A Beginner's Guide To Getting Into K-Pop
Whisper-singing, an intentionally dry, nearly ASMR-like performing style championed by large label "indie-pop" performers Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez, Lana Del Rey, and Billie Eilish, has dominate Western pop songs for the past half-decade.. The sound is quiet and soothing, a reaction to the world's upheaval, the music equal of minimalistic interior design for millennials – why belt when you can relax?
In that same time period, K-pop idol songs took root in the United States, and it was the polar contrary: a maximalist dreamland full of beauty, elevated shows and videos, a multiplicity of performers, and incomparable choreography. If Top 40 in the United States demanded soloists so gentle that their slightest breath was detected on mic over a mid-tempo chorus, K-pop seemed to provide a genre-free substitute: continual stimulation, bliss given in eight to ten melodies and fantasy harmonization in a single track. (Such that, K-pop idol music—the term "K-pop" is widely used in the West to refer to Korean idol music, which is defined as pop with a high entertainment value and created in a purposeful studio system, as it is in this piece.)
K-pop is music that is filled but just never bloated; it is music that is enjoyable to watch and listen to (K-pop is created to be enjoyed visually as much, if not more, than it is meant to be heard). The music, in particular, is rapidly approaching total worldwide acceptance.BTS is the biggest and most popular boy band, generating in billions of dollars to South Korea each year through No. 1 album (three of which were achieved in less over a year), history-making late-night televised performance, and music videos that double as art films.
For their recent political victories, K-pop fans have occupied headlines both inside and outside of the pop culture sector: disrupting President Trump's Tulsa rally attendance records and police applications supposed to collect information about Black Lives Matter protesters, forcing their Idols to take a hard stance, and providing millions in donations utilizing their digital native expertise.For English fans learning about K-pop for the first time, this musical discovery is likely to feel like missing a boat on a journey you weren't aware was departing. What caused the needle to move so quickly? K-pop is a force to be reckoned with. And this is understandable.
With the exception of a few Spanish-language artists, Western audiences have really been reticent to adopt songs recorded in a new language throughout the history of popular music. Musicians from other nationalities are expected to touch over — to interpret their work, to whitewash themselves and their shows in order to sell in the world's greatest music market, the United States. A prominent pop style that isn't in English seems unthinkable to many. But still, here we have K-pop, a genre of music mostly recorded in Korean that emerged in the early 1990s and has since grown to become one of the world's most successful music genres, embraced by numerous generations of audiences. Although the statistics can be scary, getting into the music should not.
To really appreciate K-pop, you must first dispel popular prejudices. The basics: K-pop is not a genre, and K-pop fans are not a homogeneous group. The name "Korean pop" means "Korean pop," however it's more of a geographical than a sonic classification for the industry, similar to "Latin pop". K-pop's dominance is due to a "idol system" for interviewing and attempting to create pop talent, similar to Berry Gordy's Motown in the 1960s and 1970s, and financial assistance for the arts from the South Korean government, however the song's recent popularity in the United States is a relatively recent concept: raised online, retweeted, streamed, and shared relentlessly."
K-pop music effortlessly moves from one genre to the next. — Drawing inspiration from dubstep drops that specified pop in the early 2010s, or Swedish hitmakers, or hip-hop, or R&B balladry, or new jack swing, or soul, or euro-pop, or Caribbean dancehall, or salsa, and even beyond — border-less eclecticism recognized by the performers themselves, their seismic natural curiosity, and their multiple languages singing
Girl groups and boy bands, as well as soloists and rappers, are all part of the K-pop culture. The growth of K-pop is marked by vague musical "generations," the definitions of which are constantly debated by fans and critics alike.Loving K-pop isn't the only way to break into the industry: The method to recognition is structured for fans to join online, which implies the most enthusiastic supporters are outspoken and participate in organized publicity initiatives, such as continuously streaming new music videos. That being said, you may learn about K-pop by just listening to it, which is what the following playlist aims to do
. This, like every other introduction, should be viewed as a subjective guide, one curated to pique the interest of Western listeners as well as provide a skeletal bedrock on which to build. In reality, the world of K-pop is vast and rapidly changing. It's not a question of whether you'll be able to locate a K-pop artist whose work you'll enjoy; it's a question of when. Begin exploring beneath the surface.
The Foundation Of Idols:
Seo Taiji and Boys, "Nan Arayo (I Know)" (1992)
Most analysts believed that K-pop began on April 11, 1992, when the trio Seo Taiji and Boys sang "Nan Arayo (I Know)" on South Korea's Munhwa Broadcasting Network, which went on to become a big jam. The song was a welcome alternative to traditional kinds of music, such as "trot," a sort of Korean folk music, for many South Korean teenagers.
H.O.T., "Candy" (1996)
H.O.T. (High-Five of Teenagers) is widely recognized as the very first idol group in K-pop industry, denoting that its performers were gathered together by a company. They are considered formative to the trend of naming your group with an abbreviation for simple comprehension in the worldwide marketplace.— in this case, Lee Soo-man, the founder of SM Entertainment "Candy" is dazzling bubblegum pop at its best, adorable music modeled after American boy bands and J-pop, no doubt.
S.E.S., "I'm Your Girl" (1997)
S.E.S., a girl group formed by Lee Soo-man, was portrayed as the female companion to H.O.T. at first, but as the group's profile developed, its sound shifted dramatically. The group's "I'm Your Girl" has a strong resemblance to TLC – it's perfect '90s R&B-pop.
The Evolving Generation: The Evolution Of The Idol Industry
Wonder Girls, "Nobody" (2008)
In 2008, the commencement of what is commonly referred to as "the golden age of K-pop," the girl group Wonder Girls' retro approach proved to be extremely successful. The members of the quartet typically drew inspiration from older sounds, such as Motown, in the video for "Nobody," the first K-pop song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100.
SHINee, "Ring Ding Dong" (2009)
The song "Ring Ding Dong" by boy band SHINee embodies the musical style of golden age K-pop: it's futuristic R&B with congas-based rhythm, Euro-pop composition, and drastically auto-tuned vocals.
Girls Generation, "Gee" (2009)
Regard Girls Generation's "Gee" to be the template for all upcoming PG-rated K-pop girl groups: It's a sugary sweet, joyful pop song about love and crushes — and its amazing song chorus helped it go global nearly instantly, the most valuable currency of all.
SE7EN ft. Lil' Kim, "Girls" (2009)
It's not only that K-pop, like all styles of popular music, has its roots in Black music; BET was one of K-pop's early sponsors in the United States. "Girls," a collaboration between soloist SE7EN and American rapper Lil' Kim, featured on 106 & Park.
IU, "Good Day" (2010)
Not many of the greatest K-pop singers become the greatest K-pop artists in the United States, as is the case with IU, who is one of South Korea's most famous K-pop performers, as seen by her single "Good Day." Her iconic single is as spectacular and epic as the lead musical number in a famous Disney film.
Super Junior, "Mr. Simple" (2011)
"Mr. Simple" by Super Junior is soul from Seoul; the song's start has a scat-like, dark jazz club aspect before exploding in bright, rhythmic techno.
2NE1, "I Am The Best" (2011)
"I Am The Best" by 2NE1 is Euro-pop perfection – a club empowering anthem.
Psy, "Gangnam Style" (2012)
Psy's "Gangnam Style," with its readily imitated horse-riding dance style, was the first K-pop song to go global in the United States, but he's an aberration in the larger K-pop story. The song is satirical and subversive, criticizing a rich Seoul area while also making a bigger point about inequality.The others on this list are genuine love odes written to appeal to a broad audience.
BoA, "Only One" (2012)
BoA is a pivotal figure in the K-pop history; she sung in English long before a few crucial phrases in the chorus became the norm, and on "Only One," she expertly handled R&B breakup balladry.