In all honesty, Ihaven’t been into Kpop for long, but this feature explains how my love for KPOPand all things Korean began and rapidly blossomed.
I had an Americanfriend of Korean descent and she constantly talked about this boy band, BangtanSonyeondan, a seven member boy band from Seoul, South Korea (or BTS for shortand also known as The Bangtan Boys). She repeatedly told me to listen to them,which I was reluctant to do, but she turned the aegyo on (a Korean phrasereferring to a display of cute affection, often with a baby voice) and won meover. The first BTS song I listened to was ‘I Need U’.
The song’s musicvideo, which has a deep and depressing tone, features a man that’s having areally rough time and needs someone to help him survive. Kpop music videos areoften very extravagant and narrative-driven productions. The song in mythen-impartial and neutral mind seemed pretty catchy and eventually became thefirst Kpop song that wasn’t by PSY, to occupy my iPod.
During thefollowing weeks I used YouTube to listen to more songs by BTS, which then introducedme to the group that changed my life, GOT7.
GOT7 were the firstgroup that I fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong, I love BTS and they remainhigh on my list, but I felt an instant connection with GOT7’s song ‘Just Right.’ For the first time, I sat back and thought, “Wow this Kpop stuff is prettygood.” It was from that moment that I truly began to understand andappreciate Kpop.
As well as Kpopmusic, my attention was also drawn to Kpop YouTubers such as JREKML, who is my daily dose ofhappiness, and Steven Deng. It was through watchingtheir channels that I found Kpop girl groups and other Kpop artists of interest.There are common themes that run through Korean pop culture, which make thedifferent variations of it so appealing if there is an initial interest.
Now, here I am,five months, seven albums, 40 artists and 1,200 Kpop songs later.
Some people cringeor avoid talking about Kpop music, but we’ve all heard or seen Kpop music,often through its influence and impact on Western culture; PSY – the artistresponsible for ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gentleman’, Big Bang have a song in thePitch Perfect 2 trailer and are widely recognised across America, GirlsGeneration, arguably the world’s biggest Kpop girl group, and Hyuna – hell, shehas photos with Deadpool!
Don’t forget to suggestany groups/songs you would like me to review in the comments section! Staytuned for the next feature on how I got into Korean/Asian dramas.