It doesn’t take long to spot a K-Pop music video. The catchy melody, eccentrically styled hair and clothes, and perfectly synchronized dance moves are all dead give-aways. But has this always been the formula for a K-Pop hit? Actually, yes.
Let’s travel back to the early 1990’s, shall we? MC Hammer is telling people what they can and can’t touch. You and your friends are working tirelessly to raise your Tamagotchi friendship meter (so your two pets can get married and have babies, of course). And Cory and Topanga are still just friends on Boy Meets World.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, a three-man group by the name of Seo Taiji and Boys is paving the way for a new musical genre called K-Pop. This group had it all figured out: that perfect blend of Korean lyrics fused with Western pop music beats, irresistible dance moves, and the kind of charisma that turns a teenage girl into a squealing puddle.
Fortunately for other groups, Seo Tiaji and Boys‘ formula for success was easily replicable, allowing for a tidal wave of new K-Pop groups to flood the music scene in no time. Up-and-coming bands like H.O.T. sang and danced their way to fame by imitating K-Pop forefathers such as ST&B. In record time, Korean fans then developed an obsession with the genre that rivaled their notorious love for kimchi.
Now, after twenty years of Konglish singing, hair gel slathering, synchronized dancing glory, K-Pop has grown to be more than just a blip on the world’s music radar. Groups like Apink and countless others, have gained international fame practically over night.
So, if you haven’t already, expand your musical pallet and have a listen! ‘Cuz K-Pop is going to be around for a long time to come.
P.S. If you’d like to read more on the origins of K-Pop, click HERE.