What qualities does K-POP have that other styles of music don’t? The colour. The lights. The outfits. And most importantly, the hair.
K-POP has slowly become globalised by so many events happening around the world. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang proved this. K-POP sensations EXO and solo artist CL performed at the closing ceremony for the games, which got extensive coverage.
BTS are also an example of this globalisation. They won Billboard’s Top Social Artist Award two years in a row and they are soon to hold their fourth world tour, which once again shows the impact that such a once small music style has had and how it has grown into something completely powerful.
We talked to some fans about what attracts them to the music style.
Hannah Patterson, 22, said: “Nine out of ten times, western music is sampled. The music is made differently. K-POP addresses mental health issues, and issues that people may not know or pay attention to.”
This is especially true for groups such as BTS, who have always written songs tackling many issues such as school, general society, suicide, mental health and diversity. These issues are almost never found in modern western music today because of different audience types – this is not a negative issue, but it is interesting how western music doesn’t include much of it.
It’s about poverty and the wider world issues. Monsta X’s All In music video is about a world turned chaotic by poverty and gun crime, and has an underlying storyline of homophobia towards two of the members who appear to be in love with one another.
The LGBT+ community is also very widely presented in music videos such as Tenny’s 159cm, which is about two girls who are shamed by their families for being together. Singer-songwriter Holland debuted as one of the first openly gay idols with his song, Wonderland.
“I think the appealing thing is that it’s a community. The messages in the songs mean a lot,” said Sudi Ali, 17.
Ellelivia Degiorgio, 17, said: “They put on a show. They have a dance routine for every song, they can act, sing, dance and put on a show of different things that other stars don’t do. Their music videos consist of a story.”
Sometimes, people tend to shy away from the fact that the music is in a different language. However, if Despacito, a Spanish song that people mumble the lyrics to unless they know Spanish or Bieber’s part, has reached global success, why is it not the same for K-POP?
K-POP is something that should be tried at least once.
And whether you like it or not, that is up to you to decide.
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