During my trip to Bali, my friends and I turned on the television in our hotel room and tried to find something to watch. Flipping through the channels we noticed that some were actually in English, which shocked us at first. Then as we continued to browse we noticed that they had MTV…Asia? Figuring this was as good as it was going to get, we decided to give MTV Asia a chance and much to our surprise they were playing many of the same shows and music videos as in America. Shifting between Korean boy bands and Justin Bieber, the musical taste of the Balinese people seemed oddly in tune with that of American popular culture. I even checked the website and saw how few of the shows and musical artists are of Asian origins. MTV Asia
The influence of American popular culture is farther reaching that one would initially expect and there seemed to be significant British and European influence as well. Even on this week’s top twenty song chart there is not a single Asian artist on the list. MTV Asia Music Chart
This looks more like the list of America’s top twenty songs than Asia’s. There is a clear impact of the core on the periphery here but many of the other peripheries influence one another in Indonesia. One of my friends was Korean and she could tell us which country each of the Asian bands was from based on the language of the song. There were artists from a variety of countries, including Korea, China, and Japan, which marks the influence that these other nations have on one another in a more subtle manner than the blanket influence of core countries like the United States. Many of the songs had a couple words, or even the chorus, in English which was the ultimate mark of the impact of core countries on these communities and their popular cultures.