Why is K-Pop So Popular in America?

Adriana Pipkins, Staff Reporter

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“Music transcends beyond language.” This statement is the main reason K-pop has taken over our social blades. Why is it having such a big impact now, and how? In brief K-pop is a genre that consists of Korean pop music. The biggest K-pop song to hit our generation would be the 2012 hit “Gangnam Style” by PSY. The song grabbed the attention of many young kids as well as adults. However K-pop goes beyond this one catchy tune. 

Now to list the reasons why K-pop is so addicting, I’ll start with what grabbed me as a fan to the world of Korean music. The K-pop idols, these performers, are not only talented young men and women, but their personalities are truly magnetizing. They are trained to show the stage and their fans how they care about what they’re about to do. As soon as they appear in front of the crowd, they are 100 percent their raw selves. In American interviews, they rely on their personalities. Even if you’re not necessarily a fan, you see these bubbly people on your TV and can’t help but smile. 

Secondly, what makes K-Pop addictive is the striking fashion sense. Their fashion sense is by far more unique in the sense of originality and intense coloring. K-pop artists don’t single themselves in a strictly bland palette, they dare to wear the things others shy away from. For example, the group BTS has worked with many clothing lines. This had resulted in them making their own merch company teamed up with the company, Line Friends. There they sell BTS’s original designed cartoon characters, made by each of the seven members. 

A song is nothing with its catchy chorus and clever lyrics. Most think you should know a specific language such as Korean to listen to other countries’ music. However K-pop fans prove that mentality wrong. Melodies and beats are truly what makes a song. Without these things, it’s impossible to hum some of your favorite songs. Most K-pop groups have at least one producer in the group who brings a whole new source of originality to the music. These hypnotic melodies stick to your brain like gum to a desk, making you easily look past the language barrier. One thing I noticed while listening to K-pop was their incorporation of English. Most popular K-pop artists have a chorus that includes English lyrics. This is so foreign fans such as Americans can understand the slight gist of the song and sing along.

Dancing is one art that is often hard for a singer to achieve. Performing in K-pop culture revolves around their skilled choreography. The dances these artists perform are extremely challenging and exact. Most K-pop stars are usually dancers before they start singing. One big difference from Western artists is the fact that K-pop artists start as trainees. You must think, “Trainees? What?” With the help of many managers and agents, these young men and women are put into a training boot camp for a hopeful outcome of stardom. Its takes most people years before they can even record a song.

Lastly, the biggest thing about K-pop by far that catches your attention is the music videos. A lot of the music videos I’ve seen by a K-pop artists tell a story of some sort. This fascinates me the most because it feels like you’re watching an intense musical movie of some sort. At times you get lost and clearly understand the message of the song without even being able to translate a single word. That to me is the true magic of this genre of music. The language barrier doesn’t matter; if anything, that’s the last thing that should stop you from listening to K-pop. So as both a researcher and fan of K-pop, I definitely recommend you give it a try!