Tamar Herman

Hong Kong

Tamar Herman

Senior Reporter for Culture Desk covering K-pop.

Tamar joined SCMP in 2020 after years of covering K-pop and related content for outlets such as Billboard, Forbes, and NBC News. She released her first book, "BTS: Blood, Sweat & Tears," in August 2020, and can be seen in the K-pop episode of Vox’s Explained on Netflix.

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Latest from Tamar Herman

Why is the K-pop bullying scandal blowing up now and what will become of it?

It seems not a day goes by without a new K-pop star being accused of bullying when they were young. Should the Korean music industry be worried?

4 hours ago

It seems not a day goes by without a new K-pop star being accused of bullying when they were young. Should the Korean music industry be worried?

Why is the K-pop bullying scandal blowing up now and what will become of it?
K-pop fans cancel their Spotify memberships after favourite songs disappear following dispute with South Korean distributor Kakao M

Spotify’s removal of some K-pop artists’ music from its platform over a licensing dispute has outraged international K-pop fans, who have taken to social media to protest.

2 Mar 2021 - 1:26PM

Spotify’s removal of some K-pop artists’ music from its platform over a licensing dispute has outraged international K-pop fans, who have taken to social media to protest.

K-pop fans cancel their Spotify memberships after favourite songs disappear following dispute with South Korean distributor Kakao M
Opinion | BTS coronavirus insult shows the media and entertainment worlds are overdue a reckoning with their tolerance for racism

A German radio host’s comparison of the K-pop stars to a virus is one of three examples this week that reflect poorly on Western media and entertainment industries.

1 Mar 2021 - 5:48PM

A German radio host’s comparison of the K-pop stars to a virus is one of three examples this week that reflect poorly on Western media and entertainment industries.

BTS coronavirus insult shows the media and entertainment worlds are overdue a reckoning with their tolerance for racism
YouTube K-pop battle series: Stray Kids, Ateez, iKon, The Boyz, and others fight to become top boy band of their generation

The new Mnet YouTube series will feature younger K-pop boy bands such as Ateez competing against older groups like BtoB. International as well as local fans will be able to vote for their favourite groups.

25 Feb 2021 - 3:35AM

The new Mnet YouTube series will feature younger K-pop boy bands such as Ateez competing against older groups like BtoB. International as well as local fans will be able to vote for their favourite groups.

YouTube K-pop battle series: Stray Kids, Ateez, iKon, The Boyz, and others fight to become top boy band of their generation
Shinee’s back: K-pop band members on their return after three years with album ‘Don’t Call Me’ – ‘We’re having fun’ doing ‘things we’ve never tried before’ 

Their compulsory military service in South Korea over, Shinee are back with their seventh album. Key says it’s a ‘gift package to our fans’, while Minho teases ‘things that we’ve never tried before’. 

23 Feb 2021 - 10:05AM

Their compulsory military service in South Korea over, Shinee are back with their seventh album. Key says it’s a ‘gift package to our fans’, while Minho teases ‘things that we’ve never tried before’. 

Shinee’s back: K-pop band members on their return after three years with album ‘Don’t Call Me’ – ‘We’re having fun’ doing ‘things we’ve never tried before’ 
Clubhouse app becomes playground for K-pop artists, fans, and Korean music industry workers

Mark Tuan, Song Mino, DinDin, Simon Dominic, and Hyomin among the K-pop artists to take advantage of iPhone audio app Clubhouse to converse with fellow musicians, fans, and music industry employees.

21 Feb 2021 - 6:15PM

Mark Tuan, Song Mino, DinDin, Simon Dominic, and Hyomin among the K-pop artists to take advantage of iPhone audio app Clubhouse to converse with fellow musicians, fans, and music industry employees.

Clubhouse app becomes playground for K-pop artists, fans, and Korean music industry workers
K-pop singer Hyolyn on performing in Joy Ruckus Club, and making her own music even when it is tough as a soloist

The former Sistar member has been on her own, both as a soloist and head of her own company, for several years now, and says she puts a lot of effort into releasing new music. 

20 Feb 2021 - 7:52AM

The former Sistar member has been on her own, both as a soloist and head of her own company, for several years now, and says she puts a lot of effort into releasing new music. 

K-pop singer Hyolyn on performing in Joy Ruckus Club, and making her own music even when it is tough as a soloist
Universal Music Group and Big Hit Entertainment are teaming up to create new K-pop-style boy band based in the US

BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment and Universal revealed their plans to create a US-based K-pop band in an online announcement. Big Hit continues its rapid expansion, both at home and in overseas markets. 

18 Feb 2021 - 1:23PM

BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment and Universal revealed their plans to create a US-based K-pop band in an online announcement. Big Hit continues its rapid expansion, both at home and in overseas markets. 

Universal Music Group and Big Hit Entertainment are teaming up to create new K-pop-style boy band based in the US
Monsta X’s I.M apologises for wearing Allah’s name in promo images for solo album Duality

K-pop company Starship Entertainment issued an apology on Monday after Monsta X member I.M was seen wearing a shirt featuring Islamic calligraphy of the name of Allah. 

15 Feb 2021 - 5:06PM

K-pop company Starship Entertainment issued an apology on Monday after Monsta X member I.M was seen wearing a shirt featuring Islamic calligraphy of the name of Allah. 

Monsta X’s I.M apologises for wearing Allah’s name in promo images for solo album Duality
Golden Child are all grown up, and latest EP ‘[Yes.]’ reflects the K-pop group’s new sound and maturity

K-pop group Golden Child’s identity revolves around youth, but five-track EP [Yes.] reveals their new, more mature style – one they hope means they ‘can explore being adults’, they tell the Post.

16 Feb 2021 - 9:06AM

K-pop group Golden Child’s identity revolves around youth, but five-track EP [Yes.] reveals their new, more mature style – one they hope means they ‘can explore being adults’, they tell the Post.

Golden Child are all grown up, and latest EP ‘[Yes.]’ reflects the K-pop group’s new sound and maturity
BTS, NCT, Seventeen photocards: why K-pop fans are going wild over pics of their favourite stars and pay big money for the ones they want

Forget Pokémon or football cards, K-pop fans are into pint-sized photocards of their favourite stars and some are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to get the ones they want.

11 Feb 2021 - 1:38AM

Forget Pokémon or football cards, K-pop fans are into pint-sized photocards of their favourite stars and some are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to get the ones they want.

BTS, NCT, Seventeen photocards: why K-pop fans are going wild over pics of their favourite stars and pay big money for the ones they want
K-pop’s NCT 127, Mamamoo, Seventeen and more pivot international releases to Japanese audiences

With travel restrictions still in place, the K-pop industry’s focus for overseas activities has turned to Japan, which has always been an important market for the South Korean music industry.

9 Feb 2021 - 10:15PM

With travel restrictions still in place, the K-pop industry’s focus for overseas activities has turned to Japan, which has always been an important market for the South Korean music industry.

K-pop’s NCT 127, Mamamoo, Seventeen and more pivot international releases to Japanese audiences
K-pop groups Exo and NCT’s label SM Entertainment ordered to pay US$18 million after tax audit as founder comes under scrutiny 

K-pop groups Exo and NCT’s label SM Entertainment has been told to pay US$18 million to the South Korean tax authorities. Label founder Lee Soo-man, who was a main subject of the tax audit, has been investigated before for financial irregularities.

8 Feb 2021 - 6:30PM

K-pop groups Exo and NCT’s label SM Entertainment has been told to pay US$18 million to the South Korean tax authorities. Label founder Lee Soo-man, who was a main subject of the tax audit, has been investigated before for financial irregularities.

K-pop groups Exo and NCT’s label SM Entertainment ordered to pay US$18 million after tax audit as founder comes under scrutiny 
Rising stars of K-pop: girl group Cherry Bullet talk about their first mini album, ‘Cherry Rush’

K-pop girl group Cherry Bullet have released their first mini album, the five-track Cherry Rush. They talk about the past year, their inspirations, and reveal some fun facts.

7 Feb 2021 - 10:15PM

K-pop girl group Cherry Bullet have released their first mini album, the five-track Cherry Rush. They talk about the past year, their inspirations, and reveal some fun facts.

Rising stars of K-pop: girl group Cherry Bullet talk about their first mini album, ‘Cherry Rush’
Who runs K-pop? Big Hit, backers of BTS, Kakao, label of IU, and CJ ENM, with Mnet music channel, loosen grip of ‘Big Three’ SM, JYP and YG

YG Entertainment has Blackpink, and the grandaddy of K-pop, SM Entertainment, has SuperM and Aespa, but tech firm Kakao, with IU and distribution arm Melon, BTS’ label Big Hit, and CJ ENM are increasingly powerful players.

12 Feb 2021 - 12:58PM

YG Entertainment has Blackpink, and the grandaddy of K-pop, SM Entertainment, has SuperM and Aespa, but tech firm Kakao, with IU and distribution arm Melon, BTS’ label Big Hit, and CJ ENM are increasingly powerful players.

Who runs K-pop? Big Hit, backers of BTS, Kakao, label of IU, and CJ ENM, with Mnet music channel, loosen grip of ‘Big Three’ SM, JYP and YG
Hong Kong-born Elkie of CLC leaves K-pop girl group after contract row with label Cube Entertainment

Elkie Chong appears to have been frustrated with the level of Cube Entertainment’s support for her career and for CLC as a whole. The label says her contract was terminated by mutual agreement.

4 Feb 2021 - 12:42PM

Elkie Chong appears to have been frustrated with the level of Cube Entertainment’s support for her career and for CLC as a whole. The label says her contract was terminated by mutual agreement.

Hong Kong-born Elkie of CLC leaves K-pop girl group after contract row with label Cube Entertainment
Stray Kids member Han Jisung apologises for racist and insulting lyrics he wrote before joining the K-pop boy band

Han Jisung of K-pop boy band Stray Kids has apologised for a song he wrote when he was 13 years old that contains slurs and insensitive language, including the Korean equivalent of the ‘N’ word.

3 Feb 2021 - 6:15PM

Han Jisung of K-pop boy band Stray Kids has apologised for a song he wrote when he was 13 years old that contains slurs and insensitive language, including the Korean equivalent of the ‘N’ word.

Stray Kids member Han Jisung apologises for racist and insulting lyrics he wrote before joining the K-pop boy band
Ciipher, Purple Kiss, Tri.be, Mirae: four new K-pop acts in 2021 to look out for as they make their debuts – will we be seeing the next BTS or Blackpink?

K-pop’s latest batch of rookie groups are set to debut early this year, backed by some of the industry’s biggest labels and best known producers, including Rain and the team behind Mamamoo.

3 Feb 2021 - 2:59AM

K-pop’s latest batch of rookie groups are set to debut early this year, backed by some of the industry’s biggest labels and best known producers, including Rain and the team behind Mamamoo.

Ciipher, Purple Kiss, Tri.be, Mirae: four new K-pop acts in 2021 to look out for as they make their debuts – will we be seeing the next BTS or Blackpink?
Five must-see moments from Blackpink’s online event The Show: Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé shine as solo performers

Blackpink members Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé thrilled their online audience with solo performances as well as group numbers at the online event which boosted their fan membership by 2.7 million subscribers.

2 Feb 2021 - 12:50AM

Blackpink members Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé thrilled their online audience with solo performances as well as group numbers at the online event which boosted their fan membership by 2.7 million subscribers.

Five must-see moments from Blackpink’s online event The Show: Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé  shine as solo performers
Rising stars of K-pop: Cravity confident of a big year ahead after launch of their third album, Hideout: Be Our Voice

The nine members of Cravity tell the Post about their eagerness to finally perform in front of fans in 2021, their gratitude to Jooheon of Monsta X and Cosmic Girls’ Exy for writing songs for them, and their ambitions.

1 Feb 2021 - 11:17AM

The nine members of Cravity tell the Post about their eagerness to finally perform in front of fans in 2021, their gratitude to Jooheon of Monsta X and Cosmic Girls’ Exy for writing songs for them, and their ambitions.

Rising stars of K-pop: Cravity confident of a big year ahead after launch of their third album, Hideout: Be Our Voice
K-pop’s Jae Park on the panic attack that triggered him to deal with his mental health issues

The Korean-American Day6 singer-guitarist thought he was going to die when he had a panic attack. It was the cue for him to deal with mental health issues – and now he’s helping other people deal with theirs.

31 Jan 2021 - 12:30AM

The Korean-American Day6 singer-guitarist thought he was going to die when he had a panic attack. It was the cue for him to deal with mental health issues – and now he’s helping other people deal with theirs.

K-pop’s Jae Park on the panic attack that triggered him to deal with his mental health issues
Shinee’s back: K-pop boy band return after two years with an online showcase and new album in the pipeline

K-pop stars Shinee were on a break while three members completed their military service, but now the band is back together, with an online event on January 31 and an upcoming new album.

29 Jan 2021 - 10:15PM

K-pop stars Shinee were on a break while three members completed their military service, but now the band is back together, with an online event on January 31 and an upcoming new album.

Shinee’s back: K-pop boy band return after two years with an online showcase and new album in the pipeline
BTS’ label Big Hit now owns part of rival K-pop company YG, home to Blackpink, while also striking a major deal with online platform Naver

Big Hit Entertainment, the powerhouse label behind K-pop supergroup BTS, has invested US$63 million in rival company YG, home of acts like Blackpink and BigBang.

29 Jan 2021 - 1:00AM

Big Hit Entertainment, the powerhouse label behind K-pop supergroup BTS, has invested US$63 million in rival company YG, home of acts like Blackpink and BigBang.

BTS’ label Big Hit now owns part of rival K-pop company YG, home to Blackpink, while also striking a major deal with online platform Naver
Why U Mad? K-pop stars Bobby from iKon and TVXQ’s Yunho release angry album tracks thanking haters

K-pop is often thought of as a bright and cheerful genre, but the two tracks – U Mad from iKon’s Bobby and Thank U from TVXQ’s Yunho – show that K-pop also tackles serious subjects and confronts issues.

28 Jan 2021 - 12:58AM

K-pop is often thought of as a bright and cheerful genre, but the two tracks – U Mad from iKon’s Bobby and Thank U from TVXQ’s Yunho – show that K-pop also tackles serious subjects and confronts issues.

Why U Mad? K-pop stars Bobby from iKon and TVXQ’s Yunho release angry album tracks thanking haters
Sibling K-pop stars Akmu renew contract with YG Entertainment, home of Blackpink, Big Bang, Winner and iKon

The singer-songwriting duo of Lee Chan-hyuk and his younger sister Lee Su-hyun have signed on for another five years with YG, home of Blackpink, Big Bang, Winner and iKon.

27 Jan 2021 - 12:45PM

The singer-songwriting duo of Lee Chan-hyuk and his younger sister Lee Su-hyun have signed on for another five years with YG, home of Blackpink, Big Bang, Winner and iKon.

Sibling K-pop stars Akmu renew contract with YG Entertainment, home of Blackpink, Big Bang, Winner and iKon
D.O. of Exo ends military service and live-streams K-pop fans to celebrate, as he prepares to resume musical and acting careers

The K-pop star marked the end of his service in the South Korean military by live-streaming fans to show how much he missed them, and performed a new version of his song That’s Okay.

27 Jan 2021 - 2:49AM

The K-pop star marked the end of his service in the South Korean military by live-streaming fans to show how much he missed them, and performed a new version of his song That’s Okay.

D.O. of Exo ends military service and live-streams K-pop fans to celebrate, as he prepares to resume musical and acting careers
BTS’ BE album to get ‘Essential Edition’ in February featuring new elements – remixed or alternate songs, anyone?

The Essential Edition will contain the same eight tracks released on November’s Deluxe Edition along with several new elements – remixed or alternate songs, anyone?

27 Jan 2021 - 2:06AM

The Essential Edition will contain the same eight tracks released on November’s Deluxe Edition along with several new elements – remixed or alternate songs, anyone?

BTS’ BE album to get ‘Essential Edition’ in February featuring new elements – remixed or alternate songs, anyone?
Troubled South Korean rapper Iron found dead outside an apartment block in Seoul

Iron, who was 28, rose to fame on TV hip-hop talent contest Show Me the Money 3 in 2014, and released his only album, EP Rock Bottom, in 2016. He had convictions for assault, spreading false rumours, and drug use.

26 Jan 2021 - 5:34PM

Iron, who was 28, rose to fame on TV hip-hop talent contest Show Me the Money 3 in 2014, and released his only album, EP Rock Bottom, in 2016. He had convictions for assault, spreading false rumours, and drug use.

Troubled South Korean rapper Iron found dead outside an apartment block in Seoul
K-pop fans hijack #ImpeachBidenNow hashtag on social media, causing it to trend worldwide on Twitter

K-pop fans have taken the hashtag created by a Georgia congresswoman and used it to promote their favourite stars and create memes, causing it to trend worldwide on Twitter.

25 Jan 2021 - 6:30PM

K-pop fans have taken the hashtag created by a Georgia congresswoman and used it to promote their favourite stars and create memes, causing it to trend worldwide on Twitter.

K-pop fans hijack #ImpeachBidenNow hashtag on social media, causing it to trend worldwide on Twitter
DJ Steve Aoki plans slew of new releases in 2021 after year’s hiatus, he says, and explains why K-pop represents the future of pop music

DJ Steve Aoki had to ease off in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a new collaboration with K-pop boy band A. C. E shows he’s still got plenty to offer.

30 Jan 2021 - 6:09AM

DJ Steve Aoki had to ease off in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a new collaboration with K-pop boy band A. C. E shows he’s still got plenty to offer.

DJ Steve Aoki plans slew of new releases in 2021 after year’s hiatus, he says, and explains why K-pop represents the future of pop music