“Love & Noraebang” marries K-Dramas and Telenovelas in romantic podcast

Korean dramas and telenovelas are two of the most popular entertainment formats in the world, so why not marry them into a multicultural romance? It was the thought behind Love & Noraebang, a podcast set in present-day Los Angeles. The ten-part romantic comedy chronicles the whirlwind romance between Jaesun, the heir to a Korean conglomerate, and Ana, a Mexican American entrepreneur. The romantic comedy podcast melodically blends cultures, with a musical score that incorporates k-pop, reggaeton, pop ballads, Latin trap and noraebang, also known as karaoke.

Randall Park, known for his role in the television comedy Fresh off the boat, serves as a podcast narrator. Park said he found it energizing to work on a show that mixed these television formats and to work on a project with such a diverse and creative team.. “I can’t wait for audiences to hear the city of LA tell the love story of Ana and Jaesun.”

Justin H. Min (The Umbrella Academy) plays Jaesun and Francia Raisa (How I met your father, Grownish) is Ana. Julia Cho plays Chloe and the cast also includes Emily Tosta (Mayans, MC), June Yoon and Rafael Torres.

The audio project is the brainchild of Sonoro, a global entertainment company, and The Mash-Up Americans, an independent creative studio. Sonoro, co-founded and directed by Camila Victoriano, amplifies diverse and often overlooked voices by collaborating with leading and emerging Latinx storytellers – writers, producers and directors – to develop and produce original franchises in English, Spanish and Spanglish. The Mash-Up Americans, led by Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer, produces original content across multiple platforms, including podcasts for entertainment companies, major tech companies and social justice organizers.

“Even if you’re not Korean or Mexican or living in LA, Love & Noraebang is a deeply universal love story that, while rooted in our specific experiences and values, has global appeal,” Victoriano said. “As proof, just days after launch, we had already become the #2 fictional podcast in the US and the #1 fictional podcast in South Korea.”

Love & Noraebang is not only apple number 2
fiction podcast in the United States and the #1 Apple fiction podcast in South Korea, as well as the #1 Apple comedy fiction podcast in Mexico. According to Victoriano, it is the first fictional podcast to incorporate elements of Korean drama.

Love & Noraebang is the first of its kind,” she said. “Not just because of the story – an unabashed celebration of two cultures coming together – but because of the team that made it. The show was produced by a 100% Latino and Asian-American team. , in front and behind the mic. You rarely see a production like this, in audio or media more broadly.

Victoriano saw the audio space as the perfect place to experiment with new ideas and push the boundaries of media. “Audio is also an incredibly accessible entry point for many creatives, and an easier entry point than more traditional Hollywood spaces that are more expensive and require the support of gatekeepers.”

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity. Fifty-five percent of the US population has listened to a podcast, up from 51% in 2019. Forty-eight percent of US listeners are between 12 and 34 years old and 35% between 35 and 64 years old.

Love & Noraebang reflects the reality of changing demographics, says Victoriano. “When we started this project with our partners The Mash-Up Americans, we read about a statistic that both blew our minds while also seeming obvious to us who experienced it. Between 2010 and 2020, the multiracial population of United States grew by 276% And by 2045, the American population will become predominantly non-white. Love & Noraebang shows the reality of the multicultural, mash-up world we already live in through the delightful, upbeat lens of a romantic comedy.

Choi, co-founder and editorial director of Mash-Up Americans, agrees. “In recent years, The Mash-Up Americans has expanded our storytelling platforms to work with progressive organizers and do in-depth work to elevate social justice issues that are at the heart of our community, such as domestic work, immigration and anti-racism work,” she said. . “Love & Noraebang was an opportunity to inhabit the joyful, delicious and colorful world that we work to create every day.

Will Jaesun and Ana find love by singing noraebang? Will they face k-drama-style or telenovela-style difficulties on the road to joining hands? Will they find that cultural similarities or differences bring them closer or further apart? Listeners will have to tune in to find out.

The podcast premiered on July 19 and is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcast.

About Victoria Rothstein

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