Reasons Why You Should Listen to K-Pop

Chloe Yueh '17, Magazine Editor

When hearing the word K-pop, the first thought that comes to most people’s minds is “Gangnam Style,” the song that created a huge sensation back in 2012. However, there is much more to K-pop than that. K-pop is the abbreviation of Korean pop music, a genre originating in South Korea that is gaining major popularity in Asia, Europe, and also right here in the U.S.

Here are some of the reasons why we started listening to K-pop, and why you should, too. First, the music videos are amazing. Korean artists usually go all-out with their music videos. Many of the recent videos tell intricate stories that could be adopted into full-length movies. For example, BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, released music videos along with three consecutive singles for their The Most Beautiful Moment In Life trilogy. The music videos contain an elaborate storyline that utilizes incredible symbolism and metaphors, which has spawned numerous fan theories as to what the meaning truly is.

In addition to the music video, artists often release a performance video or dance practice video. These are sometimes filmed at various different angles and include different scenarios and themes (one of the most common ones is Halloween) that the artists have fun with. The purpose of this is to showcase the choreography, which is an extremely important element of K-pop. Most K-pop artists or groups dance, and a majority of those who dance spent years perfecting their performance skills. The choreographies in K-pop are usually complicated, memorable, sophisticated, and fit incredibly well with the songs. Recently, an increasing amount of renowned choreographers have been working with K-pop artists. For example, Ian Eastwood, who was featured in Tori Kelly’s Paper Hearts music video, choreographed SHINee’s View and VIXX’s Chained Up.

Besides the exciting choreographic and performance aspects of K-pop, there are also a great number of collaborations between Western and Korean artists to enjoy. For example, 4Minute’s latest track Hate was composed and arranged by popular EDM DJ Skrillex. Music-wise, K-pop is hugely influenced by American pop culture, but it is cleverly enhanced with elements that set it apart it from Western music and make it unique. The songs are ridiculously catchy and bleeding with meaning and emotion, drawing you in even though you don’t understand the language. After all, good music transcends language and cultural barriers!