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Introduction to K-POP

g.o.d in "I Am Korea" concert, 2015

Korean pop generally referred to as K-pop has gained tremendous momentum in the past couple of years. Although K-pop began in the 90s it was the 2000s when things became quite serious. Today, K-pop stars are not only immensely popular in Korea but across the globe as well. Fascinated by their creativity, fashion sense, choreography, and music style, the younger generation has developed a strong taste for the music trend. The K-pop world has been dominated by both men and women. Both boys and girls group through their dancing and singing skills have performed at sold-out venues. Therefore, K-pop is popular for all the right reasons. Let us dig into how it all started and where it stands today.

K-Pop Music

Korean pop music originated from South Korea. It could be thought of as a music genre that is similar to Taylor Swift in the United States. However, it is not only pop that is particularly related to this music trend but other music genres as well that fall under this umbrella. For instance, pop, rock, jazz, and electronic music, all are played by the groups in order to bring something new to their fans and for some reason, the venture has been successful.

It could be said that Korean music has been influenced by different music genres existing in the west. The reason being that since the introduction of Korean pop music back in the 90s, the music style has kept changing tremendously to the point where we hear heavy metal, guitars, and most important pop. This was not popular in Korean music then, however, American culture has slowly but gradually kept influencing Korean music as well to produce an overall different effect.

The introduction of K-pop

The introduction of K-pop could be tracked back to 11th April 1992, when The Boys and SeoTaiji groups jumped into the spotlight. These groups were a huge success. Furthermore, the music fans were immediately drawn towards a different music scene never heard before. Not only that, the groups soon made their way to TV for the very first time and this helped enhance the fan base as well.

Both The Boys and SeoTaiji had further motivated and influenced the upcoming idol groups such as YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and SM entertainment. Then in 1996, the first K-pop idol group to exist was H.O.T. If you were to ask the music fans, they will swear by the fact that K-pop was breaking charts at the time. It didn’t take time for these groups to settle with the audience. For the audience, it was something that they had always been looking for.

K-pop Idols

K-pop Idols

If it ever comes to discussing Korean music, K-pop idols are a must. In case if you were wondering what K-pop idols are, consider pop groups such as Fifth Harmony, One Direction and Little Mix. The K-pop idols are close to the concept of these bands in the west. In reality, K-pop idols are basically artists and groups that are created and formed by various entertainment companies to attract the younger generation by producing catchy Korean music.

These groups are formed by bringing together individuals that possess different skills such as dancing, rapping, and singing. Furthermore, entertainment companies are always on the lookout for individuals in their teens. Once they choose and pick the talent, years are spent on rigorous training just so that these individuals could dance, rap, or sing and sometimes in a foreign language as well. Depending on their skill and luck, these teens are then selected and picked for creating idol groups. While some make their way through, others are not that fortunate enough.

Those who successfully make it through then work on their singles and albums that are released periodically. The groups will perform on any platform available to gain as much popularity possible in the shortest amount of time. Even though both music and song are important, special attention is given to choreography and styling, which plays a crucial role in defining the identity of different K-pop artists and groups.

In addition to that, just as the music style has continuously changed over the years, the combination of choreography and styling has as well. Ultimately, the idols not only impress their audience with music but their fashion sense as well. K-pop music fans would go all the way to imitate their favorite artists and will even spend on expensive items just to resemble them.

Since the demands and preferences of the audience are always changing, the entertainment companies have to look for unique talent as well. The same principle applies to K-pop idols too. In order to remain relevant and compete with the competition, they will have to bring in something new each time for their fans.

Famous K-pop girl groups

When it comes to discussing famous K-pop girl groups, one could not help mention Girl’s Generation. This K-pop girl group has managed to keep its audience on its toes for at least a decade through their catchy concepts and songs. For instance, the group’s ‘Gee’ is one of the songs that remain stuck inside your head and you will definitely have it on repeat once you listen to it.

Then there is another K-pop girl group, Wonder Girls. Although the group has not been that popular as Girl’s Generation but has surely enjoyed a fair share of success and popularity. Their hit song “Nobody” had blown the charts and is considered one of the best songs and hits to be ever made.

Famous K-Pop boy groups

While girl groups have had a huge part to play in the K-pop world, the boy groups have dominated the scene comparatively longer. Both Big Bang and Dong Bang Shin Ki are two famous boy groups that once possessed the biggest fan base in the world.

Big Bang was a music group whose music style was not only unique but kept evolving with each album. They would offer something new to their fans each time and that was the sole reason behind their success. With the passage of time, Big Bang has paved the way for new entrants and remains a key K-pop boy group that has inspired many to follow their footsteps.

And then there is BTS. This group has smashed all popularity contests and has managed to become a huge hit in the USA and other countries, let alone Korea. BTS’s music sense has made it one of the most popular groups in Korea, with fans traveling across the world to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars.

K-Pop: A Worldwide Phenomenon

Entertainment industries in Korea have made numerous attempts to make K-pop enter international markets such as the USA. Since the USA market is totally different, it would take time for K-pop idols to settle. The world got to know K-pop music when PSY came up with his ‘Gangnam Style’. The song became a huge hit at the time and was being played in every radio station. The year 2012 belonged to PSY and eventually made K-pop a global phenomenon.

Final Word

K-pop today continues to evolve and spread. Utilizing their skills, fashion sense, and creativity, the K-pop idols have managed to break into the international market and are admired for their catchy tunes and choreography. Both boy and girl groups share the stage across the globe offering something new each time. As the doors of K-pop are open for new idols and groups, it is imperative that the umbrella will only expand in the future.

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