Over the past year or two, the music genre known as K-pop has blown up a lot in the U.S. K-pop is a musical genre originating in South Korea that consists of an assortment of other genres such as electronic, hip-hop, rock, and R&B music. A lot of people say that the boyband group BTS is one of the main reasons that K-pop is as popular as it is now. BTS has broken many records and surpassed huge goals. For example, they were nominated for a Grammy this year for best pop duo/group with their song “Dynamite.” With this song, they broke the Guinness World Record for the most viewed Youtube music video in 24 hours with 101 million views. Korean ideals like BTS are able to influence the world and give out positive vibes.
As a K-pop stan (a mix between “super” and “fan”), it’s important for me to express how this genre of music has impacted me, especially during the pandemic. In this era where society is oppressed, equality is a political issue, rights are expensive, K-Pop gave us/me the freedom and the chance to express and feel the real me, especially BTS. They always live with the motto, “Love Yourself, Speak Yourself,” and it’s beautiful. They’ve encouraged me to be me in times I completely doubt myself. BTS makes sure to let people of all ages know that it is important to value self-love and respect. They show that it’s necessary for you to put your health and your happiness before others to make sure you’re always putting your best self out there. BTS works extremely hard to perform the best they can for their army (fanbase) when it comes down to their choreography, vocals, and the meanings behind their songs. BTS really does inspire me to work harder and to put 100% effort into everything that I do.
During the pandemic, everyone used their time differently to cope with what’s going on around the world. Alexandra St. Juste is a freshman at Middletown High School who is also a big K-pop stan. St. Juste used her time focusing on school but also listened to lots of music to brighten up her dark mood. “K-pop means different things according to who you’re talking to. To me, K-pop teaches you that you can have more than one skill. If you’re passionate about something you should go after it.” Many K-pop idols weren’t good at singing or dancing before they joined their groups, but that shows that they put a lot of effort and dedication into practicing these skills so they could be a better addition to their group and fans. This inspires not only St. Juste but many other K-pop stans that believe that putting effort into whatever you do will truly push you harder to achieve your aspirations and goals in life. According to St. Juste, she believes that K-pop blew up in America because K-pop idols are bringing something different and unique to the table which makes people interested in them. “K-pop is so universal! When you listen to K-pop it makes you want to dive deeper into the K-pop culture/world.” What makes K-pop stand out apart from American music is the effort and emphasis put into their overall performances. For example, K-pop music videos are unique and colorful. They take time to convey a story that syncs with their songs. As opposed to many American music videos which can be pretty similar in concept or just overall bland.
“I believe K-pop is going to grow even bigger throughout the years because K-pop idols are humble and they are dedicated to their fans. They will always continue to put out the best songs for the people who support them. Supporters are always going to continue to appreciate the K-pop idols efforts and sincere feelings toward their fans,” St. Juste concluded.