The idea may seem foreign to many, but the international popularity of South Korean pop music has drastically risen within the last year and has steadily increased since then. The fairly new form of music, known as “K-Pop”, originated in the in the late 1990s., continuing to rapidly develop into its present form today. This genre, however, has increased tremendously in popularity within the United States and globally since mid-to-late 2016. Since then, Korean pop groups have evolved into having the certain visual and music styles they currently obtain in December 2017, with the US pop culture supporting them along the way.
Professional K-Pop groups rely on visual aesthetic pleasure to create a certain image for the group. Keeping the visual style of the group in mind, the albums and songs that are produced hold heavy influence of their precious public image. The overall content presented by K-Pop groups contains much more attention to detail and changes more rapidly than American music. Depending on the popularity of the group, the average group releases a “comeback”, a new album, close to every six months. This features six months of performing globally, promoting music locally and on social media, and enforcing the visual aesthetic before the next concept is started. The devotion of K-Pop idols to their groups, the amount of content being updated on a timely basis, and the unique culture of South Korea interests many teens and young adults from around the world. Lucas Burgard, a sophomore and the World Culture Club President, says, “I think people really like the loud costumes and colors along with innovative fashion, which makes K-Pop so appealing. People really like the fact that it’s so different, yet you can still compare it to some American groups.”
This proves itself with the overwhelming majority of votes that went to the K-Pop group BTS to win the 2017 Top Billboard Social Artist over celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Selena Gomez. BTS held 75% of the total votes for this award, while the other nominated artists held a mere 2-5% of the votes. Victoria Comey, a sophomore and a member of the BTS fandom, A.R.M.Y., says, “I’m very proud and happy that BTS has performed and has gotten an award on an American awards show. I’m glad that BTS is the group to bring a different culture to America and to open the minds of people around the world. They’re having a huge impact.”
Photo Caption :
Korea-based pop groups spend not only a tremendous amount of time creating music but also on their visual aesthetic, shown in these typical extras, such as photocards, books, and posters that come provided with the purchase of an album. Photo Courtesy of Anna Jani. Photos taken March 24, 2017.