K-Pop is more than just a music genre, it is an experience

Korean Pop, also known as K-Pop, is genre of music that has quickly spread across the globe, growing increasingly popular in America.

K-Pop artists even came to American music awards to receive an award for the first time in history.

According to BillBoard, K-pop group BTS’s album "Love Yourself: Tear" was "the first primarily foreign-language No. 1 album in over 12 years" on American charts. 

K-Pop, despite sounding like it would consist of only pop music, actually encompasses many different genres such as hip-hop, jazz and R&B. Many popular K-Pop artists are also now making American tours such as BTS, BlackPink and Stray Kids, showing the ever-increasing popularity of the genre. 

K-pop has become a way for people to interact with each other and forge friendships to last a lifetime. Its sudden increase in popularity has aided in this, as among many of my friends who liked K-pop before it was popular, it was very difficult to talk about their favorite music or find a good conversation topic with strangers as most people thought it was weird, and would look down on people who liked it.

According to Joanna Chen of SBS, since it began getting popular, more people are listening to the genre and are willing to talk about it, also helping shy people come together with others of the same interests. Since it began getting popular, more people are listening to the genre and are willing to talk about it. K-pop has enabled people to feel companionship over something as small as celebrating their favorite artists’ birthday, and to never feel like they are truly alone.

With the creation of K-pop, music videos and dance practice videos followed suit, providing another way for people in the community to interact with one other. Most, if not all, K-pop groups have a storyline intertwined with their music, with things like time travel and dystopian clans telling a story as a video alongside the music.

This has given many fans a chance to work together and theorize on what the whole story is, helping people connect. Dance practices have given people an opportunity to learn the dances to their favorite songs they love. My friends and I learn dances in our free time, and it is a fun way to hang out while getting some exercise.

Most fandoms will have discourse or fan wars, the concept is not new. It is easy to stumble upon some kind of discourse online, and K-pop is no exception. Just like with the band EXP Edition, a K-pop group formed with no Koreans in it, people will lash out and put down things they do not consider fitting the mold, as reported by Yvette Tan of BBC.

Most people who do not have a deeper understanding or connection with the fandom will only see this discourse and shy away from it. Meanwhile, the ones who are involved in the discourse just get the spotlight and give everyone a bad name. K-pop is a very popular genre, with over 35 million hardcore fans around the world, so it makes sense that there will be a few bad apples in the bunch. However, most of the fandom is exceptionally loving and open to new fans, some even go as far to help you ease into the music genre and fandom themselves.

Considering how popular the music genre is becoming and how many people around the world listen to it, there must be some reason why fans like the idols so much, despite never having met them or even sharing a language with them in many cases. The answer—the idols genuinely care for their fans.

They constantly remind their fan base they would not be as successful today if it was not for their efforts to see them succeed. The genre has produced some of the most beautiful and intense music I have heard, and everyone should give the music a chance.

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