K-Pop for Non-Kpop Fans

  • Pardon the title, it's the best I could think of.

    A lot of my friends have taken an interest in K-pop recently and being the super-fan that I am, have come to ask me where they should start. To me there are really 4 places to explore when you're new to the world of K-pop.

    The first, is what you already like. K-pop spans pretty much every genre so chances are you can find a song or artist you enjoy pretty easily.

    The second area to explore is K-pop that is reminiscent of western pop. There are a lot of K-pop songs that I think could be played on the radio overseas and not even be noticed as something from Korea, some songs are even in english.

    The third area to explore is the classics. What songs have come to define K-pop over the years.

    The fourth and last, is what's popular right now. K-pop changes a lot every year so it's good to know what K-pop is sounding like now.

    So I've created a little guide to 3 of the 4 areas. I obviously can't make suggestions on what you might like without asking you, so if you want to be paired up with a song or artist, reply to this post or message me with your tastes in music and I'll do my best to recommend something good.

    K-pop that sounds like western Pop.
    BTS-Blood, Sweat, & Tears
    Exo-Call Me Baby
    EXID-Hot Pink (A Personal Favorite)
    KARD-Don't Recall (In English)
    Youtube Video

    Classic K-pop Songs That Everyone Should Know (And You May Have Heard Before)
    Wonder Girls-Nobody
    SNSD/Girls Generation-Gee
    Super Junior-Sorry Sorry
    Brown Eyed Girls-Abracadabra
    Hyuna-Bubble Pop
    Big Bang-Fantastic Baby
    KARA-Mister (This is the Japanese Version)
    Red Velvet-Ice Cream Cake
    Apink-No No No
    Sistar-Touch My Body
    Youtube Video

    K-pop Songs That Are Currently Popular (I will probably try to update this when new popular songs come out.)
    Exo-Ko Ko Bop
    Twice-Signal (A Personal Favorite)
    BTS-Not Today
    Triple H-365 Fresh (Warning: The MV can be a bit upsetting.)
    Youtube Video

    That's my little guide. I might do more posts on this blog about the specifics of K-pop like member positions and stuff like that, but this is all for now.

  • K-Pop Member Positions

    The vast majority of K-pop artists are groups. Primarily boy-groups and girl-groups but there are a few co-ed groups as well.

    One hallmark of these groups is that each member is assigned a position. These positions are generally:

    • Vocal: The singers in the group.

    • Visual: The member of the group who is best known for their looks, often takes the center position during the song.

    • Dance: The best dancers of the group, who typically take center position during dance segments.

    • Rap: The member of the group who raps, typically there is only 1, but some groups have more.

    These positions are further sorted in to 4 categories. The categories are:

    • Main: The best in the group at their position.

    • Lead: Very good at what they do, but not as good as the Main.

    • Normal: There is not prefix attached to this position, it just means that they are the average of the group.

    • Sub: Means that they are not as good at this position as other members of the group or rarely get lines/center time in that position.

    An example of an Idol's position would be: Main Rapper, Lead Dancer, Sub-Vocal. Meaning, they handle most of the rap segments, are considered a good dancer, and sing but very rarely.

    Here are some examples of Idols with main positions in their groups:

    Twice's Momo - Main Dancer
    Youtube Video

    EXID's LE - Main Rapper
    Youtube Video

    WJSN/Cosmic Girls' Yeonjung - Main Vocal
    Youtube Video

    F(x)'s Krystal - Main Visual
    Youtube Video

    You'll find that people tend to have a favorite position, and that that leads to a pattern in who they pick as their bias (favorite member of the group). I tend to gravitate towards dancers and vocalists.