South Korean music genre pops into American culture

In the world, there are a ton of music genres that people like, whether it’s jazz, R&B, country, rock. There’s even music in different languages such as, English, Spanish, Japanese, and many more. Everyone has a specific music taste that they prefer over others and mine happens to be K-pop.

K-pop, also known as Korean pop, is a genre of popular music originating in South Korea. There are bands, boy groups, girl groups, and solo artists that each have their own style of music. 

Some just focus on a more happy and pop vibe, while other groups have a storyline that goes along with their songs and music videos. One group that has grown popular in the US is BTS which focuses their music on self love and on topics such as depression and anxiety. The stories behind each song and music video go deeper than just the music, which makes BTS a good band.

I’ve enjoyed K-pop since I was nine years old. My sisters and I were sitting in the living room on Youtube and we came across a video titled, ‘Kids React to K-pop’ and, we being curious, watched it and became invested.

I’ve listened to it and have grown to love it more and more. I’ve discovered many groups and artists that I can’t go a day without listening to and also meet people online that enjoy the same groups as me so I actually have people to talk to about what I enjoy. 

In school, if other kids found out or heard me talking about K-pop, I would always get made fun of and they would call me and the music weird. Sometimes, certain things people said to me would get to my head and I would think, “Man, maybe I really am this weird girl.” Over the years I got older and learned to not care what people thought about me and I just enjoy life and kpop. 

Listening to K-pop as a Hispanic girl is the equivalent to a white girl listening to Spanish music, such a Despacito, which is in Spanish. People see the one scenario as normal but still see me as weird. Both songs are in different languages that neither of us speak, yet we still enjoy them. It might not make sense, but unfortunately that’s how some people think and that’s how people judge others. I’ve learned to enjoy the beat more than to focus on the words, which is a beautiful thing.

Some people think K-pop is weird and the way that they interpret it is way different than what it actually is. One of my favorite K-pop artists, Dean, produces his own songs and writes his own lyrics which are usually about social media, his personal breakups, and topics that are sensitive in Korea.

His overall vibe and music genre is amazing and relaxed. The songs he produces are like most of the songs American artists produce, just in a different language. 

Dean has recently started producing songs in English for his new album to help his US fans connect with him. 

Instagram is one of my favorite songs which is about how social media impacts people’s lives negatively, making them feel lonely. There’s a part in the song where the music cuts and there’s subtitles that pop up on the black screen that read, “Sometimes I feel alone, even when I’m with a lot of people I feel like Robinson Crusoe, that’s how I feel.” In an interview, Dean said that a person will see their reflection in the black screen and it will seem like their story. 

Another favorite is “Dayfly” which is about how a person keeps having one night stands after a breakup to make them stop feeling pain and loneliness. Eventually the person realizes what they are doing isn’t going to fix the sadness in there heart. I like this song because many people that listen can relate to it in their own way.

K-pop is also unique because the music videos are different from American music videos. They include choreography, which adds more entertainment to the video, and after the music video comes out they release a dance video to the song so fans around the world can learn the choreography.

Once they release a music video, the group goes on variety shows, and fans can see more of their idols as they are off-stage. K-pop idols also go on tours and have several concerts not only in Korea, but around the world.

I was actually lucky enough to see my favorite group in concert back in 2015, EXO,  and it was one of the best moments of my entire life because being able to see the band I’ve idolized for so long perform in concert was amazing.  

Even though I don’t know the language and half of the fans of K-pop don’t know the language, it still brings people together. People shouldn’t look at it in a negative way if they don’t know how much it impacts people’s lives and if they don’t have any knowledge of it at all.