The K-Pop Phenomena!
Today's blog talks about the K-Pop phenomena. In order to really understand what is K-Pop and how it contributes to the image of South Korea in the world, we interviewed Yu-na, a dance instructor at Opeo Dancing Studio (directed by Oshrit). Please make sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel :(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC22vp_Ff8VcFwFaTvTJGbRg) and follow her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/capitanyun/). But, before we transition to the interview…a little bit of background:
So what is really K-Pop? Originally, K-Pop refers to a genre of music that originated from South Korea. However, the broad definition of K-Pop refers not only to the music itself, but also to the dancing styles as well as the special outfits of its top stars. The beginning of the modern K-Pop is in the 90's where (then) the genre was inspired from typical western genres such as: Pop, Jazz and Hip-Hop. Yet, the big push for K-Pop came in the early 2000's, mainly thanks to the spread of the of the Korean culture around the world, in what is known as the "Korean Wave". Two main factors are responsible for the fast growth of K-Pop around the world:
1. The Korean government adopted the "Korean Wave" as a mean for improving South Korea's image around the world. This took effect with the building of centers for learning the Korean culture, the development of a rich Korean television and cinema industries, and organizing of K-Pop festivals in many countries and inviting the leading bands to perform.
2. The development of the Internet and social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook allowed K-Pop reach a target audience overseas easily and quickly. For example, the video clip of PSY - Gangnam Style, that was uploaded on YouTube in 2012, is the first video in the platform to surpass more than 1 billion watches by users from around the world.
Today K-Pop is a vast industry with revenues of several billions of dollars annually, and its music is inspired by various music styles and genres such as Electronic music, Rock, Reggae and more, and many of the songs' lyrics are in English. Furthermore, the video clips and songs of popular bands such as: BTS, Red Velvet, Wonder Girls, Blackpink, Seventeen and Gfriend are viewed by millions of fans around the world.
And now for the interview!
Question: Can you please tell me what attracted you to K-Pop?
Answer: I discovered K-Pop 6 years ago. I initially heard about this phenomena through my best friends who talked endlessly about Korean TV dramas and K-Pop. At first, I was really surprised, but slowly I found myself getting sucked into it without noticing! The first bands I listened to were Exo, infinite, BIGBANG, and BTS. Later, I started also watching Korean TV dramas and, slowly, started falling in-love, with the culture, the language and the music. In 2018 and 2019 I even participated in the K-Pop World Festival annual competition.
Today, thank god, I initiate projects, perform K-Pop songs covers (in my YouTube channel) and teach at Opeo Dancing Studio in Petah-Tikva and Jerusalem (there are also branches in Netanya, Holon, Tel-Aviv, and Rehovot). This is the second year that I teach and I am super excited every time when I come to class, from the dancing and music and just from the amazing atmosphere! (you are welcome to look at the school's Instagram page: @opeo_kpop_school_dance).
Q: What were the things that made you fall in-love with K-Pop?
A: For starter, there were the "simple" things like the splashy colors, the difference, and the music of-course. Besides these things, I love that the K-Pop provides a very large stage for the dancing aspect. In the entertainment world, in most of the times, the responsibility for doing the singing is of the vocal, who is always in the front, and the professional dancers are in the background. In K-Pop, on the other hand, usually all the band members have an amazing dancing talent, and professional dancers receive the large stage just for their dancing skills.
Q: Are there any dancing moves that are unique to K-pop? How are is it to learn them?
A: Professionally, there is no dancing style that is "unique to K-Pop". I can say that de-facto, it is Hip-Hop with special elements that vary between band to band. There are bands that dance "Lady Style", there are boys bands that go more on "Poping", there is "Old School" and more…
From a difficulty level stand point, well.. it changes between one dance to another. There are dances with simple movements, and there are ones that require very high technique; It really depends on the band. With that being said, the unique style is actually the atmosphere, the music and every now and then, you can find movements that are still unique to the K-Pop world.
Q: Who are the leading bands today?
A: Wow! Mmm…so right now a band named BTS is practically taking over the world, and I highly recommend them. There is Blackpink of course, who gained unbelievable popularity, as well as other bands such as Ateez, Stray Kids, Mamaoo and many other good ones…Every band is actually unique in its own way.
Q: What influence does K-Pop have on the Korean cosmetics?
A: The industry idols are people with very large influence in the world of K-Pop, the demands from them are very high no doubt, and this also takes effect with appearance. Most of the idols (as far as I know) use cosmetics on a daily basis.
Q: Is there a large community of K-Pop fans in Israel?
A: Absolutely! A community that, thank god, is constantly growing. Nowadays, there are even K-pop style competitions, meetups, dancing schools like Opeo, and even organized trips of dancing schools students to South Korea, once a year! If you would have asked me 6 six years ago whether I believed that the community would grow that much, I would have said no way! But I am glad it did.
Q: What do you think are the aspirations of Israel in K-Pop?
A: I believe the aspirations are to bring Korean bands to perform in Israel of course. Personally, my aspiration is to help grow a warm and loving K-Pop community. Lol, with god's help! I believe that K-Pop will continue to grow seeds 😚
* This Blog was written to provide general information only and should not be seen as a replacement for a professional medical consultation. It is highly recommended to always consult your healthcare provider prior to trying a new treatment or a product.
** reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-pop