Maybe it’s the crazy calculated catchy tunes that they can pull out of thin air. Maybe is the super neon colourful outfits and backdrops they use in their music videos. Maybe i’m just addicted.
Maybe South Korea has pop music nailed.
Let me introduce you to k-pop:
It works a little differently to the western music industry. Big companies hire a bunch of talented youths (that usually fit a certain ‘look’) to join one of their MANY bands. Sometimes this is even done in the form of a reality TV show where participants fight off the ranks to reach fame superiority. The weird thing is a lot of these youths seriously can’t sing. Those that can’t are usually either awesome dancers or have the right ‘look’. Even though this sounds really fake and objectifying, it actually works really well! And lets be honest, our western world is far from honest and noble.
Some of the bands have masses of members. The biggest being ‘Apeace’, which used to have 21 members until recently when it downsized to a measly 15…
I think the fact that these bands have 6+ members brings me back to the 90s/00s with bands like backstreet boys and s-club 7.
I have always had a fascination for asian culture since I was a kiddy-wink. Pokemon sent me down that path. During my childhood, pokemon was always my favourite distraction to everything. I was infected to the core by pokemon card games, video games, anime series, toys and the prospect of maybe one day going to the pokemon centre in Tokyo (still a lifelong dream of mine).
I guess that’s why I then started getting more and more into anime over the years and became one of THOSE people. I used to read manga much more often than I do now, although every now and then i’ll go on a spree and read a whole story in one day. Full Metal Alchemist was an incredible read.
Anime comes with some amazing soundtracks and that’s how I was introduced to the world of asian music! I used to get teased a bit for liking this kind of music in school despite my efforts to get other people into it! That was probably why I got teased thinking about it… I mean, apart from the fact it’s in a different language, the songs between our top 40 charts are very similar.
People should give this stuff more of a chance. If you take a wild adventure around the k-pop youtube world, you’ll find loads of great songs that tend to have been released years ago, which goes to show how far ahead of us they are.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs at the moment, mainly because of the tune but I also find the lyrics really unique for a pop song… “I worked all night everyday, while you were out clubbing yeah, I gotta make it, gotta, gotta make it”. Most western songs bang on about partying and IDGAF attitude so it’s refreshing to see pop music actually having a message for once.