The K-Pop Wave Sweeps over the West

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What is K-pop? It is short for Korean Popular music and originated in South Korea. It covers various genres of music like hip hop, electronic and R&B. K-pop first gained much love locally and then went onto global domination. Modern K-pop emerged in the ‘90s and won over China and Japan. It has only recently become popular in the West. The explosion of the internet and social media has helped make this music a global phenomenon. Audiences are fascinated by the multi-faceted artists who wow with their singing abilities and synchronised dancing skills. Groups like BTS, EXO, Bigbang and TWICE have record-breaking views on YouTube and Spotify. K-pop songs are often seen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Here’s the latest from “TWICE”. This video got 39.8 million views in the first 24 hours!

 

Did you know that K-pop artists start training when they are still in school? Their training can last anywhere between 5 and 10 years! K-pop artists train to sing, dance, rap and act. No wonder it is a 5 billion dollar industry! As a nod to this genre, Coachella, for the very first time, featured K-pop artists.

What is Coachella? It is an annual music and arts festival held in California that attracts a crowd of 1,25,000 enthusiasts on a weekend! You know you have made it big as an artist if you get to perform here. This year, history was made when the K-pop all-female quartet Blackpink and the indie band Hyukoh performed. Last year, Blackpink’s ‘Ddu-du Dhu-Du’ became the fastest K-pop song to cross 600 million views on YouTube. The announcement of Blackpink’s official US debut in Coachella lit up social media platforms. The quartet owned this year’s festival with their 11 song set. Their performance not only drew thousands of fans but also many celebrities.

Why is Coachella’s line up significant? K-pop has become a subculture. Fans love decoding the lyrics to songs. Some learn the language as well. The recognition of K-pop on a mainstream American platform like Coachella is the ultimate homage. It is paving the way for breaking stereotypes and bringing the world together through the language of the heart – music.

 


Vaijayanti is a writer, a nature enthusiast and an amateur wildlife photographer. She hopes her virtual pen and lens can make the world a better place

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