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15 Jun 2018

What is K-pop? How did it begin and how has K-pop become so popular?

15 Jun 2018
other/to-know What is K-pop? How did it begin and how has K-pop become so popular?


K-pop is a music phenomenon from South Korea. You can see K-pop as a music movement, a culture or genre, but one thing is certain K-pop is different from other genres. K-pop is a mix of popular music genres such as pop, rock, hip hop, R & B and K-pop is often combined with complex choreographies.

What is K-pop?

K-pop stands for Korean pop and is actually a mix of popular music genres such as pop, rock, hip hop, R & B and this is often combined with complex choreographies and visually complex productions. The groups of musicians who make K-pop are also called 'idol groups'. Each group consists of different characters and all 'idols' of the group must look good, dance well, sing well and so on. In addition, K-pop idols must be clean, and never have been in contact with the law.

Where did K-pop begin?

It all started in 1992 with Seo Taiji & Boys, they were the first music group in South Korea who dared to show a different culture. They had different clothes, they danced and they combined hip-hop with pop. At this time, dancing was still considered negative in South Korean culture, so Seo Taiji & Boys really were a pioneer in this area. In addition, Seo Taiji & Boys made music that fitted well with their generation, so they quickly gained a lot of attention and a lot of fans.

How did K-pop became so popular? 

In 1997 South Korea got into a financial crisis, so the government had to come up with new ideas to make money. The music industry grew bigger and more commercial and therefore the South Korean government decided to invest at least 1% of the state budget in culture. More money meant new opportunities and several companies in the music industry took these opportunities by exporting K-pop worldwide. Actually, here began the K-pop as we know today. 

Gangnam style

PSY 'Gangnam Style' was released in 2012, the first song that got 1 trillion views on youtube, this has made K-pop worldwide even more famous.

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