Two of this year's Korea Image Awards were given to individuals recognized for their contributions to the Korean music industry.
K-pop columnist Jeff Benjamin received the 'Stepping Stone Bridge Award' for introducing K-pop acts to the world and building a bridge between Korean artists and a global audience.
"Language is less important when it comes to the music that they listen to. I think it's certainly becoming more about the artists and what their message is, what they show and what their talent is. And so much to the point that I almost feel like the 'K' part that we are talking about will become less emphasized, but it will be about the actual artists and what they can show for themselves."
The K-pop columnist believes that the key to having a larger impact in the music industry is having a message that is unique and different.
Meanwhile, Jazz vocalist Nah Youn-sun, who was recently given a top honor by the French Culture Ministry, received the 'Fire Stone Award' for promoting Korean culture to international audiences through her work.
"Good music and emotional genres are not limited by borders anymore. I hope Korean artists can tap into bigger markets, reach a wider audience and have a positive influence. I will try harder myself."
She added that nowadays, various Korean musicians are seen in Europe unlike in the past when such Korean influence was hard to find.
Since 2005, the Corea Image Communication Institute has dedicated itself to building a good image of Korea on the international stage and given out annual awards to people and organizations for their contributions in promoting Korea.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.