What is K-pop?



The K-pop band, BTS.

K-pop is a music genre that is abbreviated for Korean pop.

K-pop originally started in South Korea in the 1990s, but because of one K-pop group named “Seo Taiji & Boys” they made a revolutionary moment in the history of K-pop in 1992. Their experimentation with different styles and genres of music and integration of foreign musical elements helped reshape and modernized South Korea’s contemporary scene.

Even though “Seo Taiji & Boys” made a revolutionary moment in K-pop, the music still wasn’t recognized all around the world until recently. In 2016, BTS became famous in America and started to have more international fans all because of their song “Fire.” BTS first became a band in 2013, but they were not famous back then which shows how hard they worked to become famous and well-known in different countries other than Korea.

In America, you can find about four to five people in one boy or girl music group. In K-pop you can find up to eighteen members or more in one group. To become a K-pop idol, they had to audition in a company and the company graded them based on how well they dance, sing and rap. The company will choose people if they are really good at singing or dancing or rapping.

When a company chooses someone that is capable, they become a trainee and train for about six months or more. After they train and the company thinks they are ready, the company chooses the leader based on their personality, everyone in the group roles and how many people are in one group. The youngest member is always called the “Maknae.”

Being a K-pop idol is hard because their schedule is always packed and they don’t get to rest as much as we do. Sometimes they have to practice up to fifteen hours a day to make sure their performance is always perfect. K-pop idols cannot do certain things like for example choosing their clothing for when they perform, dating, and most of the time they have to be a certain weight as well.

Even though K-pop started in the 1990’s and got fully recognized in America in 2016 because of BTS, it’s hard to start off with nothing and to work your way up to become an idol to an audience that previously was unfamiliar with this kind of music.

Some upcoming events that involve K-pop music include: EXO performing as the opening performing act for the 2018 festival in Busan, South Korea, and BTS performing on the City Field in New York City in October.