K-pop

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South Korea K-Pop
Stylistic origins ElectronicHip hopPopRockR&BDanceBubblegum pop
Cultural origins Mid to late 1990s, South Korea
Typical instruments VocalsDrum padDrumsElectric bassKeyboardsPianoSamplerSequencerSynthesizer • Occasional use of various other instruments
Mainstream popularity Mainstream throughout Asia. Expanding popularity in the United States[1] and Canada,[2] Northern Africa,[3] Eastern[4] and Northern Europe, Latin America,[5] Middle East,[3] Australia and New Zealand.

K-Pop or Korean pop or Korean popular music, is a musical genre using a mix of electronic, hip hop, pop, rock, and R&B music. It began in South Korea. As well as music, K-pop has grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults throughout Asia. There is a lot of interest in the fashions and styles of Korean idol groups and singers.[6]

K-pop can now reach a much larger audience through use of the Internet. With Facebook fan pages, iTunes, Twitter, and music videos on YouTube, K-pop is becoming popular in many other countries around the world.[7]

History[change | edit source]

1990s[change | edit source]

The setting up of Seo Tai-ji & Boys in 1992 was a turning point for popular music in South Korea. Using rap rock and techno styles, Hip hop duos such as Deux also were popular in the early 1990s.

Jonghyun, lead vocalist of the boy band SHINee.

In 1995, Korean businessman Lee Soo Man opened South Korea's largest talent agency, S.M. Entertainment and set up the first K-Pop girl groups and boy bands.[8] By the late 1990s, new agencies like YG Entertainment, DSP Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment were producing talent as quickly as possible.[6]

Groups such as, H.O.T, Sechs Kies, god and Shinhwa, and artists like Drunken Tiger had huge success in the 1990s.

2000s[change | edit source]

The talent agencies train new artists and bands for the K-pop industry. To make sure it is successful they take over every part of the young person's career. They can spend more than $400,000 to train and launch a new artist.[9] Through this practice of apprenticeship, which often lasts two years or more, trainees are taught to sing, learn professional choreography, sculpt and shape their bodies through exercise, and study multiple languages, all the while attending school.[2] In order to get this money back, the artists are signed up to long contracts, and with little money being paid. These have been described as slave contracts.[10] The band Dong Bang Shin Ki were given a 13 year contract which the Korean courts have said was too long and had too many restrictions.[10] With CD sales being low, and Internet sales making only a few cents from a song, most money is made through tours and selling merchandise.[10]

K-Pop is becoming popular outside of Asia, most notably in the United States, Canada, and Australia. In 2009, the Wonder Girls became the first Korean singers on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with their single, "Nobody".[11] The following year, solo artist Taeyang and 2ne1 also reached the top of various music charts throughout the United States and Canada with albums and hit songs.[7] In 2011, Big Bang's album Tonight became the first K-pop album to reach the top 10 on US iTunes chart. It was also only non-English language album in the top 100.[12] To make the genre popular around the world, K-pop artists are starting to work with talent outside of Korea. In the United States, Korean artists are touring with groups such as the Jonas Brothers.[13] They are also working with well-known producers including Kanye West, Teddy Riley, Diplo, Rodney Jerkins,[14] and will.i.am.[15]

Japanese public broadcaster NHK decided to ban K pop from the New Year's Eve show in 2012 for political reasons, due to ongoing disputes between Japan and Korea over Liancourt Rocks.

Korean rock[change | edit source]

Korean rock includes bands like Guckkasten, YB and Nell. See also the Pentaport Rock Festival.

References[change | edit source]

  1. (Korean) [특파원 월드워치]美아시안계, 韓流드라마에 푹 빠졌다 :: 네이버 뉴스. News.naver.com (2005-12-12). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The new Korean Wave: Girl groups. Korea.net (2010-10-28). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Korean wave spreads in Middle East through TV and tourism. Korea.net (2010-06-03). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  4. Korean wave laps at Norwegian shore @ HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity. Hancinema.net. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  5. Korea Culture Center to host K-pop event in Argentina. Korea.net (2010-09-30). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 TIME Magazine: Korean Pop – Flying Too High?. 205.188.238.181. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Yoon, Lina. (2010-08-26) K-Pop Online: Korean Stars Go Global with Social Media. TIME. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  8. [news] SM Entertainment continues to cash in profit for the 3rd Quarter of 2010 ~ Daily K Pop News. Dkpopnews.net. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  9. TIME Magazine: Korean Pop – Show Me the Money. 205.188.238.181. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "BBC News - The dark side of South Korean pop music". bbc.co.uk. 14 June 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13760064. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  11. South Korean Pop Sensation Wonder Girls Hits The States | Access Hollywood – Celebrity News, Photos & Videos. Access Hollywood (2009-11-10). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  12. Mrkic, Mike (2011-02-26). "Korean pop the next big thing?". Star Observer. http://www.starobserver.com.au/celebrity-2/2011/02/26/korean-pop-the-next-big-thing/45602. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  13. Music & nightlife | Asian superstars Wonder Girls open for Jonas Brothers | Seattle Times Newspaper. Seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  14. Meet JYJ – Kanye West's New Proteges – Movies, TV & Music. UsMagazine.com. Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  15. Busy bodies: 2NE1 on US career, new album | Manila Bulletin Newspaper | Find Articles at BNET. Findarticles.com (2010-08-19). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.