In the year of 2013 I found myself amongst a strange, new wave of interests. I suppose you could say I found myself a lot more at the timid age of twenty-something.It’s not something that I hadn’t heard before, it just happened to tickle my fancy spontaneously. My first response was probably the same as any other outsider- I was very confused. My first K-Pop experience was during my second year of university; it was shown to me by a friend-of-a-friend.I was so confused… Imagine your usual type of boy band times 2, singing and dancing in unison, perfect porcelain skin, and girlish yet masculine looks. In short- dude looks like a lady! The only words of English that I understood were “bad girl’, and I was so confused as to why this friend-of-a-friend could listen to this music that was in Korean?
I went on to listen to a few more songs by different groups, both male and female and I still could not comprehend.
Fast forward to three years later. It was around May time; I was scrolling through my “watch later” list on YouTube, and came across something I barely recognised, but went ahead and watched. Thus my K-Pop addiction was born! *Cue the thunder and lightening*
My interest in Korean food, culture and music grew! At first I wondered why I was so intrigued by something that I couldn’t even understand. My friends didn’t understand my sudden love for Korean food, music, culture and men… And neither could I! Until this very moment in time, I still cannot explain.
The only explanation that I could conjure is that maybe it’s the interest of the unknown. As a female of Afro-Caribbean heritage, surely I shouldn’t like music composed and performed by Oriental people right? I don’t even speak the language. My luck changed as I discovered (via the internet), that there were other UK fans like me, were involved. Black, White, Asian, tall, small, young and old. Twitter and Tumblr were the main social media platforms that opened my eyes to so much more than I could imagine… It turned out that the K-Pop platform was and is international. As a 20-something year old female, I felt that I was too old to be a fan of boy groups; but in all honesty I’m normal in comparison to most.
And here comes the interesting part! There are some fans that eat, breathe and sleep K-Pop. So we all know how crazy Directioners and Beliebers are right? Add both together. Times that by 100. Add oxygen, blood, sweat and a whole load of tears!
I’m not slating ALL K-Pop fans, but a lot of them are indeed crazed. This is something that I have come to learn from hanging around in certain social groups. (And it’s funny how many mutual friends you have all because of K-Pop!) They’re crazy, obsessive and don’t listen to anything but K-Pop. Some even pretend to be “half Asian”; and make up stories about how their “Filipino Dad” was adopted by Chinese people, that live in Japan…ha!
K-Pop is good! K-Pop is great! K-Pop is life!
Adapt this motto into your everyday life, and you will become one with the KoreaBoos.
KoreaBoo: A person that is not of Korean descent who is majorly obsessed with K-Pop and/or traditional culture. They throw Korean words into their everyday sentences, only listen to K-Pop, are obsessed with Korean men and only eat Korean food. They often hound K-Pop idols when they come to the UK. Examples of this: screaming “Oppa, Saranghae” in their faces; taking involuntary selfies with the idols and they literally are a fan of EVERY K-Pop group.
Note to reader: Oppa, Saranghae- “Older brother, I love you.”
Doesn’t make much sense when translated into English.
“Oppa”, is what a Korean girl would call a male friend that is older than her, as a mark of respect.
I could go on forever about this type of fan…
Here are a few of my favourite K-Pop groups
Signed under SM Entertainment, this Quintet consists of Taemin, Minho, Onew, Key and Jonghyun. SHINee are known for their catchy and memorable choreography. Their sense of style and fashion is second to none! SHINee’s latest mini album “Everybody” is out now.
Pronounced “21” and/or “to anyone,”
CL, Minzy, Bom and Dara are signed to YG Entertainment. This girl group have attitude and differ to most of the girly, bubble gum, K-Pop female groups. Their latest album “Crush” is available now.
G-Dragon, Taeyang, TOP, Seungri and Daesung are label mates of 2NE1;their first world tour was in 2012; it showcased their 5th mini album “Alive”. Lead by superstar G-Dragon, Big Bang first debuted in 2006 and their anticipated come back will be August of this year; marking the anniversary of their first album.
K-Pop is a multi-million dollar business, and I believe that it’s global success boils down to how hugely different this genre is to any other. From fashion to music shows, the exposure of these idols is entirely taboo; in comparison to music in the west.The thought process of every music video, concert and album cover (including full photo books) is so in-depth. This is why I think K-Pop is and always will be forever intriguing and forever changing.