Top 5 ‘Traditional’ K-Pop Music Videos!

There are a lot of amazing K-Pop music videos out there, as well as many brilliant concepts that groups showcase each comeback, but the concept that rarely gets its’ time to shine is the TRADITIONAL one.

Despite not being a popular choice, a few token artists have managed to create a music video concept based around traditional Korean ideals, legends and culture!

So starting with classic all the way to modern tradition, we’re sharing with you our Top 5 Traditional K-Pop Music Videos~!

1. Not an Easy Girl by LIZZY

After going solo from girl group After School and it’s subunit Orange Caramel in 2015, LIZZY announced her debut to the ‘trot’ or ‘folk-song’ genre with Not An Easy Girl – a fun, upbeat song about how fancy handbags and expensive steak doesn’t always win the heart of the person you love!

The music video itself uses scenes from the 1961 drama Seong Chunhyang, with LIZZY’s face photoshopped on top of the lead actress’ – which makes this video shed a classic and loveable light on early Korean history~

2. Shangri-La by VIXX

Portraying a different take on the tale of Do Won Kyung or ‘Peach, Blossom, Spring’, VIXX’s Shangri-La takes the story of an ‘exotic paradise utopia’ and uses it to describe someone whom they become infatuated with.

The song incorporates the mesmerising sounds of the ‘Gayageum’ (가야금), a traditional Korean string instrument, and mixes it with synth beats, making Shangri-La an absolute bop!

Plus, the M/V is beyond beautiful to watch and is filled with scenes depicting mysterious planets, stunningly colourful flowers, fan-wielding choreo’s and breathtaking aesthetics!

3. Arario by ToppDogg

T-O double P! D-O double G!

Of course we had to include ToppDogg on this list! Their music video for Arario blends traditional Korean sounds and style with hiphop better than anyone else!

In Arario, the group showcases such traditional concepts as; a ‘Pansori’ (판소리) style of song with ‘Buk’ (북) barrel drum accompaniment, beautiful young women in traditional Korean dresses or ‘Hanboks’ (한복) and ‘Gisaeng’ (기생), who were the Korean equivalent to the Japanese Geisha.

Fun to listen to and thrilling to watch, Arario is and always will be a gem~

4. Uh-ee by Crayon Pop

Although it’s slightly less catchy than previous Crayon Pop songs, Uh-ee still keeps up with the groups ridiculous style and comic sound by mixing trot and techno!

Even though there’s not a ‘Buk’ or ‘Hanbok’ to be found, Crayon Pop show us modern Korean traditions in the form of ‘Ajummas‘  (아줌마) or ‘aunties’ – who are usually stereotyped as bossy, un-stylish middle-aged women. 

To call a young woman ‘Ajumma’ is usually considered offensive, but in this music video the girls of Crayon Pop embrace their inner auntie and encourage everyone else to do so as well!


Finally, we’re ending on a group that took the idea of modern Korean lifestyles and made it their own!

In FXXK IT, one of their last music videos as a group, BIGBANG showed us how some of the carefree youths of today spend their spare time i.e. watching movies, reading trashy books, playing music, eating snacks and drinking together.

And as the M/V progresses we see the members interact with each other in places such as side street alley shops (that sneakily have the member’s names on them) and karaoke clubs, which show us Seoul’s infamous nightlife culture!

But in the end, we realise that the biggest tradition for modern Koreans is to simply enjoy precious moments with your friends – and that’s a concept BIGBANG showcases the best~!

FXXK IT is probably biggest bop of all time and was a fun, exciting way to send off the Kings of K-Pop~

Want to experience more of Korean culture? Why not subscribe now to the Inspire Me Korea CULTURE box to receive a box of goodies sent to your door every month? We ship internationally! Find out more HERE~

Feature Image Source: ©VIXX, 19.09.2017,

Claudia Deborah 이보라

Book-dealer by day, writer and illustrator by night—Instagram: @kikitsa.draws. Instant coffee and trot music get me through the day. My life is simple but I’m greatful for it. 나의 인생은 조금 심심하고 단순하지만, 이런 내 삶도 나에게 주어진 삶이 기 때문에 감사함을 느끼고 있습니다.



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