Why more people should listen to K-pop


K-pop as a genre has struggled to overcome the criticism thrown at it over the years, but thankfully, it is finally starting to be acknowledged by the world, gaining more popularity among all age groups. There are more people who genuinely enjoy the music itself, as well as, things that the artists do outside of their music career. Despite my usual lack of luck, I have made many desperately needed friends who enjoy K-pop as much as I do.

The process was no walk in the park, but after vigorous days and nights of trying to make a genuine connection, I have finally succeeded in keeping an awkward conversation going that didn’t result in never speaking to each other again. Getting accustomed to a completely different music industry can be rather difficult, but I have faith in you, because sometimes it’s nice to know that you have someone rooting for you from the shadows. Or from a school newspaper. This being said, keep your mind, and ears, open.

Some individuals in K-pop groups or solo artists, act in K-dramas and do broadcasts for popular reality TV shows in Korea. If an artist does these things, there is a greater chance that they will gain more popularity from the general public in Korea, along with their international fans. There is some difficulty with this because most shows don’t provide English subtitles unless the artists are well known. However, it’s more common for smaller groups to do collaboration videos with YouTubers who have a large following in Korea, or if they travel back and forth to Korea often. This is a great opportunity to gain fans on a more relaxed level.

It’s a case by case situation, but the fans enjoy being able to support the people they love and look up to in ways other than just streaming music and voting for awards. Either way, artists look for these opportunities for promotion. All of these things that newer groups are able to do is because of the things that older groups sacrificed and worked their whole careers for. The groups who paved the way for everyone else in this industry are groups such as Seo and Taiji, TVXQ, Big Bang, SHINee, and BTS.

Unfortunately, K-pop is often bashed by Americans especially, because they can’t understand it. Personally, I think people should put language aside because music transcends words, but this is how the world works.I find that if you make an effort to embrace the musicality itself, get to know the artists through English translated interviews, and watch translated videos of songs you like, you’re more likely to get into K-pop if you come to understand more about the artist/song. Thankfully, due to my obvious extreme enjoyment for K-pop, I have met people who are willing to answer some questions for me in order for you to hear from other real life sources, the effect that K-pop has had on them or the opinion from someone who doesn’t listen to it.

“In American performances, the singer can do whatever they want and some people may like it and some people won’t, but in K-pop, they train to do specific things and are organized, which stands out to me,” junior Carlos Ramirez said.

I think that that was a really good way of putting it, because so many people don’t realize how much time K-pop artists into practicing. They are all so meticulous with the way they go about their careers and getting a good reaction from their fans.

“I think K-pop is an amazing way to show off the Korean culture and bring it more into the mainstream media, for example, when BTS performed on the BBMAs and when Monsta X performed at the Jingle Ball!” senior Tela Strickland said.

I couldn’t agree with her more, and I’m really happy to see so many new supporters because of these events.

“Majority of K-pop idols have choreography for their music. You’ll almost always see these idols singing and dancing all together,” junior Jocelyn Teniente said.

What Jocelyn mentioned is important, because while practice goes on, injuries can happen either during practice or from a separate situation entirely. When this happens, it’s usually up to the person injured to decide whether or not they want to perform. A lot of thought is put into making their crucial decision, because the injury could potentially affect the group as a whole. If it’s a recorded stage, they’ll typically sit out, but if the injury occurred during the middle of a tour, it’s very common for idols to put the fans experience before their own health and perform to the best of their ability. 

After interviewing these people, it reminded me of how I felt when I first discovered K-pop and how excited I was to finally find something that I could invest my valuable time into. Hearing the stories and opinions they had to share made me realize again how K-pop has affected fans and the rest of the world. Experiencing the anticipation of waiting for a comeback, buying merchandise for groups, getting tickets to a concert despite how incredibly fast they sell out, or just watching a personal and meaningful V-live update.

Knowing that the artists care as much about you as you do for them, is an indescribable feeling and there are no words for me to be able to express how I feel about all the artists I have gotten to know over the years and the lasting impact that each and every one of them have had on me. I genuinely believe that K-pop has made me a better person.