What is K-pop? Part 1

Article was first published on Stardom in Korea (My Kpop Blog) 2 years ago (9 August, 2012 @ 20:29:01). I’ve discontinued the blog and imported its content here.

The South Korean entertainment industry received strong government investments in the late 1990s. It has been growing rapidly ever since, driving its audiences to know more about the country and its culture. Viewers around the world started to travel to South Korea, buy their products and even learn their language. As a result of their fascination and curiosity,  a new culture was formed – Hallyu (the Korean wave). Though there are many aspects of Hallyu, we are going to only study one primary aspect that has taken the world by storm, Korean Pop (K-Pop) culture.

SM Town in New York Press Conference courtesy of Allkpop

What is K-pop anyway? 

“Geez, she doesn’t know anything about K-pop!” or “God, how can she not know what K-pop is?!” I dare bet that these thoughts are stuck in your mind right now. It is only natural for K-pop fans to view those as redundant questions as K-pop obviously holds substantial power and popularity in the music industry today. However, do you really know what defines K-pop?

As ironic as it can be, I still find it difficult to fully comprehend the term K-pop despite being an avid fan for nearly 7 years now. K-pop has become an abused term to the point that there is no standard definition to it. The definition of this worldwide phenomenon varies depending on different individuals in different countries.

Thanks to globalization, K-pop is merely a genre no more. To me, it is more than just music, quirky videos, fanciful stage and fashion styles. I feel that its compositions bring special attachments that allow relation to the different phases of my life. Besides, the artists’ never-ending aspirations never fail to inspire me. Thus, K-pop to me is not just a form of relaxation and entertainment but it is also a source of motivation and determination. 

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