The Rise of K-Pop
Updated: Jan 23
“We started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves.”
There is no escaping K-pop. It’s everywhere…it’s here right now. Deal with it.
K-pop stands for Korean popular music. It is not a genre. Instead, it is more a general term describing where the music originates.
Now that you know what it is, let me tell you: K-Pop is better than traditional American Pop. Everything down to the p is better in K-pop. Here’s why: K-pop has more to offer its listeners. From the resplendent mv’s to unrivaled choreography, songs written for the fans, phenomenal singers and rappers, and special interactions through social media and concerts, it’s easy to see why K-pop is taking over.
K-pop mv’s, music videos, are like no other. It’s not just the intricate concepts of the mv, but everything that goes into it, such as the visuals, acting, choreo, angles, and magical elements. For example, the K-pop group, TXT, Tomorrow by Together, produced an upbeat song called “Blue Hour” in which they start out sitting in a tree in a serene background. Throughout the mv, it transforms them into unrealistically real scenes. Most k-pop mv’s have a fantastical element to them, even if the color scheme is dark or light.
K-pop artists are known for the phenomenal performances and choreographies they perform. Whenever they’re on stage, you can bet that the performance will be one you don’t want to miss. On stage, in practice, and in the mv’s, these artists perfect dance moves, until they are synchronized.
An emphasis on dancing and synchronized dancing at that, is primarily what the American pop industry is missing. Even in the mv, K-pop artists perform pieces of their choreography and sometimes include dance breaks where they focus on dancing without singing.
K-pop has it all. Don’t get me started about the stability and control they have over their voices while dancing at 110 percent.. ahem: Jungkook! Or, the duality of their visuals and vocals. Kim Hong Joong, member of Ateez, and Park Jimin, member of BTS are Kings when it comes to duality.
Their voices switch from deep and raspy, to softer or higher pitches. It’s truly astonishing. Even more astonishing is the fact that K-pop songs blend rap and singing so well with crazy cool beats. You know the American Pop songs that have a splash of rap in them that leave you wondering why it’s even there in the first place? Yeah, that never happens with K-pop.
So they practice super hard choreography, we get it! But their choreography really is on another level! K-pop phenoms, BTS, in their recent hit single, “Permission to Dance,” gifted Army an easy-to-follow choreography that they could enjoy. Not only that, they actually incorporated signing dance in sign language in one of the dance moves; How cool is that!?
Alright, enough about their amazing mv’s and dance moves. Let’s talk about the visuals: From the hair on their heads to the shoes on their feet, K-pop members are always serving looks.
Some people might argue that American pop stars are also dressed really well, but the fact is they pale in comparison to K-pop stars, who slay their outfits better than the models that modeled them. K-pop stars ARE the fashion.
Honorable mentions: Kim Taehyung, known as V, and Jung Ho-seok, known as J-Hope, are fashion icons and also duality Kings.
Aside from the visually pleasing aspects of K-pop, the lyrics of their songs hold deeper meanings than the common he, she, or they broke my heart. They tackle important issues that fans resonate with and value.
For example, BTS has written several songs addressing important issues, such as the government blacklisting artists in South Korea with the song “Am I Wrong.”
They even dedicated an entire album to one’s self-love journey; BTS’s leader Kim Namjoon (RM) delivered this message at the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, UNICEF, in 2018 “After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. Their stories constantly remind us of our responsibility.”
Now, if that ain’t something unique in this music industry, I don’t know what is. K-pop artists genuinely care for their fans. Everything they do, it’s for the fans: for the anniversary of Army on June ninth, 2021, BTS released the song “Permission to Dance” as a gift. The message behind that song: you don’t need permission to dance, just be happy and enjoy yourself.
There is a connection between the members of the groups and their fans. The atmosphere surrounding us is loving, genuine, and more personal than any other artist interaction in America.
K-pop stans get to know the members through V-live and Weverse, apps specific to K-pop artists and fans. Their channel’s on V-live feature live videos and special episodes that they film for fans like the “RUN BTS” show. A schedule is displayed on V-live so that fans know when to expect content.
Unlike American Pop artists, K-Pop artists keep their fans in the loop and genuinely interact with them. For example, if they are sick, or going through something, they will make a post on Weverse and tell us. Or, if they just happen to be doing something, they’ll ask for our opinion. Bang Chan, a rapper in the group Stray Kids, greets fans weekly on V-live in his series titled “Chan’s Room.” Chan and Stay (Stray Kids fan name) literally just sit and talk about random things like the many pick-up lines Chan does and doesn’t know.
As you can see, American Pop has nothing on K-pop. K-Pop is much better than American Pop because it offers listeners more interaction with the artist. K-pop music is uplifting and energetic, but also emotional, and reassuring.
You’re bound to go on a rollercoaster when you step into the K-pop world. I can promise you this: it will be the best experience of your life. It changed mine, and it can change yours!