“K-pop Community Wired.”
It’s been a minute since we last heard that phrase, hasn’t it? Two rotations around the sun, in fact, and a LOT has changed, both in the K-pop world and especially in the fan community. Why is that important, you ask?
Because, dear reader, it means the return of the Assa! 아싸! Awards!
If you’re new to K-pop, or MACG Productions, LLC in general, you’re probably wondering what exactly are the Assa! 아싸! Awards? It would be easy to give you the spiel — “The Assa! 아싸! Awards biennial fan-focused, fan-driven award for K-pop fans” — but that would be the boring way. So let’s break it down to what really matters.
At the most basic level, these awards are about you. You, the fan.
Whether you’re the one setting their alarm for 3:00 am to catch your favorite group on the latest music show, or the one uploading your latest reaction/skit/dance video to YouTube, the Assa! 아싸! Awards are centered around you. Every other year MACG Productions, LLC, sets out to acknowledge the impact of fans around the world you create content that celebrates K-pop. Basically, YOUR favorites voted on by YOU.
While it’s currently still in its planning stages, we’ve hopefully got you curious and a little excited! Until then, we sat down with the event coordinator, Grace Gnasigamany, to talk a little bit about the awards.
Let’s start with some basic backstory on you, Grace. How long have you been with MACG? What exactly is your role in the company?
In terms of my time with MACG, my one-year anniversary is actually coming up in May, I think. So although I haven’t been on board for too long, that’s pretty exciting! My role in the company is more generally event planning centered, but more specifically focused around the Assa! 아싸! Awards. Essentially, the awards itself is like my baby.
What drew you to MACG? Your epic tale, so to speak — how did you fall in with this crew?
I knew about MACG through Hallyu influencer, YouTuber, and one of the founders Ashley Griffin. K-pop has been a part of my life since around 2011, and her series “Great Moments in Production & Delivery” drew me into a deeper appreciation of the music that I had already fell in love with. While I was watching these videos, I had also started planning music events on my university campus and even volunteered for South by Southwest (SXSW) for about three or four years. Therefore, when I saw an ad on Facebook for Event Planners in MACG, I thought it was a perfect blend of all the things I was interested in. Things just kind of fit together. Not to mention, the first interview I had with DeShonda (Thigpen)cemented my interest in the crew, because we just fangirled over K-pop. It was unlike any interview I have ever had!
Okay, let’s talk about Assa! 아싸! for a moment. I did a little explaining above, but for those that have never heard of it, can you tell us officially what it is?
So, the Assa! 아싸! Awards is a fan-focused, fan-driven award that recognizes the efforts of everyday fans who make great strides to promote, share and appreciate the growing phenomenon known as K-pop. Specifically, Assa! 아싸! Awards focuses on those who influence the growth of K-pop globally, and incorporates many different outlets. Whether that be through dance or song covers, MV reactions or fashion, their addicting personalities and entertaining antics draw in others to the wonderful world of K-pop. Some of these individuals are as popular and as easily recognized as K-pop idols themselves.
This award matters because it’s a message from the fans themselves letting these influencers know that everything they do matters to us — the K-pop fandom community.
Can we get a little info on the timeline for the event? How soon until voting launches/when the event might take place — that kind of thing, if possible.
We are still trying to finalize a venue for sometime in the summer. In that same vein, we are hoping to roll out a voting system soon!! Can’t show y’all all of the cards yet, so just keep your eyes peeled.
What’s been your greatest challenge so far? How about your favorite part of bringing this project together?
My greatest challenge so far is balancing planning the Assa! 아싸! Awards with my coursework in college. This is actually my last year, so strangely the awards coincides with the culmination of my college career, which is something really special to me. That being said, the best part of this project is that the members of the MACG community are always there to help me in any way, and I can’t wait for people to see and experience it!
And lastly, what are your expectations for the 2019 Assa! 아싸! Awards?
I honestly hope that by awarding these influencers, companies and organizations that work within the K-pop industry will take into account how beneficial these people have been to the community, and to the spread of K-pop in general! In addition, I also hope that this event can be a bridge between the influencers and their fans, and be something that reflects how the K-pop community supports one another.
Thank you once again to Grace for taking time to answer our questions and for working so hard to make this year’s event the best one yet. We’re very excited here at “MACG Magazine” and hope you are too!