Korean Pop Starter Pack!

Hey friends! Today I want to share my Kpop love with all of you and give you a crash coarse into this amazing world. Now I’m by no means an expert but I’ve been a fan long enough I can help with the most basic of questions. I even put together a playlist of some of my fave songs. Let’s get our Gangnam Style on!

Ok, let’s break this down by answering some of the questions I get asked most often:

What exactly is Kpop?
“KPop” is short for Korean Popular music. (LOL Seems obvious but I have been asked that before.)

If It’s Korean, why are there English phrases included in the songs?
Well that’s a simple one too! The English hooks are in there to appeal to a wider audience than just those who speak Korean. Their goal from the beginning is to have and international appeal.

But aren’t they just manufactured and not a “real” group?
While it’s true that a vast majority of the groups are created by their labels, that has very little to do with if they are talented or not. Many of the groups are formed with each members talents in mind. For example, most groups will have a singer, dancer, rapper, and many times members are more than one of these. More over the amount of work these artist put into even becoming a trainee for their label is insane. I’m talking 12 hours a day (At LEAST) on training that is related to their debut. From writing songs, to learning another language, dance practice, and so on.

f(x) doing their thing

The way I look at it is, these artist are doing on the job training for the career they want. Not to mention, just because they became a trainee doesn’t mean they now have a free pass. Many labels hold monthly “auditions” within the trainees and if they see that a trainee isn’t working towards improvement the label won’t hesitate to cut them. They work for years to get ready to debut. (Also just because a group wasn’t formed in member’s garage doesn’t mean they are somehow less deserving of success.)

But are they any good live?
YES! I was lucky enough to snag two tickets to Bigbang’s Las Vegas show back in 2015 during their “MADE” tour and holy hell THEY WERE SO GOOD! It was without a doubt the best produce show from beginning to end I’ve ever been to. 10/10 would recommend. (I could do an entire post just about this but I’ll try and be cool. LOL)

Mini and I at the show

Why are there so many solos and sub groups?
Great question! Here in the West solos are often seen as a somewhat betrayal to the group while in Kpop it’s another way to be creative and really make more money. If they can be creative and make money as a group why can’t they do it as  sub groups and solos to make more? Many times member help each other with their solos like G-Dragon produced some songs for Taeyang’s solo album. It’s almost expected that each member will get their own solo. Minzy left 2NE1 BECAUSE she wasn’t given a solo like the other girls. (No, I don’t want to talk about it.)

EXO working on their bending skills

Solos and sub groups also don’t mean your faves are breaking up. Oft times they happen when one or more members of a group are working on different projects such as movies or in some cases doing their mandatory military service. (Boy groups only) It doesn’t mean the group won’t be making music together in the future.

Bias? Maknae? Hyung? Unnie? Noona? Oppa? What are these?!

Bias is the term for your favorite in any given group. Like for me T.O.P. is my bias for BigBang BUT Park Bom is my all time Bias and I will fight to the death for her! lol Now, having a bias doesn’t mean you don’t worry over whether the other members are getting sleep and eating well. The Bias is just the one you’d sneak extra snack packs.

The Maknae is the one in the scout uniform. LOL

Maknae is the title for the youngest/baby of the group. There are certain expectations that go along with this title like they generally are expected to cook for the other members of the group as a sign of respect. They also get teased (lovingly!) more than the others. Poor babies. LOL

BTS being adorable

Hyung is what a younger boy member would call an older male he’s close to. It means Older Brother.
Oppa also means older brother but is used by girls to older boys she’s close to. (Or her actual brother but you get the idea, right?)

Girls Generation loving one another

Unnie is the same as Hyung but for girls to girls and Noona is what a boy would call and older girl he’s close to/older sister. These titles are really for people you’re close to so you’ll often hear them used among members of the same band/label. Like even though I love Park Bom since I don’t actually know her I shouldn’t really call her unnie, if that makes sense?

But why do they have names like G-Dragon and Rap Monster?
Because Vanilla Ice was taken? No really, think of some of the stage names for stars here and when you compare (Looking at you Lady Gaga) they’re really not that odd or over the top.

Why should I listen to something I can’t understand?

Why not? I mean there are plenty of folks who listen to Italian Opera who don’t speak Italian. (This includes me.) Music is for everyone so don’t let the possible language barrier stop you from having a good time! The songs are peppy and beautiful and make me happy.

Here are just a few of the songs I have on my play list

Mel’s Kpop Faves from Melooza on 8tracks Radio.

If Kpop isn’t you thing maybe try checking out Stromae or Black M. Both very talented and great song makers. I hope this inspired you to try something new and if you’re a Kpop Fan lemme know who you love to dance to in the comments below!!

Mel Keysmash

Mel Keysmash

Mel is a fangirl through and through. She discovered her love of sewing and beauty through cosplay. She's here to help anyone who wants to start cosplaying and show them just how much fun it can be.To find her all you need to do is follow the trail of glitter and aqua hair dye.
Mel Keysmash

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  • Liz Keysmash

    This is SUCH a great FAQ!

    • Mel keysmash

      Yay!! I was trying to figure out a way to encourage people to give it a try w/out sounding like a giant hipster. LOL (See Oh, I’ve been a fan for sooooo long let me tell you how you should fan too.)