My initial encounter with k-pop was odd, to me it sounded like any other pop music, although what I found when watching music video’s is that they are all over the top. Whereas in Western Pop music there are fewer artists that go to extreme lengths to be exaggerated.
Another observation made was that K-pop consists of many groups, far more than what we see today in Western Pop music. In America and Australia, boy bands and Girl groups were a massive part of the 90’s, early 2000’s but soon died down when the term “boy band” had negative connotations, as the term started to be seen as “un-cool”. Whereas in Korea girl groups and boy bands seem to be all the rage, there are no negative connotations with this idea of being in a boy band or girl group. They seem to embrace choreographed dance moves and matching outfits.
After doing some research and watching many more K-pop music video’s I came to the conclusion that K-pop has become its own sub-genre of music rather than being the pop music of Korea. Much like the JRPG’s has become its own genre, simply because of the certain style rather than where it comes from. Thanks to the internet K-pop has had the ability to go global, which has caused a change in who is making this unique style of music. For example the girl group “The Gloss” have made this clear, that you don’t have to be Korean or have a Korean appearance to be in a K-pop band, as they have one member from France named Olivia.
Lastly I found it very interesting that most Korean Popstars are scouted solely on their looks not on their ability to sing or dance. For example Yu who is from Sydney went to Korea and was scouted on the street, they didn’t know anything about him, whether he could sing or not he was going to be in a K-pop group. Korean popstars go through intense training sessions where they learn to speak other languages, sing and dance. They are basically manufactured popstars.