KPOP has definitely made its mark on Western media throughout recent years.
Groups like BTS and BLACKPINK have become much more well-known, leading to much more interest in KPOP within mainstream media. I’m going to be sharing my experiences and tips for people who are wanting to get into KPOP or people who just want to read about it.
I was first exposed to KPOP in 2014. I was in late Year 7 and one of my friends had just gotten into KPOP. Her favourite group was EXO. She showed me a few music videos and I slowly but surely got into the craze. We soon bonded over misheard Korean lyrics, choosing favourite members, trying to recreate dance moves and poorly singing in Korean. Something that definitely stuck out to me at first was the fact that these were Asians in entertainment who had such confidence and star quality. For context, I’m half-Asian. I grew up away from Sydney, with about two or three Asian families maximum in the area, so I was rarely exposed to Asian media or Asians in the media. For me, this was a really cool discovery.
I found that the music was very well produced and there was a high budget for productions. There was a very distinct style and aesthetic behind every different artist and song, and there was a big drive behind artist/audience interactions. These are all attributes that aren’t always seen in Western music. I’m not saying either is better or worse than the other, but it’s interesting seeing the differences between the two. KPOP has such a focus on fan engagement with fan signs, meetings, hi-touches, online engagements, vlives (similar to Instagram lives). Even their albums are filled with photobooks and cards. The first group I really got into was BTS, who are currently taking over with a global audience. I loved (and still do) their two albums ‘The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt.1 and Pt.2’.