K-pop (is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about the korean pop!
1.Although K-pop generally refers to South Korean popular music, some consider it to be an all-encompassing genre exhibiting a vast spectrum of musical and visual elements.
2. The French Institut national de l’audiovisuel defines K-pop as a ‘fusion of synthesized music, sharp dance routines and fashionable, colorful outfits’.
3. Songs typically consist of one or a mixture of pop, rock, hip hop, R&B and electronic music genres.
4. Management agencies in South Korea offer binding contracts to potential artists, sometimes at a young age. Trainees live together in a regulated environment and spend many hours a day learning music, dance, foreign languages and other skills in preparation for their debut.
5. This “robotic” system of training is often criticized by Western media outlets.
6. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that the cost of training one “idol” under S.M. Entertainment averaged US$3 million.
7. K-pop is characterized by a mixture of Western sounds with an Asian aspect of performance. It has been remarked that there is a “vision of modernization” inherent in Korean pop culture.[2
8. Groups are given a name and a “concept”, along with a marketing hook. Sometimes sub-units or sub-groups are formed among existing members. An example subgroup is Super Junior-K.R.Y. which consists of members Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, and Yesung, and Super Junior-M, which became one of the best-selling K-pop subgroups in China.
9. Online marketing includes music videos posted to YouTube in order to reach a worldwide audience.
10. Prior to the actual video, the group releases teaser photos and trailers. Promotional cycles of subsequent singles are called comebacks even when the musician or group in question did not go on hiatus.
11. In 1995, the percentage of song titles using English in the top 50 charts was 8%. This fluctuated between 30% in 2000, 18% in 2005, and 44% in 2010. Similarly, increasing numbers of K-pop bands use English names rather than Korean ones. This allows songs and artists to be marketed to a wider audience around the world. An example of a Korean song with a large proportion of English lyrics is Kara’s “Jumping”, which was released at the same time in both Korea and Japan to much success.
12. Increasingly, foreign songwriters and producers are employed to work on songs for K-pop idols, such as will.i.am and Sean Garrett.
13. Musicians, including rappers such as Akon, Kanye West, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg, have also featured on K-pop songs.
14. Lead singles are conventionally accompanied by choreography, which often includes a key dance move (known as a ‘point’ dance move) that matches the characteristics or lyrics of the song.
15. K-pop has a significant influence on fashion in Asia, where trends started by idols are followed by young audiences. Some idols have established status as fashion icons, such as G-Dragon, and CL has repeatedly worked with fashion designer Jeremy Scott, being labeled his “muse”.
16. There is some concern over trends such as skin whitening being popularised by the industry, which has been criticised for its narrow beauty standards.”
17. The history of Korean popular music can be traced back to 1885 when an American missionary, Henry Appenzeller, began teaching American and British folk songs at a school. These songs were called changga in Korean, and they were typically based on a popular Western melody sung with Korean lyrics. For example, the song “Oh My Darling, Clementine” became known as “Simcheongga”
18. During the Japanese rule (1910–1945) the popularity of changga songs rose as Koreans expressed their feelings against Japanese oppression through music. One of the most popular songs was “Huimangga” (희망가, The Song of Hope). The Japanese confiscated the existing changga collections and published lyrics books of their own.
19. The first known Korean pop album was “Yi Pungjin Sewol” (This Tumultuous Time), by Park Chae-seon and Lee Ryu-saek in 1925, which contained popular songs translated from Japanese.
20. The first pop song written by a Korean composer is thought to be “Nakhwayusu” (낙화유수, Fallen Blossoms on Running Water) sung by Lee Jeong-suk in 1929.
21. In the 1960s, the development of LP records and improvements in recording technology led to the pursuit of diverse voice tones. Many singers sang for the American troops, usually in dedicated clubs, the number of which rose to 264. They performed various genres like country music, blues, jazz and rock & roll.
22. The South Korean economy started blooming and popular music followed the trend, spread by the first commercial radio stations. Korean cinema also began to develop and Korean musicians began performing to wider audiences.
23, When Beatlemania reached the shores of Korea the first local rock bands appeared, the first of which is said to be Add4, a band founded in 1962.
24. The first talent contest for rock bands in Seoul was organized in 1968. Besides rock and pop, trot songs remained popular.
25. Some Korean singers gained international popularity. The Kim Sisters, Yoon Bok-hee and Patti Kim were the first singers to debut in such countries as Vietnam and United States. The Kim Sisters became the first Korean group to release an album in the United States, performing in Las Vegas and appearing several times on Ed Sullivan’s TV show.
26. At the end of the 1960s Korean pop music underwent another transformation. More and more musicians were university students and graduates who were heavily influenced by American culture and lifestyle (including the hippie movement) and made lighthearted music unlike their predecessors, who were influenced by war and Japanese oppression.
27. The younger generation opposed the Vietnam War as much as American hippies did, which resulted in the Korean government banning songs with more liberal lyrics. In spite of this, folk-influenced pop remained popular among the youth, and local television channel MBC organised a music contest for university students in 1977. This was the foundation of several modern music festivals.
28. One of the leading figures of the era was Han Dae-soo, who was raised in the United States and influenced by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and John Lennon.
29. In the 1970s, DJs also started to become popular.
30. The 1980s saw the rise of ballad singers after Lee Gwang-jo’s 1985 album sold more than 300,000 copies.
31. In the 1990s, Korean pop musicians incorporated American popular music styles like rap, rock and techno in their music.
32. In 1992 the emergence of Seo Taiji & Boys marked a revolutionary moment in the history of K-pop.
33. The trio debuted on MBC’s talent show with their song “Nan Arayo” (난 알아요, I Know) and got the lowest rating from the jury; however, the song and album of the same name became so successful that it paved the way for other songs of the same format. The song’s success was attributed to its new jack swing-inspired beats and memorable chorus, as well as innovative lyrics which dealt with the problems of Korean society. Their footsteps were followed by a wave of successful hip hop and R&B artists like Yoo Seung-jun, Jinusean, Deux, 1TYM and Drunken Tiger.
34. In 1995, South Korean record producer Lee Soo-man founded the entertainment company, S.M. Entertainment. Former Seo Taiji & Boys Yang Hyun-suk’s member formed YG entertainment in 1996, as did South Korean K-pop singer Park Jin-young established JYP Entertainment in 1997.
35. Idol bands (young boybands or girlbands) formed, inspired by Seo Taiji & Boys, to cater for a growing teenage audience.
36. H.O.T. was one of the first idol boybands, debuting in 1996. Their success was followed by that of bands like Sechs Kies, S.E.S., Fin.K.L, NRG, Baby V.O.X., Diva, Shinhwa and g.o.d.[
37. The 1990s were also a successful period for underground music clubs and punk rock bands such as Crying Nut.
38. The 1997 Asian financial crisis prompted South Korean entertainers to look for new markets: H.O.T. released a Mandarin-language album and Diva released an English-language album in Taiwan.
39. By the beginning of the 21st century, the K-pop idol groups that had seen success in the 90’s were on the decline. H.O.T. disbanded in 2001, while other groups like Sechs Kies, S.E.S., Fin.K.L, Shinhwa, and g.o.d became inactive by 2005. Solo singers like BoA and Rain grew in success.
40. However, the successes of TVXQ and SS501 after their debuts in 2003 and 2005, respectively, marked the resurgence of idol groups to Korean entertainment and the growth of K-pop as part of “Hallyu.” The birth of second-generation K-pop was followed with the successful debuts of Super Junior (2005), Big Bang (2006), Wonder Girls (2007), Girls’ Generation (2007), and Kara (2007).
41. Groups usually have a leader, and the youngest group member is called the maknae.
42. The popular use of this term in Japan was influenced by boy group SS501 when they expanded their activities in the country in 2007.
43. Its Japanese translation “マンネ” was often used to name the group’s youngest member Kim Hyung-jun in order to differentiate him from their leader with a similar name and spelling, Kim Hyun-joong.
44. Not all K-pop fans are young females, although most are; in 2012 New York magazine interviewed male adult Girls’ Generation fans, who admitted to liking the group for its members’ looks and personalities, citing the members’ humility and friendliness towards the fans.
45. Many fans travel overseas to see their idols on tour, and tourists commonly visit Korea from Japan and China to see K-pop concerts.
46. A K-pop tour group from Japan had more than 7,000 fans fly to Seoul to meet boy band JYJ in 2012, and during JYJ’s concert in Barcelona in 2011, fans from many parts of the world camped overnight to gain entrance.
47. An article by The Wall Street Journal indicated that K-pop’s future staying power will be shaped by fans, whose online activities have evolved into “micro-businesses”.
48. K-pop groups commonly have dedicated fanclubs with a collective name and sometimes an assigned colour, to which they will release merchandise. For example, TVXQ fans are known as ‘Cassiopeia’, and their official colour is ‘pearl red’.
49. Some of the more popular groups have personalised light sticks for use at concerts; for example, Big Bang fans hold yellow crown-shaped light sticks.
50. Fan clubs sometimes participate in charity events to support their idols, purchasing bags of ‘fan rice’ in order to show support. The rice bags are donated to those in need.
51. According to Time, for one of Big Bang’s shows, 12.7 tons of rice were donated from 50 fan clubs around the world. There are businesses in Korea dedicated to shipping rice from farmers to the venues.
52. Another way that fan clubs show their devotion is sending lunch to idols during their schedules, and there are catering companies in South Korea specifically for this purpose.[
53. A unique feature of K-pop fandom is the ‘fan chant’. When an idol group releases a new song, fan clubs will organise a fan chant and learn it so that they can chant parts of the song or an idols’ names at parts of the song during live performances’