Beyond ‘Gangnam Style’, K-Pop is a fantastic new universe in itself.
K-pop has been successful but hasn’t made its way to the top until now. So where did this genre come from and what is so great about it?
K-Pop can be traced back to the earliest form of Korean popular music in South Korea which was at that time under the oppression of the Japanese. The genre went through different transformations. Starting off with influence from the British melody and Japanese music it then became a genre for expression. After receiving its independence from the Korean Peninsula Partition and Korean War, their music was still highly influenced by the Western genres of music. By the 20th Century, the first generation of popular Korean music involving hippie and folk music as well as ballads died down in the western countries but found its success in Europe and Asia.
The second generation of K-pop, on the other hand, used Social Media to promote their music and culture to reach a wide variety of audience. Not only was it known for its mix but also for its vision towards modern culture. The music purely was not recognized but was also categorized for its wide range of audiovisual elements. Furthermore, Korean Artists took the maximum advantage of the English language to use certain English phrases in their songs called ‘Points’ and simultaneously promote their Korean Culture.
Some of the biggest names in K-pop are EXO, Girl’s Generation, BigBang and BTS. BTS won the ‘TopSocial Artist’ award at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, a testament to the power of using social media in today’s modern world. The Bullet Proof Boy Scouts (BTS), also known as the Bangtan Boys, made its way to the top through the only chart of the best music, that is, the Billboards. Not only was the usage of transnational values in their music composition responsible for its success, but also, their goal in creating a vision of modernization. Digital marketing through Youtube and other forms of social media feature K-pop idols and famous western artists in their videos which widened its range of audience.
We’ve listed out some of the best music from K-pop world for your convenience.
The reason for the success of K-pop is their strategy of taking their music to the larger platform of the audience as well as their mixture of western music and their own culture. With their success, are they trying to top the music industry or just display themselves as a source for modernization? All we can do is wait and watch what happens to this new dominant era of music.