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Last Updated on January 10, 2018

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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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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