The beginners’ guide to K-POP


They’re taking over social media and are rapidly gaining fans in the Western countries; K-Pop stars are really making it in the industry right now. But what is K-Pop? After talking to friends who are into the culture and music genre, Here’s what I found out.

K-Pop (short for ‘Korean Pop’) has had a strong fanbase since the ’90s, despite only recently blowing up on social media. It’s grown into a hugely popular subculture amongst teens and young adults in Asia and now growing fanbases within Western countries, including the UK.

So, what’s the difference between our pop groups and K-Pop groups? To begin with, they’re much larger in size. Whereas Little Mix and One Direction have between 4-5 members, K-Pop boyband EXO have a total of nine members and girlband Girls’ Generation has eight members. I can’t imagine a Western pop group with that many members!

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It’s also worth noting that K-Pop artists have pretty large and dedicated fanbases on social media. In 2013, EXO became the winners of the EMA for Social Buzz, beating the likes of One Direction.

A big contribution to K-Pop’s likability is the dancing element. The dance routines are so in sync and complex that it’s almost robotic.


Perhaps the biggest name in K-Pop is solo artist, G-Dragon; a South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer and fashion icon. Although he’s known as frontman of boyband Big Bang, G-Dragon has done a credible amount of solo work, winning over 50 awards and even collaborating with Diplo and Missy Elliot.

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Image source

If you thought fandom lingo was like another language, K-Pop introduces a whole new band of terminology. If someone calls you “aegyo”, don’t be offended, because that means you’re cute! And if you’ve got a favourite member of a band, they’re known as your bias. There’s a whole entire vocabulary of new words to learn as a K-Pop fan. I’m still very much learning but have the basics down.

So, are you ready to enter the kawaii world of K-Pop?

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1 Comment
  1. Ultraviolet says

    This is a cool article but why did you say “kawaii”? That’s a Japanese word.

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