KPop: where to begin with emerging genre

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Olivia Gulino, Contributing Writer

 

Recently, you may have heard about a mysterious genre of music affectionately known as “KPop.” A name like this leaves one with a number of questions: What should I expect? Where is it popular? Why should I care? What does that “K” stand for?

KPop, an abbreviation of Korean Pop, is a development in pop music that has acquired a large fan base in recent years (seriously, you’ve never known fan girls like these). Unlike American pop music (APop?) where the propensity for celebrity news updates and scandal is more important to an artist’s rise or fall in the music industry than musical ability, Korean pop stars undergo extensive training in music, dancing, acting and even language skills before they are debuted on the music scene.

As with all new and unfamiliar music, the question is, “Why should I listen?” Because I am not particularly acclimated to this genre of music, I asked senior Emma Beckham for her input, and she had this to say: “Do you want your ears to tingle with happiness? Listen to KPop.” Seems irrefutable to me.

2PM is the KPop version of an American boy band and is a must-listen when exploring this emerging foreign genre.   -Photo courtesy of kpopconcerts.com
2PM is the KPop version of an American boy band and is a must-listen when exploring this emerging foreign genre.
-Photo courtesy of kpopconcerts.com

Recognizing that diving into a (literally) foreign genre can be overwhelming, Beckham recommends some places to begin:

“A.D.T.O.Y. (All Day Think of You)” – 2PM: This group, what Americans might call a “boy band,” takes musical risks in the crafting of its tracks, effectively layering harmonies over synthesized rhythms.

“Ringa Linga” – Taeyang: Taeyang, also a member of another KPop band Big Bang, “holds his own in his solo work,” says Beckham, with this energized and fun track.

“Gone Not Around Any Longer” – SISTAR19: Slowing it down, this girl group presents the more melodic, soulful side of KPop.

KPop’s rising popularity in America is a testament to the ability of music to entice people across borders and language barriers. It’s pop music with a global perspective.

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