This week I decided to throw myself into the weird and wonderful world of J-POP, having no experience to draw on other than having two K-pop bands on my iPod about 5 years ago. Obviously the two aren’t even from the same country of origin so I clearly had a lot of learning to do. I decided to start by doing some simple googling on popular bands and the kind of music they created. I then decided I would need to take it further to really understand the culture. This is when I stumble across the subreddit, boy oh boy. There was some hard out fan-girling going on there. These people were passionate about the music, the culture and the people that made up their favourite J-Pop groups. I could only relate through my understanding of the Justin Bieber “belibers” and one Directions “directioners”
I stumbled across a website that reported news mostly on J-pop groups, there were dozens are articles that had only been released in the past 2 days about numerous groups. This alone shows that there is a celebrity culture and a following for the musica and the groups.The music could be considered to be your ‘typical’ pop music style, up beat with a hook in the chorus to make sure it sticks in your mind (yes, even if you you don’t understand the language). I found a playlist someone had created on YouTube and found myself browsing the internet all while listing to the songs, I was actually starting to enjoy them. Most were light hearted and fun. The j-pop groups go beyond just the music. It’s more about the culture and the belonging to the fan base. This was clearly seen in he case of the many subreddits I viewed on the topic.
I personally have never experienced that kind of passion and obsession for a music group, so it was such an interesting look into the lives of the audiences and the constant thirst for knowledge of these groups and their members. The more you know, the more loyal a fan you seem to be. It is interesting to note the rise of groups such as this in many parts of Asia and around the world. It is easy to follow their journey through social media and feel as though you are experiencing their lives with them. The fan base for groups such as these isn’t a new phenomenon, yet still seems to resonate with young consumers today