If you have ever been anywhere near the K-Pop community on Twitter—or any online K-Pop community, for that matter—you most certainly have come across Brazilian fans. We have a very special way of stanning that never goes unnoticed. Brazilians are known for being caring, enthusiastic, and (at times) extreme. As a Brazilian fan that has experienced K-Pop both inside and outside of Brazil, I come to you with Brazil With a K, the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a K-Pop fan in Brazil.
The infamous language barrier is a common roadblock for all K-Pop fans, but it takes an extra step for us in Brazil. While content is often easy to find in English, it’s never expected for Portuguese to be an option for subtitles. That was what started the need for fanbases: the language. But today, their work goes far beyond translations. Fanbases in Brazil have taken the extra step toward truly representing their favorite groups in our country.
Before starting my own fanbase, I was your average, everyday K-Pop fan. However, I was always lucky enough to have English on my side. After coming to the realization that not all of my friends had it as easy as me, I figured I could easily help them with a few translations. And so Bangtan Brasil started. Once I had my own fanbase to take care of, the K-Pop community I was a part of began to grow. My team became my closest friends, and those who followed us were soon our most trusted confidants.
While fanbases say they pride themselves on working to promote their favorite groups in Brazil, that statement is not entirely true. Fanbases work for the fans too. They are, in fact, a fanbase’s first priority. And they have come a long way. With the K-Pop community still growing in Brazil, the Brazilian entertainment industry doesn’t always know how to deal with Korean artists. Because of that, most agencies are either fan-made or rely on the help of fans to make their events a success. Fanbases have been in charge of generating statistics to prove their favorite groups would hold a successful event in Brazil, promoted social, community-based events with nearly 1,000 fans in attendance, and even assisted in their favorite group’s visit while in Brazil.
Fanbases also follow an unspoken moral code. Each has a mutual respect for the other. Alliances are always created among fanbases for the same groups and fanbases of different groups to represent a united K-Pop community in Brazil. As the front-facing representation of their fandoms, those behind their administration carry the responsibility of maintaining civility among their fandom. What has surprised me the most is the fans’ respect for fanbases. Fanbases have gained a legion of fans of their own, keeping K-Pop communities alive, active, and vibrant in Brazil.
To really bring you into the world of fanbases, I talked to 24K Brasil Oficial. They assisted me greatly in writing the article in our January 2017 issue on 24K’s Brazilian tour after being a key component to the success of the group’s events in several cities. In their words, “24K Brasil Oficial is the most complete Brazilian fanbase dedicated to 24K, officialized by Choeun Entertainment. Our team has 5 people who do their best to update our Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube accounts. Together with 24U, we'll keep doing our best to bring information about 24K and to bring more and more fans to this amazing 24K world!”
I spoke to 24K Brasil Oficial again to get their take on how they got started, how their fanbase and others like them impact the Brazilian K-Pop community, and more.
Q. What was the main goal you had in mind when creating your fanbase?
A: Well, I first found 24K in 2015 (unfortunately), and I tried to search for a Brazilian fanbase, but I didn't find any. The ones I found were totally inactive. So then, I decided to create a new one, because 24K is truly talented and deserves more attention.
Q: Have you noticed your fanbase has changed through the years? Why do you think those changes happened?
A: Yep! Especially with the Brazilian tour last year, because people want to know more about 24K, about their story, etc. So then we tried hard to make what we could to help give more information in Portuguese to those fans, like through our YouTube channel.
Q: Do you think there's a difference in talking to your fandom when you're representing your fanbase than when you are not?
A: Totally! We feel the responsibility. As an official fanbase, we have to be there for the group and for the fans. We’re searching for the official information only, and people come to us to get the truth sometimes, so we think it's important to be professional!
Q: How do you think fanbases have influenced K-Pop's growth in Brazil?
A: I think a lot of people have been helped because of fanbases. Many fans don't know English (or Korean) and try to find information in Portuguese to know more about the group and to be part of the fandom. Then the Brazilian fanbases always try hard to translate everything we can, to help more and more fans know how talented and amazing those groups are. Even if they're not that big in Korea, we still wanna show at least to Brazilians that they are worth it!
Q: What opportunities have running your fanbase given you that you wouldn't have gotten without it?
A: Well, the opportunity to be recognized for our efforts by 24K. Choeun Ent officialized us, and Cory (24K's leader) even follows us on Twitter. It's such an honor that they know about our work and about how Brazilian fans appreciate them. And also, it's an honor to make a lot of projects with 24Us. That is certainly the greatest opportunity.
Brazilians are known for not being able to be lowkey about anything, and our fanbases prove that exact point. Fanbases are hardworking and professional and are taking over the K-Pop community in Brazil. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be part of such a dedicated group of people with so much mutual respect. Keep up the good work, Brazil. You’re making us all proud!