K-POP: Enticing the World Beyond Home

From gaining a global audience to fighting prejudice

Zain

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For the first time, I watched Death Note air on my local television network and since then I recall growing up devouring manga and anime online with a dash of J-Rock and J-pop. It wasn’t long before I would delve into the world of the brewing Korean wave. Navigating away from my homework assignments, I clicked on a video assuming it to be a Japanese music video, except that is when Boa had me constricted with her vocal capacity and the alluring charms of her choreography. My curiosity had me chase Girls Generation, Boa, Epik High, Shinee, Super Junior, BEAST, and lose my mind gawking at the slick moves EXO executed.

Although it was not until late 2015 that I came across legends in the making: Bulletproof Boy Scouts (Bangtan Sonyeondan, BTS).

They were gaining a massive audience worldwide, not just for their music videos but the novel story lines and aesthetic concepts that portrayed the struggles of youth blended with their own experiences, showcasing the Seo Taiji and Boys traits.

For those who are unaware of the First generation legends, Seo Taiji and Boys, they were artists who were prolific and versatile in their musicality and the first ones to speak up on societal issues through their music. The honorary level for BTS is such that these first-generation legends picked up on BTS’s quality before they hit global charts,

“This is your generation now. Show them.” And so they did

Tracing the Hallyu roots

The spread of Korean culture is mapped over three decades; Ever since its diplomatic relations with China, South Korea has showcased its culture through various mediums while today the leading act happens to be Korean pop music along with popular Korean dramas. Hallyu, a Chinese term which translates to Korean wave, first emerged in the 1990s with China being its first proper international market moving onto Japan around 2003 and increasing its target markets in other regions.

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Zain

Software Engineer. I write thought provoking articles, you decide my niche!