[Disclaimer: Information is solely based on personal experience]
If you’re anything like me, you have lots of non-K-Pop fan friends who generally don’t support your favorite music genre. However, you still play them song after song in hopes that there will be one they actually like. And although my actions have often been unsuccessful, there have been some instances where it works. Alas, here’s what you should try with your friends if you want them to ride the Hallyu wave with you:
This is probably the first K-Pop music video I ever saw and liked (although I had no idea who they were, what language they were singing, or what I was getting myself into), so this song was a no-brainer as the first choice for introduction. It may be the visuals, or the clothes, or the dances, or the epic intro, but this song captivates you right from the get-go – everything about I Am the Best is meant to lure you in. And boy does it work!
I can vividly remember fellow KPOPme writer Alejandro requesting it with me at a bar in our hometown and watching everyone dancing to it. And then see it happen again the next week… And the next… And the next! This works for every demographic: my gay and girlfriends love it for the fierceness and (a few of) my guy friends like it for the “hot girl” in spandex (or Bom, really).
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Similar to I Am the Best, Growl is well-liked by most of my friends, but more surprisingly, my EDM-groovy-soul loving straight guy friends. Everything I had ever listened to up to this point was “noise,” but this EXO song crossed cultural and gender boundaries. My friends praised the song for its funkiness and groove emulating Jamiroquai. The fact that 12 guys were singing and dancing was not an issue anymore, because the music was genuinely good.
While Opera falls under “noise” to some of my guy friends, it’s the only K-Pop song some of my girlfriends like. Maybe this is due to it being the equivalent of drinking a Monster Energy Drink in one shot – it’s a blast of energy pumped forcefully into you. However, I never showed them the Japanese music video – that would definitely stir them away, and I don’t particularly want that. While I love Super Junior and I support their Phantom of the Opera concept, I wouldn’t shove that down my Westernized friends’ throats. It’s too much… I shall rely on randomly playing it in my car while they sing the chorus.
Back in 2012, Gawker named Bad Boy the perfect pop song, validating what K-Pop fans have known for years: BIGBANG is awesome and crazy talented. Although blending pop and R&B is BIGBANG’s staple, they reached perfection with this song. I mean, who could resist T.O.P’s deep vocals, G-Dragon’s overall demeanor and style, and Taeyang’s soulful verses? Like I Am the Best, Bad Boy itself and its music video are eye and ear-candy (cue Baek Ji Young) – no one could resist this track! Not even a male writer at Gawker! I rest my case… And even if I can’t really think of any of my friends liking this song, I recommend that you should recommend it because it is flawless.
Abracadabra is a song about casting a spell on your ex so he’ll get back together with you and leave his current girlfriend. However, this completely escaped my friends, who only focused on the famous hip swinging dance and the chorus. This was perfect, since that is what I focused on too when I first got into K-Pop. Back then, it was all about the visuals, the dances, and the superficial appeal – which may be crucial to luring friends into liking K-Pop, that’s how I got sucked in! It didn’t hurt that this song, like I Am the Best, had the “fierce” factor Beyoncé-loving girls and boys crave.
With no conventional visual appeal or fierce factor, Lee Hi won some of my friends over with pure talent. This girl fought her way through K-Pop Star and fought her way through idol-dom as well in order to establish herself as a bright star among those dimly lit. If your friends judge all the girl and boy groups you like by labeling them “talentless,” they sure fall short of an insult with Lee Hi. 1234 is a fun song that could be sung by any Western diva if it were in English – and that’s what resonates with my friends.
If these songs don’t work on you non-K-Pop fan friends, then I don’t know what will. Have you tried to introduce your friends into K-Pop? What songs did you use in your endeavor? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.