Reasons to Loving K-Pop: From an “International” Fan
The most common criticism I have received from other individuals is “How can you like this kind of music? It is not in your language (that being English or isiXhosa), so how could you understand?” With my cup of coffee on the side, I have decided I should take the time to write this post – as to my reasons for enjoying this kind of music – which is apparently that of a foreign concept to other people…
I started listening to Korean Pop towards the end of 2012 (November 2012). At the time, I really did not like the way American music was heading – that being it was getting “trashier” (music video’s that felt like porn + 4, the incredible amount of auto-tuning that goes into songs, the lyrics of songs being absolutely absurd – especially rap songs). I spoke to a friend of mine, told him how I hated much of today’s music, and he suggested I give K-Pop a spin. Initially I was a bit worried about this, because hey, they going to sing and rap in Korean, and that it may sound too different for my liking. I threw those worries out the window, started with T-Ara and then moved on to 2NE1 and Bigbang, and from there, I was officially converted to a K-Popper 🙂 With that all out, lets get started!
The Music Video’s – Just Wow!!
I could not find an proper title for this section of my post – and that is probably because its such a broad area…there is just so many “sub-reasons” as to why I love the music video’s – firstly, they generally have amazing dance moves in them, not the level 1 dance moves, but the dance moves that will make you work up a real sweat, or the ones that require rigorous practice to get. Another aspect of the music video’s is that they are not dull, they are colorful, vibrant, and full of life…I think those are 3 words I can use to describe them. And lastly, the music video’s are generally not, as I mentioned earlier, as being “porn + 4” – this is throwing in dozens of “hot babes”, make them do sexually suggestive dance routines, “sell sex” in a music video, have the common topic of drugs, hoes, money…
The Artists / Groups
I know the reasoning behind this section may be a little ridiculous, but I guess its worth mentioning, nevertheless. The artists / groups here have the perfect amount of skill, talent, hard-work and funny enough, they all got the looks – which is great, but at the same time it brings up the gibberish of the K-Idols looking like “plastic”. Another thing I can feel as I listen to their songs, live performances, and interviews on YouTube is that the K-Idols feel more “human” – they give off that feeling they care a lot about their fans. Here are just a few stories I have heard about K-Idols (of course, there are more amazing stories, you just need to search the interwebs) :
- 2PM’s Junho donates 28800USD to Sewol Relief Effort
- G-Dragon Releases “Who Are You” MV (What was interesting about this one, was that he took 1000 of his fans and shot the music video with them)
- JYJ Donates $47,000 USD to various charities
The music is just amazing! Funny enough, I enjoy songs even more if there is no English in them! I don’t know how to describe this one, but the music is just amazing, it feels so pure, so clean almost… it makes me wish I knew Korean. What I think makes K-Pop amazing for me is that even though I do not necessarily understand what is spoken in the song, because it is mostly in Korean, I can still feel the emotions, mood, tone in the song…and that I think is amazing!! With all of this happening, I will feel like I get what the song is about. A very good example of this is Akdong Musician’s (AKMU)’s track, Melted. A very beautiful song this is!
Them Catchy Songs
If there is one thing that the wide world of K-Pop never fails to deliver, it is generating an array of catchy songs. Not that I am saying other K-Pop songs are not as great – they are, just that K-Pop has so many catchy songs, it is hard to keep a list of all the catchy songs. I am not talking about entry-level catchy songs, I am talking about your big time catchy songs. Here is a few catchy songs which really got me listening to them for hours:
- Bigbang – Fantastic Baby
- HyunA – Bubble Pop
- Boys Republic – Video Game
- 2NE1 – I am The Best
- 2NE1 – Scream
- B2ST – Freeze
I am an “Audio Snob”
Yes you read right, I am an “audio snob” when it comes to music. I generally do not like listening to what I describe as “common music” – this is the music the masses of people listen to, the music that will be playing on your radio’s and television’s for the next few weeks. K-Pop definitely feels like something fresh, and that not many people, (well in my country at the very least) listen to this kind of music.
Hope in K-Pop
One thing that I hope to see is that the Korean Pop groups come to Africa, preferably South Africa, and host one massive K-Pop concert…it doesn’t have to be a YG or SM, or JYP only concert….maybe all K-Pop agencies can come together, work something out for us African K-Pop fans!! <3 I am pretty sure that in South Africa, there should be at least 1000 people who listen to K-Pop…and the rest of Africa, well lets say 10 000 people.
I am working on getting my K-Pop merchandise one day – that being CD’s and shirts or bags from my K-Pop groups 🙂
Why did you get started with Korean Pop?