When we talk about K-Pop, we’re talking about a new breed of pop music that is not just background music at a party, it’s about 100% immersive experience. This is a music phenomena the world is just catching onto, it is the phenomena of musical and visual perfection.
Headlined on influential media such as BBC, Evening Standard, charting on Billboards and iTunes, K-Pop boy group BTS have been stealing the light that once belonged to huge international artists such as Shawn Mendes. BTS meaning Bulletproof Boy Scouts is a South Korean seven member boy group who debuted in 2013. Breaking records daily left, right and centre, and creating an uproar of chaos at the airport when landing in America, a huge statement it may be, BTS have been compared to ‘The Beatles’.
K-Pop, this new wave has finally started to reach mainstream media and it seems like it will only get bigger. K-Pop stands for Korean popular music and spans a range of genres – not just pop. This movement is part of a significant time in music that should be watched. It could be questioned as to what gives K-Pop bands an edge over infamous worldwide bands like Fifth Harmony, One Direction, and even solo artists. A huge part of the shiny appeal is how every K-Pop group is polished to perfection. From singing and choreography to fast fashion, every performance is a visual attack on the senses. K-Pop entertainment companies train and refine idols, from their skills to on-screen presence. Each member is in charge of a different position in the group – split into the dance machines, genius rappers and golden vocalists. Each members’ talents when combined as a unit, create dynamic layers that keep you coming back for more.
The interaction on social media brings the fandom into play and makes them just as important as the K-Pop group themselves to bring them to fame. BTS winning the award for ‘Best Social Artist’ at BBMA’s 2017 is a huge recognition for these efforts, especially as they broke Justin Bieber’s running track record for winning this award 6 years in a row. By being ever so close to the K-Pop audience on social media, consumers of music are satisfied by the immediate and easy access to behind the scenes, exclusive clips and much more. Connecting the audience with artists in a personable way is growing a bigger appetite and higher expectations of music, producing and visuals. The participation that audiences now have in joining live streams and chat rooms with their idols as well as giving them the power to vote for winners at major awards are ever increasing. Fandoms create trending hashtags on Twitter and somewhat become part of the performance through fan chants during live performances; making the audience ever more involved and in control of their idol’s success. The sheer volume of worldwide participation and followers are strong indications that K-Pop is definitely here to stay.
In November 2017 BTS were invited to perform at the American Music Awards (AMA’s) and appeared on popular chat shows like The Ellen Show and The Late Late Show with James Corden. BTS were featured in a BBC documentary by BBC Radio1 on 19th January 2018 about K-Pop, with another exclusive BTS documentary to come. But it’s not only BTS that have been making an impact internationally in recent months, artists like CL, EXO (recently made it into Guinness World Records 2018 for the most Daesang awards won at MNet Asia Music Awards), G-Dragon, GOT7, TWICE, BlackPink, and SHINee have been causing people from all over the world to turn their heads towards the Korean Music industry.
K-Pop artists’ popularity worldwide are definitely growing, and this is bringing a new breed of multi-talented artists to the forefront of the international music industry. The question is how long are they here to stay? With the new age of our world and the addictive quality of K-Pop, it seems that their fame will be long lived. Not just limited to the music scene, this seems to be a gateway to put the spotlight on South Korea as a country in world media.
Featured Image: BTS Golden Disk Awards, 14.02.2018, www.hollywoodlife.com