Meet Carolina Steinert, founder of Brazil’s 1st K-culture magazine

Carolina Steinert, founder and CEO of HIT! Magazine, holds  the magazine's February issues featuring K-pop girl group TWICE. Courtesy of Carolina Steinert

When Carolina Steinert from Brazil first caught a glimpse of K-pop act SHINee on the internet 13 years ago, she had no idea how a boy band from the opposite side of the planet would change her life.

The singers, who mesmerized her with their jaw-dropping choreography and music video, opened the door to new opportunities for her, prompting Steinert to become a K-pop content creator on YouTube and a K-pop dance teacher.

The zealous fan also got her journalism license and began writing for Todateen, a Brazilian magazine about general pop culture. However, Steinert thought her solo effort was not enough. She felt she needed more people to join her in promoting Korean culture in her home country, and ended up launching HIT! Magazine in 2023 — the first of its kind in Brazil dedicated to Korean culture.

“At that time, no company wanted to hire and pay someone to talk about K-pop,” Steinert said in a recent email interview with The Korea Times. “So, I decided to create one on my own and have editorial control over what was posted about it. I believe Korean culture should be highly respected and K-pop should be treated as something serious — not something childish.”

According to Steinert, K-pop and Korean culture are hitting high notes in Latin America, one of the world’s fastest-growing music markets.

After singer PSY swept the world off its feet with his 2012 mega-hit “Gangnam Style,” K-pop giants like BTS and Korean dramas have picked up the baton, solidifying their presences in South America.

Nonetheless, numerous companies and corporations in Brazil are still quite skeptical about their economic value and potential, Steinert says.

“My biggest difficulty is to gain recognition from large companies and corporations and to show them that K-pop is a business as well,” 커뮤니티 she explained. “It is profitable and we are the professionals working to promote Korean culture in the country. But we still feel significant resistance from companies both outside and within the sector.”

She added, “It is difficult to show these companies how we can grow this market even more by working together. It also becomes quite challenging in the Brazilian industry because many people are without a business vision or a perspective of boosting the Korean culture industry here, which sometimes hinders progress a bit.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *