The Boston Globe recently shed light on the dreams that thousands of Korean youngsters have, which is to become the next big K-pop star — bringing the once regional trend to the forefront of popular culture. Led by Psy‘s rapid rise to stardom in 2012 with his Korean rap single “Gangnam Style,” which sent shockwaves around the world via a playful YouTube music video, K-pop is an ever-evolving entity with a vast amount of potential. This photo series captures the arduous and gruelling task of gaining recognition in an industry that is saturated with pre-teens and teens striving to make a name for themselves. According to a recent survey, a staggering 21 percent of pre-teen respondents in Korea want to become K-pop stars — the most popular career choice in Korea by a large margin. For more, head over to The Boston Globe and check out the full piece.

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