trophy design.
Entertainment company CJ ENM, the awards’ host, laid out the rebranding during a press conference on Wednesday at the CJ ENM Center in Sangam-dong, western Seoul.
“K-pop is now a part of everyday life for people all around the world,” said Kim Hyun-soo, head of CJ ENM’s Music Content Division. “According to Spotify [as of February 2022] K-pop is streamed on an average of 7.9 billion times monthly around the globe. The top regions [streaming K-pop] are not limited to Asia. Among K-pop fans, MAMA has become a ‘dream stage’ they anticipate to see every year, and we’ve been through ceaseless challenges to become that.”
“MAMA Awards are the first, and also the one and only award show that expands globally,” he continued. “The ceremony is livestreamed globally on numerous platforms and garners some 1.6 billion views each year. We are not afraid of borders.”
He also introduced the new trophy design — a gilded cube dubbed “Hyper Cube,” with its many sides and lines signifying how K-pop has evolved in various ways over the past decades.
“On my way here, I saw the news that BTS has been nominated for two categories at the upcoming Grammy Awards, securing nominations for the third year in a row,” said K-pop critic Kim Young-dae at the conference. “The fact that we are no longer surprised or shocked by this news shows how much K-pop has risen in status […] K-pop has established a foundation for it to maintain its popularity for many years to come.”
Producer Yoon Shin-hye of CJ ENM explained that this year’s theme for the MAMA Awards is “K-pop World Citizenship,” a celebration of how the world has been striving to emerge out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2022 MAMA Awards will take place from Nov. 29 to 30 at the Kyocera Dome Osaka in Japan. This year is the first event held after the rebranding, as well as the first to take place over the span of two days since MAMA first took place in 2009. The first day of the awards will be hosted by singer Jeon So-mi and announce the winners of the Worldwide Fans’ Choice category. The following day, titled “We are K-pop” will be the main awards ceremony hosted by actor Park Bo-gum.
The two-day ceremony allows ample time for a myriad of stage performances and collaborations. J-Hope of BTS, who was the first member of the band to officially launch a solo career this year, will be performing. Girl group (G)I-DLE and rock band Jaurim will join forces on the stage, and there will also be collaboration performances by fourth-generation K-pop girl groups, and by rapper Tiger JK, singer Jung Jae-il and subunit 3Racha from boy band Stray Kids. No foreign artists will perform this year.
CJ ENM’s head of conventions and content, Lee Sun-hyung, apologized for the fan vote data from Twitter becoming void after the recent acquisition of the social media platform by Elon Musk rendered the data unstable.
“I apologize to the fans who had voted,” said Lee. “All this happened around the time the polls were supposed to close, so we are sorry that the votes will not be reflected. We will do our best for a fair judgement process.”
Since launching in 2009, the MAMA Awards have taken place in Seoul, Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan. Music Content Division head Kim added that the MAMA Awards is preparing to hold an offline ceremony in the United States within the next three years.
“What I’d like to add is that talks about which country MAMA will be in is now rather meaningless,” he said. “The MAMA Awards has already become something that K-pop fans all around the world enjoy, online and offline.”
BY HALEY YANG [email@example.com]