I first was exposed to Korean music when I was 9 from my auntie always playing groups like 2NE1, Shinee and Girls Generation in the car. My initial reaction was very negative as I never understood why my auntie listens to something that she couldn’t understand. And I said at the time that I would never listen to ‘that music’ again. One year later, I was actively listening to K-pop as a mood booster.
Unlike other genres of music at the time, K-pop pushed musical envelopes with a single incorporating various different genres (e.g. rap, pop, ballad, electronic) whilst also being accompanied by insane dance moves.
The visuals of the MV’s are crazy and alluring. In my opinion, Korean idol groups production-wise put boy groups like NSYNC and One Direction to shame.
And the K-idols look perfect….maybe too perfect………
The next few years were great and at that time I was exposed to even more groups like MBLAQ, f(x) and Kara. Then 2012 came and around that time, I completely got disinterested by the K-pop world. The songs got predictable in terms of structure, the use of EDM gave me a headache and most importantly, I got sick of the annoying fandoms.
But in 2014, I got into K hip-hop and K- RNB artists like Dok2, Jay Park, The Quiett and Jessi and that was the leeway for me to get back into the world of K-pop. From then to now, I am a hybrid between K-pop and k hip-hop alternating through them.
So I guess you are wondering why I am telling you my life story?? Well, In BCM320 I had to apply autoethnography in analyzing Asian culture. While I have succeeded to some extent, I never fully understood the concept until it clicked during the tutorial of BCM. Ellis describes that autoethnographers, “must use personal experience to illustrate facets of cultural experience, and, in so doing, make characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders.” In light of that, here I am now telling you my life story about one of my favourite passions, K-pop.
K-pop for me has helped make leeway for me to make tons of friends through the K-pop online community nice or not. Also, it has made me respect my Asian culture since when I was younger, I was often bullied about my race. But Jen, your not Korean. So why do you listen to K-pop?? I get asked this question a lot. Even though I am not Korean, I still can connect emotionally with the song I am listening to. It brings up the point that music can overcome the language barriers thus providing an emotional connection with the listener.
That is not to say you should listen to K-pop but I am addressing the point that you don’t have to be Korean to listen to Korean music.