SM Entertainment and its chief producer Lee Soo-man signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture last month, according to the entertainment agency on Tuesday.
The MOU states that the two parties will focus on finding talent in Saudi Arabia, holding S-pop (Saudi-pop) auditions, nurturing local Saudi talent, building a training system and producing S-pop-related content.
They also plan to collaborate on tasks such as establishing a studio for producing S-pop content and holding large-scale SM concerts in Saudi Arabia.
“If we can produce S-pop with the culture technology that made K-pop, we believe that Saudi Arabia’s culture industry will progress much more,” said Lee during the MOU signing ceremony on Nov. 29. “Moreover, we believe that these projects will be meaningful for Korea’s culture industry as it is an opportunity to enter the Middle East market. We hope to progress both cultural industries of Korea and Saudi by producing S-pop that people all around the world can enjoy.”
Lee founded SM Entertainment in 1989. It has produced many K-pop stars such as singer BoA, boy band NCT and girl groups Red Velvet and aespa.
SM CEO Lee Sung-soo added that he is excited that SM can act as a bridge between the two cultures. “We will continue to expand strategic networking like this to achieve global growth of Korean and Saudi Arabian culture.”
“We welcome and actively support all projects that grow the local and global cultural ecosystem,” said Sultan Albazie, CEO of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, at the signing ceremony.
BY LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]