The K-Pop takeover
By Zoya Pon
As BTS (Bangtan Boys) make history as the first K-Pop act to crack the Billboard 200 album chart's Top 10 (at #7 with their latest song 'DNA' which if you haven't heard by now, do you even YouTube?) as well as Billboard Hot 100, K-Pop looks to be on an undeniable takeover of US mainstream music. Basically, as US charts are a clear indication of global pop music trends, they are on a mission of world domination. And judging by their feverishly growing fandom, the world doesn't mind.
Let's talk about K-Pop for a minute.
Psy's 'Gangnam Style' was the beginning of global attention of the genre, but K-Pop (South Korean popular music) is not a new phenomenon. Starting in the 1990s with groups like Seo Tai-ji & Boys , H.O.T and Deux , the genre grew in recent years following Psy's lead with stars like Wonder Girls , Taeyang and 2ne1. The genre includes hip-hop, electronic , pop, rock and R&B music.
What makes K-Pop different from, well, pop? Besides the fact that vocals are mostly in Korean or Mandarin, K-Pop is more than music. The genre gained it's following mostly from it's music videos rather than radio or traditional press and advertising. The music videos are pure entertainment; from choreography to dramatic plotlines and all over showbiz elements like OTT lighting and costumes, these videos don't always make sense but boy are they a treat to watch. K-Pop usually comes in the form of a group (up to 12 in some cases), but they also include solo singers. Their social media following and fandoms are the key to their success.
TWoU spoke to DJ Fourfingers, who DJs for the increasingly popular K-Pop Night events in Cape Town and put together the first mixtape of 2018.
Why do you think K-Pop is experiencing such a moment right now?
K-pop has its own unique feel, the music videos are very trendy and fun to watch. As K-Pop became more known and famous, producers started to produce the music that western media can relate to, but is still oriental.
Who are your top KPop artists to watch?
I personally enjoy watching Illionaire performing. Their performances are very clean and powerful.
Some KPop fun facts?
A lot of Korean slang comes from English. A lot of Koreans say: 'hello', 'bye' ,'thank you' and 'sorry' etc, with very stiff Korean accent which is intentional, some go further and make their accent even stronger just to make it sound more Korean and funny.
Please share your tracklist with us.
1. DNA- BTS
2. BLACKPINK - BOOMBAYAH
3. GD X TAEYANG - GOOD BOY
4. Go Go - BTS
5. Growl- Exo
6. Blood Sweat and Tears- BTS
7. I'm the Best - 2NE1
8. Fantastic Baby - BigBang
9. "Mommae" - Jay Park
10. Black Pink - Playing With Fire
11. Eureka - Zico, Zion T
12. Chicky Chaka Choco Cho - Dok2
13. Mom - Mino