Gonna have to thank plainpastaandplainrice, if it wasn’t of them I would probably never came up with that post idea. They asked me a question about K-Pop. the question was what would i suggest to someone who want to know a bit about K-Pop. While they where aware their question was open-ended, I still manage to give a pretty good answer, that you can read here. But this question made me wonder what is K-Pop to people, I mean other than the ones who are listening to it, what does the term K-Pop mean to the non-listener? Does it stop at Korean group or soloist, like BTS and other boy and girl group or Eric Nam, or it group together all the musical genre coming from the land of the kimchi?
This is my opinion and how I see the musical genre, like everything else, opinion can be different from a person to an other.
K-Pop, the Pop Music of Korea?
~ All K-Pop Artist are Idol not All Idol are K-Pop artists ~
After asking the question around me, I realized that for probably a lot of people, K-Pop was petty much everything, with some exception, that was popular, like in the western country. However if yo ask the question to an avid K-Pop listener what they listen to, their answer will only contain name of boy group like BTS or EXO and girl group like TWICE or Black Pink, sometimes they will give you the of soloist like Eric Nam or Ailee, but most of the time their choice stop at group name.
Now if you ask the other people, like me, they will mostly answer they listen to «K-Music», which include all the genre, from K-pop to K-Rock passing by K-Hiphop. For some a band like F.T Island might me considered as K-pop, but the exact musical style would be K-Rock (think of J-Rock if you are an anime fan). Of course, in the western country Rock is Rock even when it’s mainstream, well it’s the same thing in South Korea, mainstream doesn’t necessarily mean pop music. If I take F.T. Island once again in example, they are a mainstream band, but they don’t performed what is considered as K-pop music.
K-Music Through the Generations
~ Your «Sunbae» is my «Hoobae» ~
This concept is not something that can be applied to the western pop music or any other kind of pop music, this really only something that can be found in K-Music, mainly K-Pop and at some extant K-Rock. The concept of generation is use to differentiate the different group era. Again this can change from one people to an other, while I personally think K-Pop is now in the 5th Generation, some other think it’s the 3rd Generation, it really depend to who you ask since other thing it’s the 6th Generation. The table below divide the generation with some group example.
|1996 to 2000||Example:
H.O.T, SHINHWA, S.E.S
|2001 to 2008||Example:
Super Junior, Girl’s Generation, BigBang
|2009 to 2011||Example:
Infinite, Block B, APink
|2012 to 2014||Example:
EXO, BTS, AOA
|2015 to present||Example:
Day6, TWICE, Pentagon
Again this is how I divide the Generation, my logic behind it is mainly their sound, B.A.P (4th) doesn’t sound like SHINee (2nd), how they present themselves and also the number of group debuting, each generation see more group debuting than the previous one. When I combine the two, it give me the table above.
Pretty sure I Already Hear that Sound Somewhere
Of course, more they are group, more there is chance you hear similar sound, music arrangement or beat. In some cause it can be plagiarism, but most of the time it’s cause it’s a new trend or cause group share music composer, like when Infinite and Boyfriend were performing song composed by Sweetunes or more recently a lot of group have EDM type of track. Trend can also be apply into concept, when a new group debut and their concept work, other agency might try to do something similar. In example B.A.P whom debut in 2012 have a bad boy concept and BTS whom debut in 2013 also have that bad boy style. I’m not saying Big Hit decide to follow TS Entertainment path after seeing how B.A.P were received with their refreshing concept, I’m just pointing out that depending of what it is trending at the moment, you might fun group with similar concept.
As you can imagine, if the Generation concept was introduce, it is because of the number of group you can found on the k-pop market. For some fans the Generation concept is not important, for other it is since they «stan» only group of a certain Generation. Talking about fan, next time I will talk to you about the reason why there are so many group debuting year after year; the fans.
~ Thank you for reading ~
See you next time