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What makes K-pop such a global phenomenon?

Written by Hanya Awan October 11th 2021

It has slowly become a fact to every individual’s knowledge that music is changing in every generation. Since the last decade, music has been immensely changing. Specifically, in today’s decade, the rise of Korean pop has increased sales, Korea’s economy and the knowledge of the cultural significance and practices of South Korea. For many years South Korea has been producing television shows, music and spreading its culture but only in the present generation has the popularity increased severely. Television shows that have increased South Korea’s economy and broke records include “Squid Game”, “Crash Landing on You” and “It’s Okay to Not be Okay”, with the highest ratings internationally. Worldwide record broken songs that others may also recognize are “Ddu-du Ddu-du” by a female group, Blackpink, “Gangnam Style” by a solo artist known as PSY and “DNA” by a viral male group known as BTS.

In terms of music, the music genre has spiked popularity at the beginning of 2016, according to Billboard. This happened when China banned K-pop in their nation due to political conflicts and it resulted in the industry wanting to send their idols to the U.S to promote their music more. K-pop idols started promoting their music more in the west and intermittently collaborated with artists from the west which developed a high audience for the music genre. Appearances have played a significant role in increasing the reputation and name for example, during the Olympic Games on February 9, 2018 opening ceremony. During this opening, athletes marched in the Parade of Nations accompanied by a select group of Kpop hits. This was a message from South Korea proving how the nation has great power over most of the worldwide industries which include music.

However, what makes this genre so peculiar from other music genres is that how the industry made all of the singers well-rounded, from training to dance in a fast pace environment to also being athletic and humorous towards their audience. Their amusing, harmonious melodies make it comprehensible that South Korean companies have funded and planned with great excellence and effort. This idiosyncratic writing style makes the songs so popular, and it is considered a classic songwriting style. Where they begin with an intro and a verse with hooks in the chorus which makes the lyrics and melody catchy and addictive amongst the listeners. “These hook songs emphasize catchiness through devices like repetition”, said Dal Yong Jin, a professor at Simon Fraser University.

Conclusively, the industry has created a path to success through a variety of techniques, which include training, music writing, and appearances at public events worldwide. The genre continue to grow and is it is a high probability that it will continuously break more records and

become more favoured by mankind. Hence, mankind will continue to gain knowledge about the genre. This growing phenomenon will increase the reputation of South Korea which will make other nations want to compete with South Korea to have triumphant and successful music, cultural, and movie industries as well.


Works Cited

Kim, Ellie. “The Rising Popularity of K-Pop.” Mililani Times, Accessed 11 Oct. 2021. Liu, Marian, et al. “Why Is K-Pop so Popular?” Washington Post, blackpink/.

Romano, Aja. “How K-Pop Became a Global Phenomenon.” Vox, 16 Feb. 2018, “Why Does It Seem a Lot of Generation Z Love K-Pop?” Quora, Accessed 11 Oct. 2021.

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