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Concepts in the Korean Music Industry

Ayesha Khan is a chemical engineer by profession. She loves traveling, solitude, reading books, and writing & also a BTS fan.

Rise Of Korean Music:

Korean music known as K-pop is hitting the world like a hurricane. The rise of KPOP in the world in the recent 10-15 years is noteworthy. The world calls it the Hallyu effect “THE KOREAN WAVE”. Hallyu is a Chinese term uses for Korean products and music. It influences many prominent firms, brands in terms of their brand developments and work. Not only Kpop but also Korean beauty products are ruling the world. Many Korean plays, movies are accessible here and there including Netflix. Korean stuff & music popularity opens a new door in Korea for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from all over the world.

They call the Korean wave of popular culture Hallyu. You should learn the word since you’ll be seeing a lot. U.S. President Barack Obama referred to it during a March 2012 visit to South Korea, in discussing the nation’s technical and pop culture innovations. He said: “It’s no wonder so many people around the world have caught the Korean Wave—Hallyu.”

— Euny Hong, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture

K-pop As Global Phenomena:

K-pop has developed into an international sensation because of its classifiable blending of addictive melodies, vigorous and sleek dance, and charming k-pop performers who have invested their lives making themselves flexible in dancing, melted their throats in the fire to move that level of perfection in singing where their voices feel like honey on ears. Not only, k-pop is perfect in hard choreography but a band called BTS has joined hands with UNICEF and sets up a campaign “Love yourself” for the betterment of the minors and youngsters who are exposed to violence.

"If you want to love others, I think you should love yourself first." Kim Namjoon is known as RM (BTS leader)

"Even though the language is different, the music is the same." -

— Exo Kim Kai

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Different Concept In Kpop:

  1. Flower Boy Concept: A flower boy is a boy who has a feminine appearance. They have feminine habits, such as soft, cute, wearing makeup, jewelry, and will also be much prettier than any girl. The non-Korean concept of the male is muscular, thick, strong, and manly. But in Korea male is handsome if he has a skinny body, girlish appearance, fair skin, beautiful eyes, and lips which make him a flower boy. Many k-pop idols have flower boy appearance. But nowadays these trends are changing but not so much that it changes the whole K-pop industry flower boy concept.
  2. Catchy Color Appeal: The major difference between the K-pop idol and western idol is their catchy appearances. The use of bright and catchy colors is also common in K-pop. Dancing male and female idols on music beats with catchy hair color and clothes is a must in Korean music
  3. Visual Effects: K-pop is known for its visual effects, glittery lights, elaborate music videos having a catchy storyline, rich in colors, effects, vibrancy, and different themes.
  4. Boys are full of glittery makeup: K-pop also introduced the feminine look for the male idol. Face full of makeup, eyeliner, lipstick, etc. Idol appearance considers incomplete without makeup. Makeup is as important for a male idol as it is for a female idol.
  5. Plastic Surgery: Plastic surgeries are common in South Korea, particularly in an idol’s life. Everyone appreciates beauty, and to achieve that heavenly anime perfect beauty surgery is a must for the idol. Not all, but most idols have to put themselves under the knife of surgery.
  6. Jewelry is a must for male K-pop idols: Jewelry is the main accessory for an idol. He is incomplete without jewelry. Whether it is an airport, a music show, or routine life. For male K-pop idols, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings are routine parts of life.
  7. Mass of band members: K-pop singer groups compose of many band members. For instance, NCT known as Neo Culture Technology has 23 members in total consider the largest boy band group with a large number of members, Seventeen and EXO have 12 band members. Most K-pop groups have 10 or more members.
  8. Synchronized Choreography: Choreography is the charm of K-pop. Perfectly aligned / synchronized difficult choreographies with the beats of music make the videos and performance incredibly beautiful. Singers not only focus on singing but also on the choreography. Idols practice the choreography day and night tirelessly to achieve the synchronization in the dance moves.
  9. Fan service at the extreme: Fan service is the services provided to the fans by stars at the stage, events, fan signing, and promotions. Fan service is a major part of their performance and jobs. Abundance in fan services means attracting many fans and making the group and singer popular among fans and people. Fan service includes everything from small, lovely gestures to skin-ship between idols.
  10. No dating life: When a K-pop idol signs a contract, it is a must for her/him that he or she will not involve in any dating and serious relationship which leads to marriage. In K-pop, marriage means the end of an idol career as a band singer, a decrease in the number of fans following. No dating is another way to attract the fan following for the idol.
  11. Unique group names: Group names usually comprise English words or unique abbreviations easy to understand for international fans and easy to remember.

K-pop export model: the star-making process is so unpleasant that there are few countries whose aspiring stars would put up with it. Korean youth, meanwhile, are used to intense sadomasochistic academic pressure, extreme discipline, constant criticism, and zero sleep.

— Euny Hong, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture

Final Thoughts:

K-pop is rising internationally and in coming years it will gain its rise. The biggest contributor to the rising of K-pop in the world is the availability of K-pop within the digital world Instagram, Youtube, Spotify, Twitter, and etc. These platforms are grabbing western media and world attention and have opened K-pop's door toward the western world. K-pop has a lot of room for growth and it will continue to rise in the future.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Aaeshaa K

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