Asia: Bruno Mars, Chainsmokers, Hyundai

Bruno Sells Out Manila, Adds Date

Bruno Mars
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
– Bruno Mars
“KIIS FM Jingle Ball,” Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

As expected, Bruno Mars’ May 3 concert at the Mall of Asia in Manila sold out in less than an hour, so promoter

Tickets for the second show went on sale Sept. 8. Mars’ mother emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii when she was a child.

Chainsmokers Joke Gaffe

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart, better known as The Chainsmokers, have found themselves at the center of a controversy over comments made in a promotional video that was recorded while they were in Shanghai to appear at the Ultra China EDM festival.

They posted the video to Twitter on Sept. 11, according to Buzzfeed, and then almost immediately deleted it. In the captioned video, an interviewer asks Pall whether he brings his dog on tour and he responded that he often wants to but that the dog isn’t well-behaved, and then adds, “Well, I don’t know if I’d bring her to China.” He then laughs.

Taggart seems to find the comment funny, as well. The Asian interviewer places his hand over his mouth.

Pall’s comment immediately went viral, setting off a flurry of tweets and online comments blasting the musician as a “racist” who thinks that “Asians eat dogs.”

Even worse, Pall made the joke in front of an Asian interviewer. On the other hand, there were also online commentators who defended the band, pointing out that there were dog meat festivals held in one particular region of China, though many Chinese are against the practice.

Pall later posted a statement on the Chainsmokers official Twitter account that said, in part, “I made a comment in an interview about being hesitant to bring my dog, Cheddar, to China, because I have read reports about dogs being slaughtered in certain provinces. We originally posted a video to share how much we love China and our fans there.

“We would never intentionally do anything to upset our fans and we apologize if we offended anyone.” The band included a URL of a site that prevents dog killing in one part of China. After China, the duo traveled to South Korea where they are reported to be collaborating with local group BTS, some of whose fans have indicated their objection to the collaboration because of the Shanghai video.

Volunteer Musicians Miffed

Hyundai Motor Corp. is under investigation for recruiting South Korean musicians on a voluntary basis for a video shoot featuring U.S. singer  that may have been a promotional project for the auto maker.

Singers, guitarists, bass players and drummers were solicited by an Italian music event group, Rockin’ 100, in partnership with the advertising agency Innocean Worldwide American to be part of a “new music video” for Day’s song, “Rise Up,” according to Yonhap news service.

The video was also planned as a promotional tie-in for a new sedan made by Hyundai that was launched Sept. 15.

Shooting for the video took place Aug. 25-27 in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, not far from the capital. 

Yonhap says that Rockin’ 100 was “not crystal clear” about the nature of the project, including the participation of Hyundai, in an effort to get musicians to volunteer for it without any pay. All they said was that it was for a new music video.

Later, when the musicians decided that the video’s purpose was actually commercial in nature, they expressed their anger online. According to various musicians who spoke with Yonhap, on the second day of filming a grey Hyundai sedan showed up on location as a prop in the video.

“Many from the approximately 100 volunteers” quit the project in frustration, despite being told by organizers that the “footage will not be used for a commercial.” 

Andra Day
Donald Traill/Invision/AP
– Andra Day
2016 Essence Festival at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Instead, the representative said that Hyundai was helping to subsidize the video in exchange for product placement. An online music community that represents independent musicians called on Hyundai to reimburse the participating musicians. Day’s representative label in South Korea, Warner Music Korea, said it had nothing to do with the video and that the company only learned of the incident through social media, though Day was scheduled to appear at a launch event for the new car on Sept. 15.

The volunteers claim that Day knew about the promotional aspect of the video since she was seen inside the sedan on the set. 

As a result, Hyundai said it would remove all images of the car from the video and implied that Rockin’ 100 was to blame for not clearly explaining the relationship between Hyundai and the video shoot.