Pop, Pop… It’s Korean Pop!

Christine Vo, J1 Staff Writer

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“KIM NAMJOON! KIM SEOKJIN! MIN YOONGI! JUNG HOSEOK! PARK JIMIN! KIM TAEHYUNG! JEON JUNGKOOK! BTS!” scream fans as young performers sing and dance on stage. All night, fans scream, fans chant, fans cry. A new wave of music has arrived. A new era has hit. A new beginning has begun. This is Kpop.

Kpop, or Korean pop, is a music genre that originated in Korea, and has been taking the world by storm through their memorable dances, catchy songs, and colorful outfits. Breaking world records at an unimaginable rate, Kpop has made its mark on not just teens, but the music industry itself. One group in particular has proven this to be true, BTS.

BTS made their debut on June 3, 2013 with the song “No More Dream.” The group consists of seven members: Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung, and Jeon Jungkook. They come from Big Hit Entertainment, a comparatively small agency in the Korean music industry. However, no one could predict their current status of worldwide success when they first began as an unpopular and barely recognized group due to a lack of media exposure. In 2013,  BTS were on the brink of disbanding when they were just rookies in the music industry.

Fast-forward to 2015, BTS released their album, “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2,” which was a major hit. Their fan base, called A.R.M.Y, grew after two years of trial and error. With more exposure to the media, they became a band with hit songs and influence.

What makes BTS so different from the other Korean music groups is that the inspiration for their music comes from what is going on in society, their thoughts, and issues that need light shed on them.

Korea, although a developed country, is still very conservative compared to America. BTS produces music videos that have hidden messages that help engage their fans.

When BTS releases a video, A.R.M.Y comes up with theories and begin discussion boards that talk about what they think the music videos represent. It’s as if BTS has their own army full of detectives. Not only have they been successful commercially, but BTS has hit many “firsts” for Kpop.  They were the first Kpop group to perform at the American Music Awards, the first Kpop group to appear on the Ellen Degeneres Show, the first Kpop group to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live,  and the first Kpop group to win a Billboard Award. BTS has so also collaborated with the ChainSmokers, Desiigner, and Steve Aoki. They even beat Justin Bieber and One Direction combined in voting for iHeartRadio’s best fans and best boy band.

Many people question how someone could listen to music in a different language, but music has no boundaries. What better way to begin immersing oneself in another culture then through music? Kpop bands, especially BTS, have some of the same vibes as the American and British pop music on the radio. What makes BTS worth listening to is the fact that their music is not only nostalgic, but their tunes are also unique. Listeners will get the best of both worlds. They will have a sense of both connectedness and an out-of-world experience when listening to BTS. All in all, Kpop could be the way to pave for the future of music.

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Pop, Pop… It’s Korean Pop!