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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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    Alicia Prince

    A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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