Have you ever questioned the origin of PSY? The record-breaking “Gangnam Style” singer is currently Korea’s most popular singer and the most viewed artist on YouTube with over an outstanding 2 billion hits!
Story by Sara Eunice Martinez
But did you ever wonder, if there was more to K-pop than just “Gangnam Style” ? PSY is an artist under a Korean music genre called K-pop. K-pop is an abbreviation of not just Korean pop, but Korean popular music. Because of the variety, K-pop is surely something that everyone can enjoy!
K-pop started to gain recognition in the 1990s. K-pop consists of electronic, hip-hop, pop, rock, and even R&B sounds. When Korean artists started experimenting with these western-styled beats, they gained an audience. They uploaded their videos on YouTube, and people from overseas became more familiar with K-pop.
Many Korean artists still use YouTube as a platform to connect them to fans from overseas, raking in millions of views for each video. Now in the 2000s, K-pop’s income has doubled.
According to the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), in 2008, K-pop’s revenue was recorded as an outstanding $2 billion!
K-pop actually happens to have a big fanbase here in the states. After all, most K-pop groups are influenced by western-styled music. K-pop artists pay attention to every little detail, including their fashion. So, if you want to hear good music with entertaining and fashionable music videos, then K-pop might be right for you!
Something that I feel lured me to K-pop were the videos itself. I’m a huge fashion junkie, and I loved the clothes and costumes in the music videos. Many K-pop groups wear the latest fashion trends such as Jeremy Scott Adidas and even BOY LONDON.
I like the fact that K-pop is very broad, so I can find a K-pop group that sing and dance to a specific subgenre that I like! One of my favorite artists would have to be SHINee, because they were my introduction to K-pop. Even though there are several subgenres in K-pop, the most popular groups usually have a cutesy image and sound most of the time, unless they are from YG Entertainment (one of Korea’s biggest hip-hop labels).
B.A.P happens to be one of my favorite groups because their sound can vary from cutesy to hip-hop, a balance that I think more k-pop groups should have. F(x) is my favorite girl group because of their electronic sound being consistent. I feel that a lot of girl groups like to switch their sound with every single release. I truly love F(x) because with each single, their sound rarely changes. Because of that, some fans like to label them as an ‘indie’ group other than an ‘idol’ group. Because of that, F(x) actually became the first K-pop group to be invited for SXSW back in 2013.
For new listeners, I recommend Big Bang and 2NE1 because they overrule the K-pop scene. They both also happen to be in the same agency as PSY. Their label is YG Entertainment, and their concentration is mainly hip-hop and rap. As for pop lovers, I recommend SM Entertainment artists such as Super Junior, SHINee, and Girls Generation. Their sound is more pop and cute if that is something that you are looking for.
It’s Korean, it’s different, and it’s in. Many K-pop groups are actually making collaborations with many artists here in the states. So one day, PSY might not be the only Korean artist that you will hear on the radio.
K-pop is something that has overtaken the pop industry in Asia. It is something that is not only good to hear but the videos are just as fun to watch. That’s why, to any curious individuals, K-pop could become something important for you!
Featured image courtesy of girlsgeneration.smtown.com