At a press conference held Monday at Seoul’s Imperial Palace Hotel, Swizz Beatz announced a deal between his own production company and South Korea’s O.N. Media. The partnership is meant to produce collaborations between American and Korean artists, and to help advance K-Pop artists in the US market. Swizz expressed admiration for top-selling groups KARA, Big Bang, 2NE1 and BoA, told local press that he’d like to produce a Rihanna/2NE1 collaboration and explained his desire to market K-Pop outside of Asia:
It’s a new expression and the world is open for new things. I think right now K-Pop in Korea is leading in that area, and I would love to be the one to introduce that to the West. The biggest thing with K-Pop is how much it’s elevated to the next level. A genius like Kanye West [West collaborated with Korean boy band JYJ on "Ayy Girl"] and other geniuses that are smart enough to work with K-Pop groups understand that music is universal… I believe in leadership, I believe in setting the pace, I don’t like to wait till somebody else does it. I like to be one of the first.
In January, Swizz Beatz was listed as the CEO of now-shuttered file sharing site Megaupload on its “about us” page. In the federal indictment filed against Megaupload, Swizz was not identified as one of the site’s owners. This morning in New Zealand, Megaupload’s founder Kim Dotcom was released on bail. He has been in custody since his January 20th arrest.