Source: The New PaperLocal singer Taufik Batisah (right) in a photograph taken with Australian DJ and singer Havana Brown at the ABU TV Song Festival in Korea.SEOUL - It was not Taufik Batisah's first time in Seoul, South Korea.But this time, he had the time to check out the city's great-looking people."For this trip, I thought I'd see what all the fuss is about," said the Singaporean.Sitting at cafes with a book during his downtime, he finally conceded: "Yes, there are a lot of pretty people."Taufik, 30, was in Seoul mid-October for the ABU TV Song Festival, a concert to go with Korea's ABU Radio Song Festival, Asia's version of the Eurovision Song Contest.There, he met Korean top boy band TVXQ and Australian DJ and singer Havana Brown, who performed their hit songs alongside singers from eight other countries.The concert will be televised on a MediaCorp channel sometime next month.Besides people-watching, Taufik indulged in a bit of shopping for facial products - for friends, though, not himself."That's the first thing they ask for when I go there," he said.Pretty Korean girls and shopping aside, Taufik had the chance to observe a little of what goes into the K-pop industry."These people work really hard," he said. "I really respect them."Having heard the horror stories about bootcamps and strict rules, the K-pop artistes have made Taufik even more appreciative of the idolisation he saw up close."They are deserving of the cheers and support they get," he said."The big difference, I think, is the people, how they idolise these artistes. That was something really interesting to watch from the side of the stage - the craziness of the fans when these guys (TVXQ) performed.Taufik was shown some love, too.At the KBS Concert Hall where the festival was held, he found Malaysian fans in the audience mouthing the words to the song he chose to perform, Usah Lepaskan.The song won Most Popular Singapore Song and Best Local Song at the Anugerah Planet Muzik awards in 2007 and was also RIA 89.7 FM's N.1 song on its end-of-year charts."It was nice that the crowd appreciated the song," he said. "But the whole crowd was so receptive to every single performance."The level of excitement they had for each performer was so high, until, of course you got to the Koreans, and then they went crazy," he said, with a laugh.Off-stage, Taufik took the opportunity to hobnob with other talented musicians from the region, including Malaysian singer Hafiz and rising Cantopop star Alfred Hui.One of his most prized possessions from the trip?A picture of him with sexy blonde singer Brown."I took that picture to spite my friends," he joked.UpcomingNo word yet on whether there'll be any cross-cultural collaboration for Taufik's upcoming English album, which he's currently working on.His most recent single Sky's The Limit, which also features the vocals of his fellow Hype Records artiste Rui En, stayed at the top of the charts on 987FM for two weeks. He raps and sings on it, so will we hear more musical experimentation on the new album?"The album has all different kinds of songs that will showcase different sides of my vocals," he said. "There have been fans who say they want to hear ballads, they want to hear me sing, but some say they like the new spin, that it's refreshing."There are plans to release a single for Malay radio soon, and a Malay album is in the works, too, though Taufik has shelved his earlier plans to release both English and Malay albums at the same time."It doesn't make sense to shove everything down the fans' throats at once, as proper attention won't be given to either album," he said.The English album is tentatively set for release at the end of the year, but don't hold your breath.Taufik says he doesn't want to rush things."We just want to put out a good product,", he said.