Why K-Pop, lately?

Hello, readers!

It’s been a while. Lately, I’m busy with internship and writing my thesis. I want to post some more, but I just find the occasion seems right now. Now, I want to share my story about loving into K-Pop lately.

Actually, I’ve watched K-Drama since I was in the 6th grade before K-Pop became widely global. When I was in my Junior High School, I also love Shinee and Super Junior, but it’s just for the sake following the trend, so it’s just actually a form of fear of missig out (FOMO) rather than actually fell into K-Pop.

When I was in high school, I did not particularly like any boyband or girlband. I just listen to them because the music is good. Back then I just love CNBLUE, a Korean band which consists of 4 handsome boys (but with really good music taste!). However, they haven’t produced any song again, so yeah, I don’t follow them anymore.

Now I’m a college student, and I find it being a fangirl is so waste of time because I’ve got so many activities to take care of. My love for K-Pop began in 2017 when a boyband named EXO released a song titled “Ko Ko Bop.” Honestly, I like them because of one of the members named Kyung Soo (his stage name is D.O). Why? Simply because he’s cute and the shortest of the group (somehow, I can relate to him for always being the shortest among others, so yeah). 2017 is actually a very hard year for me due to many difficult times I faced in this year, so I think I need to find an escape from reality, so I decided to become a fangirl. Some people think that being a fangirl is rubbish and considered as “having-no-life people”, but in my case, being a fangirl gives me so much motivation and energy. If your days aren’t good enough, just by watching your fav idols then suddenly your mood can be fixed. So simple life. 

Entering 2018, I didn’t feel that admiring this EXO boyband worths my life. Again, I felt it’s kind of wasting time. I see no value in admiring them because I just realized the song titled “Ko Ko Bop” is actually about “being high” (e.g: using drugs). I don’t think that their songs match for me. Besides, they never produce their songs, so their company actually buy songs from foreigners, change the lyrics, and the members just have to perform it without directly participating in the production process. And their choreography is also made by a different person, not the members! Somehow, I’m kind of felt betrayed.

Actually, my seniors have been into other boyband named BTS. BTS stands for Bangtan Seonyeondan meaning Bulletproof Boys. I was wondering how weird the boy group name. Since 2016, my seniors encourage me to be a fan of this boyband, but I never intended to be the one. I just like one of their songs titled “Spring Day” which is about longing lost friends from afar. It’s kind of unique since most of boybands will perform songs about love for girls and relationships.

And it actually hit me when I was watching certain videos on Youtube about how silly BTS members on Korean TV programs and their V App Channel. They are so different compared to EXO who are didn’t expressive in variety shows. Every member of BTS didn’t afraid of showing their ‘true’ (or maybe not) selves on the screen. Even on a music show, they didn’t bother to dance so silly in front of their fans. At this time, I become extremely curious about this band. And suddenl I just knew that they won Billboard Awards in 2017 gaining “Top Social Artist” which previously had been gotten by Justin Bieber for 6 times. So, I think “They must be something!”

And after I listen to their songs from their 1st albums, their EPs, or mixtapes. I just knew that they ACTUALLY PRODUCE SONGS! That’s why their songs are so meaningful. For example, their debut song entitled “No More Dream” is about fear of having a dream, whether our dreams could be realized or not since many people look down on us. Their latest song called Mic Drop telling us about how they diss their haters since now the group has had received so many awards. I’m sorry for always comparing them with EXO because I didn’t have other references. So, EXO came from SM Entertainment (one of thrre biggest entertainment management in Korea or the Big Three), therefore they have many resources since the debut. However, BTS came from a small company named Big Hit. Seeing their success now, I’m just amazed of how the small company manage them, especially Bang Shin Hyuk PD-nim, the production director who actually made BTS into BTS. He is so visionary and smart! Despite the weaknesses from each member, he made the members become loyal and humble. He also encourages members especially Rap Monster, Suga, and J-Hope to produce songs. Even he made story in every album BTS produced. I just felt so… appalled.  Most importantly, in one of their album (WINGS), each member sings a solo song, and each song really represents themselves, as humans.

This approach seeing the members as humans really makes me touched because the K-Pop industry I knew that they see members as assets or commodities (or maybe money producing machine). And I was surprised at how often they express their gratitude to their fans (ARMY: fandom name). They see their fans not merely as consumers of their music, but as humans too. In their fancafe (website where they interact with their fans), they often talk about mundane things and ask their fans for opinions just like interacting with friends. WOAAH. I know they are something.

I think the boy band is the most mannered K-group in the world. (Or maybe I was too exaggerating)

Their latest album is titled “LOVE YOURSELF” The album encouraged people to love themselves as humans, and make people realize that they deserved a happy life. FYI, South Koreans are prone to suicide, and this is one of their effort to encourage their fans to avoid that and love themselves to survive. See? They didn’t only make songs for gaining money. They deliver message through them. That’s why I respect them so much. As a person who used to hate mass culture, I didn’t think that this particular mass culture is bad. Maybe this should be called neo-mass-culture? Idk, tho. LOL.

If you are people who thinks K-Popers are just rubbish, maybe you should reflect at yourselves. Each has his/her own way to entertain self. So, please don’t judge them first.



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