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Wondering Why K Pop is So Popular? Here are 10 Reasons

Wondering Why K Pop is So Popular? Here are 10 Reasons

As the Internet improves connectivity throughout the globe every day, it seems the world holds an endless amount of fresh art, film, and other media.

Not the least of these exciting foreign bits of culture is known as K Pop, short for Korean pop music. You might think you know a thing or two about K Pop if you’ve seen the video for “Gangham Style,” but K Pop is so much more than this one tune.

Ingenious approaches to music videos, what it means to be talented, and pure hard work set K Pop apart from any other genre. Here are the reasons which make K pop so uniquely popular.

1. Costumes And Color Theory

One of the things K Pop does so well is creative use of costumes and color in music videos. Hundreds of years ago, when North America was barely being industrialized, Asia already had a burgeoning art and graphics scene.

So, it should come as no surprise that Asian pop culture in general, including music videos, is often heavily refined and well thought. Use of effects, make up, outfits, and everything else, are always in service to a greater theme and vision. If you don’t believe me, just check out this video from TVXQ.

2. Storytelling

Another way that K Pop keeps amassing fans is by utilizing strong storytelling in many songs and music videos. A perfect example is this song by Kim Wan-Sun.

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3. Personality

K Pop is also well known for its unique, extravagant, and eye-popping personalities. K Pop stars, or “idols” as they are usually known in Asia, have a knack for truly standing out from the crowd and taking self expression to a new level.

4. Fashion

Similarly, K pop stars bring a whole new meaning to fashion. Their real life outfits and styles often far surpass western stars’ in intensity and originality. K pop idols never shy away from making a splash, and have a decidedly unique way of interpreting current trends.

Take, for example, G-Dragon, a well know member of boy group Big Bang and an accomplished solo artist. Not only is he known for his superior musical talent, G- Dragon is a frequent trendsetter and overall fashion icon.

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    Photo credit: TeamBIGBANG

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    5. Addicting Melodies

    Pop music would be nothing without catchy hooks and sing-along lyrics. K pop is no different, making use of melodies that are instantly stuck in your head.

    Boy and girl groups alike have appealing song writing down to a science, which makes their music appealing to fans no matter what language they speak.

    6. Choreography

    Choreography is another area where K pop artists completely dominate. Groups not only sing and dance, they perform routines so complicated and challenging, they would usually require truly professional dancers.

    Not only does this take an insane amount of hard work, practice, and skill, but K pop artists are well-known for performing these routines live – proving they are truly skilled, not just well edited in their music videos.

    7. Training

    Unlike young western pop stars who often grow famous in a short period of time, K pop artists are usually groomed and mentored by managers or agents for years at a time before recording their first song.

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    Intensive training, never less than a year, make these young artists seasoned performers by the time they debut. It’s no wonder even young kids are expected to go through this rigorous schooling, since their dance routines and schedules become so insanely demanding.

    8. Diverse Talent

    Additionally, K pop artists almost always act as well as sing. While you can certainly find stars who don’t act very well, usually a true K pop idol is just as skilled as an actor as they are as a singer and dancer.

    Far from the thin marketing ploy that combination singing and acting acts in North America and Europe often are, these kids are utterly talented.

    Not only that, K Pop idols who take on major roles in many different tv shows and movies are common. Of course, these acting gigs are all concurrent to their regular musical career. For example, Daesung from boy band Big Bang made many appearances in the tv show “What’s Up?”

    9. Multilingual

    Not only are K Pop artists uber talented, incredibly hard workers, and star in perfectly executed music videos, they often mix other cultures into their songs. Since most students in many Asian countries are required to learn English from an early age, singers frequently mix in English sayings with their lyrics.

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    Not only does this appeal to fans throughout Asia, it makes K Pop artists more accessible to fans in the Western world. Case in point, this mega hit from Big Bang: “Fantastic Baby.

     10. High Concept Groups

    Finally, K pop has a tendency to put forward highly talented groups with an original concept. For example, Exo is an unbelievably successful boy band based in asia.

    The band is made up of two groups – Exo K and Exo M. Exo K performs and promotes the band’s music in Korean, while Exo M does the same for in Mandarin. By recording every song in two different languages, this boy band multiplies the band’s potential audience immeasurably.

    Unsurprisingly, Exo is the highest charting Korean male act on the Billboard 200. This tendency to give a group’s very existence a bigger vision makes K Pop standout against other genres. A truly unique approach to pop music, Exo is a perfect example of the unique approaches coming out of K Pop today.

    Featured photo credit: Republic of Korea via flickr.com

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    12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

    12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

    15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and black tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here:

    11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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