Rise of the Korean Wave: K-Pop Goes Global

The influence that music has on today’s globalized culture has opened the doors towards a wide and diverse range of genres, artists, albums, songs, recognition and fame. Among these emerging trends, a new subculture has originated in recent years and has spread its popularity on an international scale. K-POP, or Korean Pop, is nothing short of mainstream American pop, Latino pop, Arab pop or other national types. Most artists and singers perform as a band or large group, although some individuals from within may produce featured singles. The majority of members are based in South Korea, however, a good amount are also from neighboring Asian countries within the region such as China, Japan, Thailand and even Australia. They have worked their way up on major charts including Billboard, have performed many concerts and staged world tours and have continued to increase their fans’ support with the help of technology, the internet and social media. These are my top shared, all-time favorite K-POP groups that have gone viral. Don’t worry, I won’t forget about song recommendations!

  1. 1. BTS 

    BTS (aka BangTan Boys or Beyond The Scene) is a boy band composed of seven members featuring RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Their widely recognized album is Map of the Soul: Persona and Love Yourself: Tear. Catchy songs from each one respectively is "Boy with Luv" and "Fake Love". Some well-known singles usually include other famous artists like Halsey, Zara Larsson and Steve Aoki. All of their music videos include a complex routine of choreography and trendy themes and fashion. BTS’ Map of the Soul World Tour comes to Orlando on May 14, 2020. Fanclub - BTS Universe.

  2. 2. Blackpink 

    Blackpink is a girl group formed by 4 members – Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie and Rosé. Lisa is from Thailand and Rosé is a New Zealander from Australia. One of the most played songs performed by them is called “Kill This Love” from the album of the same name. Their other charted album is Squared Up. Squared Up features one of my favorite over-repetitive songs “Really.” Most of their themes and lyrics found in music videos along with their colored outfits, hair, albums and social media platforms often represent a bright feminist side, as well as a dark one, hence the groups’ name. Their live concerts and world tour often are sung in both Korean and Japanese, with additional parts of the songs in English. Fanclub - BLINK.

  3. 3. Twice 

    Twice is another girl group made up of 9 total members including MOMO, Mina, TZUYU, Sana, JIHYO, Nayeon, CHAEYOUNG, Dahyun and JEONGYEON. They are based in South Korea and have also traveled, performing at international venues. “FANCY” from the album titled Fancy You, is a banger and includes wonderful choreography from all the girls in their bubbly music video. Interestingly, they began their career through a Korean reality TV show called Sixteen and rose of fame through there. Most song lyrics are closely linked to feelings about self-love and relationships. Fanclub - Once

  4. 4. EXO

    EXO (aka EXOPLANET) is a top boy band that comprises a fuse of South Korean and Chinese members with Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. Lay is the only member who is from China and considered a top artist individually in his native country. EXO’s best songs are “Love Shot” from LOVE SHOT – The 5th Album Repackage and “Growl” from XOXO. They have participated in brand endorsements as well as modeling and ambassadors for other organizations. Many of their songs in studios and while on world tours are sung in Korean, Japanese and Mandarin. Fanclub - EXO-L

There you have it! With a few boy bands and girl groups in mind, give it a shot and listen to what they have to offer. Ever since I started listening to them, it has become one of my non-stop Spotify playlists. Although I don’t understand any part of the language, I still find them extremely talented with their translated lyrics, music videos, Instagram profiles, attractiveness, sense of style, events and overall generosity toward society. A goal of mine is to attend at least one of each group’s concerts someday. I am looking forward to hearing bigger and better hits, just as much as you are. 

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