May Music Releases From Korea That You Might Have Overlooked

History Just Might Die K-pop may releases KultSceneMay has not been lacking in music releases from top K-pop acts. BIGBANG, INFINITE’s Kim Sung Kyu, KARA, Girl’s Day, and SHINee all came out with new music and gained worldwide attention. But there were also a lot of good songs coming out of Korea this past month that you may have missed (pardon the pun). Here are some of KultScene’s favorite, possibly overlooked, releases from Korea in May.

HISTORY’s “Beyond The History” album is one of our favorite things to be released in May, maybe this year. The title track “Might Just Die” and its music video are extremely sexy, but it’s Jang Yi Jeong’s solo rap track “1Century” that’s really worth taking a listen to. Jang wrote both songs, and his composing skills are something we’ll be watching, but it was his excellent rapping that is so shocking considering that he’s actually the group’s lead vocalist.

“Like” by CLC was introduced in May with pretty little fanfare, considering that the girl group debuted under one of Korea’s brightest entertainment agencies, Cube Entertainment. But just because there wasn’t a lot of attention doesn’t mean that we don’t love the bright, colorful song.

Zion.T’s “Eat” is a gentle R&B song about a man and his feelings, a comforting tune to help people find pleasure in the little things in life. It went to the top of many Korean music charts thanks to its melodious, warm nature.

Also on KultScene: Seventeen’s ’17 Carat’ Album Review

Solo singer IU released “Heart” with little warning, but it also became a hit. The song was featured in the drama “The Producers,” which the singer stars in.

Another boy band that made a K-pop comeback in May was UNIQ, with the song “Luv Again.” The R&B song’s a sweet tune for the summer months, with its acoustic instrumentals and harmonies. UNIQ is clearly a rookie group, but one that’s worth taking note of.

Coffee house band Urban Zakapa released a new mini album ”U/Z,” and two of our favorite songs of May are “Get” featuring Beenzino and “Two One Two.” With positive lyrics and inspiring music videos, Urban Zakapa really shone in the month of May.

A powerhouse music couple released songs for the soundtrack of the drama “Who Are You?: School 2015.” You cannot miss out on is Yoon Mi Rae’s “I’ll Listen To What You Have To Say” or Tiger JK’s “Reset” featuring Jinsil.

Clazziquais Horan is definitely not just alright with her first solo song “She’s Alright.” The song is about women who say that they are fine even when they’re not, something many women around the world can relate to. The funky song has traditional Korean influences and is a pleasure to listen to.

Also on KultScene: UNIQ ‘Luv Again’ Music Video & Song Review

“Trespass” is the debut title song released by Monsta X in May, but the powerful image is one that we hope the group keeps past their debut. The song is focused highly around rapper Jooheon, and we’re not complaining (although maybe a little bit).

Heejun Han’s “QnA” featured Girls’ Generation member Tiffany, but was a bit unloved. But the cute duet is upbeat and sure to put a smile on every listener’s lips.

Vocal quartet 2AM may have split up to different agencies, but member Lim Seulong released his first solo album in May and “Mood Swings” is definitely something to take a listen to. The song features Black Nut, and we’re obsessed.

Jung Joon Young switched over to the group concept, and JJY Band released its first song in May. “OMG” is a rock party song that we all need.

Seventeen debuted this month with sweet title track “Adore U,” a song that we’re obsessed with. It’s simple, sugary, and has amazing raps.

Two talented K-pop soloists came together in Eddy Kim’s “Coffee & Tea,” featuring Mamamoo’s Solar. The caffeine-focused song is another sweet tune, with bouncy acoustic sounds that we love.

What do you think? Did we miss out on any great May releases from Korea? Let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

5 English Covers by Korean Male Singers

english covers by korean male singers g.o mblaq ze:a kevin 2bic
It’s one thing when an artist does a cover of a song, but it’s another thing when that artist is able to move you and convey an even stronger message than the original singer. And it’s even more astonishing when the language of the song isn’t even the singer’s first language.

If you’re a YouTube junkie, then you might’ve seen these covers floating around before, and if not, you’re in for a treat! Here are my top five English covers by Korean male singers.

5. 2BiC I’m Not the Only One

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Top 10 K-Pop Dance Performances of 2014

Dancing is hugely important to a complete K-pop performance. It is what sets them apart from western pop stars and is one of the biggest draws for western fans. So it is appropriate that we celebrate the year in dances and showcase the best K-pop has to offer. There is a great amount of variety on show here from the most personal of dances to beautiful teamwork. Check out our top songs, videos and albums of the year along with this to get a sense of what we thought of this year in K-pop.

10. Got7 A

JYP rookies Got7 start off this list with their bubblegum hit A. While it is not as powerful or intricate as the rest of this list, A’s dance perfectly balances a sense of fun with great choreography. The boys effortlessly move from chit-chatting in a group to their proper moves all while retaining the fun side. The dance moves are simple, fresh but with quick timing. The choreography matches up with the youthful feeling of Got7 seamlessly.


9. EXO Overdose

With a group as big as EXO’s, the positioning of the members is always going to be hard. As they have released more songs though, they have gotten better and better at their use of the stage. Overdose furthers their reputation of delivering original choreography and inspired use of 12 members. Even after the loss of Kris and Luhan, EXO adapted and continued performing this song to the best of their ability. Plus, with someone as charismatic as Kai leading your dance it’s hard not to look good.


8. TVXQ Something

When it comes to choreographic perfection in K-pop you may look no further than the reigning kings, TVXQ. Something adds to this with a gimmick of microphones and strings. Yunho and Changmin are first held by the strings so they can lean back and look cool. They then use them like the strings of guitar in a charming way to start off the song. Apart from the gimmicks, the choreography is performed to perfection as usual. These boys are up there with the best pop performers in the world, not just K-pop.


7. VIXX Eternity

VIXX are known for their imaginative and relevant choreography and this year they delivered that on two singles. Eternity stands out over Error because of the sheer kinetic prowess on display. Everything that the members do seems connected from the lifting of the members at the start to the intense chorus. The energy and physicality VIXX brings to their performances is unparalleled. They even do the scorpion move made famous by INFINITE and make it seem like no big deal.


Also on KultScene: VIXX and its Successful Use of Themes



INFINITE’s members are easily some of the best performers in all of K-Pop. Of course, they are always helped out by excellent choreography and Back is no different. Their second single of the year marked a return to form in song and dance. They use classic techniques like the shadowing of member Hoya at the beginning and their own techniques like the first post-chorus breakdown, which is spectacular in its originality, to great effect. Also, the drop is EVERYTHING.


5. Nasty Nasty Knock

Star Empire’s experimental sub-group consisting of ZEA’s Kevin, Nine Muses’ Kyungri and trainee Sojin beat Trouble Maker at their own game this year with their single Knock. Nasty Nasty took Trouble Maker’s concept of the co-ed duet to portray a relationship in a performance but added another girl to up the ante. What sounds like a possible conceptual disaster turned out to be one of the sexiest and best performances of the year. The smooth moves are perfectly performed by the three with Kevin exuding charisma he’s unable to show in ZEA, Kyungri maturing into a confident star, and Sojin showcasing great potential.


4. Taemin Danger

SHINee’s maknae well and truly became a man with his debut solo release Danger. Taemin channels his inner Michael Jackson in the song and dance, and pulls it off as well as we might have expected. He brings power and precision to original, intricate moves. The dance moves from bouts of restraint before exploding into powerful actions for the climax. Taemin brought his energy and identity to his solo work and it paid off enormously.


Also on KultScene: Why Taemin Was First In SHINee To Go Solo


3. Nicole MAMA

Former KARA member Nicole’s debut song MAMA may not have been a huge hit but its lyrics about sexual frustration and choreography that matches were some of the best of the year. The whole focus of the song seems to be on the choreography, as Nicole knows where her strength lies. The dance plays as a symbolic move from the sweet, innocent Nicole of KARA to the confident, sexy Nicole we now see. She is alluring with the female backup dancers and is sought after with all the male dancers. Her stage presence and execution has only gotten better since leaving KARA. We may have the next BoA on our hands.


2. TVQX Spellbound

If TVXQ are some of the best pop performers in the world then they had to make two appearances on this list right? Both Spellbound and Something were incredible dances but Spellbound wins out because it does away with gimmicks. In it both Yunho and Changmin are given time to shine on their own with the best use of backing dancers in K-pop yet. The two really shine when together though, as in the incredible moves during the chorus and the breakdown that comes three and a half minutes in. This is the best executed performance of the year so what could possibly have beaten it to number one?


1. HA:TFELT Ain’t Nobody

In deciding a number one for this list it came down to measured brilliance or raw personal energy. Ultimately, Wonder Girl Ye Eun’s alter ego beat out TVXQ as she offered up something we had not yet seen before from any idol. Taking cues from Sia’s Chandelier, the choreography is interpretive and full of emotions. Feeling comes out of every slight movement of Ye Eun’s body which coupled with her intense voice makes Ain’t Nobody a truly complete performance. Every aspect of her performance created a personal story which has never been encountered in K-pop. For once, we are witnessing art rather than a product.

What 2014 K-Pop dances are your favorites? Share your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Best of the K-Pop B Tracks: Part 3

Are you ready for the next installment of our Best of the K-Pop B Tracks series? Part 3 introduces new artists to the series and talks about one or two artists from the original post and from Part 2. The majority of these songs are not single material, but nonetheless, they are great tracks to enjoy on their respective albums. The following seven songs share some similarities as well as differences with each other, but all of them are great tunes.

Artist: Miss A
Album: Touch
Song: Lips

We’re starting Part 3 of this series off strong with Miss A’s Lips. The song starts off with a strong beat and club/EDM-inspired music. The ladies’ vocals are strong and powerful during the verses. Then more feminine and soft when the chorus appears. The chorus is addictive and easy to sing along to, which helps listeners get into the song. Lips is the perfect song to dance to at the club on a Friday or Saturday night. Just unwind and let go.

Artist: SHINee
Album: Dream Girl: The Misconceptions of You
Song: 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking

Next up of course is a SHINee song. 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking like Lips starts out strong with a synth and strong beat before and during Key’s intro. The music for 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking is insane. The almost overproduced beats seem like they would be too much, but somehow the music manages to work for the song.

The vocals and music are both quick, which keeps listeners interested. There aren’t any pauses in the music. Instead it slows down and thins out in some spots. The guys’ vocals are, as usual, flawless. The harmonies and falsettos are superb as well. 히치하이킹 Hitchhiking is a fun song to listen to when you’re feeling like hitting those high notes as you sing along.

Artist: LC9
Album: Skirmish
Song: Skirmish

LC9 came onto the K-Pop scene with Mama Beat and haven’t really been heard from since then. This next song is from their debut mini album titled Skirmish. The lead-off track is of the same name and one of my favorites. The beat and music are completely different from other K-Pop songs.

The music makes the song seem like it should be a hard-hitting song. But the vocals, especially in the beginning, are softer and inviting. After the chorus, the music becomes more minimal, and then builds again as the chorus approaches. The style of singing in Skirmish is what attracted me to the song. The members drag out their words and loop them together to give a wavy flow to the lyrics. Skirmish is a great song to bob your head to while listening to it with headphones.

Artist: Henry ft. Seul Gi
Album: Fantastic
Song: Butterfly

The next song is considerably different from the heavy EDM songs above. Henry’s duet with Seul Gi from his second mini album is a beautiful song that showcases both singers’ vocals. The two sound great together and the song, Butterfly, uses piano, guitar, and drums as the basis of the music.

It feels like a small lounge song with the duet singing to you in person. Butterfly is a pretty song that isn’t overpowered by the music and Henry’s and Seul Gi’s vocals compliment each other extremely well. When you feel like taking a break from the world listen to Butterfly.

Artist: Mamamoo ft. Geeks
Album: Hello
Song: Heeheehaheho

Mamamoo is a rookie group that deserves much more recognition. The soulful ladies have amazing vocals and great songs. Heeheehaheho is from their debut mini album Hello and is a little slower than the other songs. But it beautifully showcases the ladies’ vocal talents. Heeheehaheho is a R&B song that slows down life for a few minutes. It’s a simple song that brings out the soul in each members’ voice.

Artist: 2PM
Album: 미친거 아니야? GO CRAZY!
Song: Mine

2PM’s Fall release, 미친거 아니야? GO CRAZY!, gave us the likes of Go Crazy!, a crazy party song. But a few more tracks into the album we get Mine. Mine is a song that starts out with strings, piano, and funk, jazz-inspired music. Jun.K kicks off the vocals with his soulful tone and draws you into the song. The music is simple and provides a strong beat for the 70s-inspired vocals. We get soul, falsetto, Taec’s rapping and of course some 2PM flair.

Artist: Clazziquai Project
Album: Blink
Song: Life etc.

The final song for this installment of Best of the K-Pop B Tracks, is Clazziquai Project’s Life etc. from their Blink album. Alex does all of the singing in this song while Horan adds backing vocals. There’s a lot going on musically, but it does not distract from the song, it adds to it. Alex’s calm and soothing vocals makes a perfect pair with the zealous music.

The music may seem chaotic but it is essentially the main star of the song. Alex does sing throughout the song, but there are a lot of musical breaks where the listeners can just jam to the music. Alex adds to the story with the lyrics and his vocals. Life etc. is a fun song to listen to whenever you need a quirky pick-me-up.

Did you enjoy Part 3 of our K-Pop B Tracks series? Share some of your favorite K-Pop B tracks with us in the comments below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

K-Pop Songs to Start Your Morning

An array of K-Pop songs to get your weekday morning started off right. The following tune selections are upbeat and will get you moving during the morning hours. Because as we all know, it’s extremely hard to get out of bed in the morning, especially when school and/or work are the reasons for doing so. All of these songs will get the blood pumping through you and get you out of bed and excited to tackle the day.

Neon Bunny – Oh My Prince

Neon Bunny’s soft vocals are the perfect thing to wake up to in the morning. The bass and club-inspired music of Oh My Prince will have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head. It’s a great song to listen to as you begin to wake up in your bed. The song will get you out of bed and moving around. Oh My Prince isn’t too intense that it startles you as you start to wake up. Instead, it will aid in your level of coherence and it will help put you in a good mood to start the day.

BTS – 여기 봐

For a little Pharrell/ Neptunes-inspired tune, just turn to BTS’ 여기 봐. The song is made up of elements that will put you in a great mood. The tune, the music, the instruments, the vocals, the rapping, all of it flows together effortlessly and has an upbeat and carefree vibe. Blast 여기 봐 as you make your coffee and breakfast and dance around the kitchen. It might also be a good idea to pick out your outfit for the day since you will be in an euphoric state due to the relaxed feeling of 여기 봐.

History – It’s Alright

It’s Alright is quite different from the previous tracks on this list. But, the song has a great beat, and how can you deny a song that states “It’s Alright” throughout the chorus? A great way to start your day is by already telling yourself that everything is alright. If you’re familiar with History, then you are aware of their vocal abilities and flawless harmonies. It’s Alright is another upbeat song that puts you in a good mood, which is the best way to begin your day. It’s Alright also utilizes musical elements from numerous genres and eras, such as funk, the ’80s, and others. The different sound will enhance your mood.

Kanto – Fly High ft. Olltii & Sik-K

This next tune may seem like a buzz kill at first. And in comparison to the songs listed above, it kind of is… But Kanto’s rapping and vocal tone are captivating. The song builds upon itself, and although it starts out slow, you won’t want it to end. While listening to this song you become engrossed in the beat, music, and rapping. Not to mention that the chorus offers an inspirational phrase to start your day:

We can fly

When Fly High ends. you will feel like you can take on the world. And who doesn’t want to start their day off feeling like that?

Taeyang – Body

The final song to get your morning off on the right foot is none other than Taeyang’s Body. Just take the final 3+ minutes of your morning and revel in the vocals of Taeyang. This song will get you pumped up and ready to tackle the day and you will feel beautiful and loved throughout the day. That is the power of Taeyang. Aside from the lovable lyrics, Body is an extremely catchy song with a great beat and overall feeling.

These are only a few K-Pop tunes to get your day started. Let us know if you have a favorite song that gets you pumped up to start the day. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Fan Fashion: KCON 2014

KCON 2014 was successfully held on August 9th and 10th in Los Angeles, California. The LA Memorial Sports Arena saw over 40,000 K-Pop and Hallyu fans who did not cease to amaze with their incredible fashion. Through both days of the convention KPOPme’s staff was on the lookout to showcase the best KCON 2014 fan fashion.

    When I first spotted this boy, his Timberland booties caught my attention. As I took a closer look at his outfit I started noticing really cool pieces, I really wanted his Pyrex shorts, they were so cool! His look was totally reminiscent of the fashion on BEAST’s Good Luck music video.

    fan fashion 1
    I’m a sucker for all-white outfits, and when I spotted this fashionista I was so happy to see how well balanced her outfit was. I really love how the white lace sleeves give a really cool texture to the outfit and complements the umbrella very well. It’s a really cool Lolita-inspired look that exudes great confidence and a great sense of style.

    fan fashion 2

    When it comes to mixing patterns, you have to have a special touch. It’s not an easy thing to do but this guy did it in a very subtle and fun way. His black and white vertical stripes elongate his stature and mix very well with the stripes on his sweater. He wrapped a blue and white striped shirt on his waist and, to complete the nod to the ’90s, he wore his snapback backwards.

    fan fashion 3

    As mentioned before, I love all-white outfits. Season 10 American Idol alumni, Arnelle “Elly” Nonon, took the trend in a futuristic way. Her holographic visor really accented her look and was the best piece in her outfit. Her neoprene white skirt was to die for, and was paired very well with the halter cropped top.

    fan fashion 4

    fan fhasion 5


    The ‘90s Club Kids have always been an inspiration to fashionistas around the world. They created really unique outfits with many elements that could be easily applied to ready-to-wear pieces. Platforms and really cool, unique accessories are a must. I really appreciate when someone pays really close attention to what they are wearing and what they want to express with their clothes.

    This fan’s pink Buffalo platforms looked amazing with his predominant pink color palette (even his dreadlocks are pink!) His hologram cap, which I really want to get a hold of, really accentuated his outfit. His zombie shirt made me think that he would fit right in next to 2NE1 in their Gotta Be You video.

    fan fashion 6

    This trio really caught my attention. Their styling was very fashion forward and was executed extremely well. Not only were their clothes amazing, but look at their hairstyles! I instantly fell in love with the leather jersey that the boy in the middle was wearing, and the girl’s cut-out skater dress was also to die for. The guy on the left even made me think that I was standing in front of G-Dragon himself.

    fan fashion 7


    I am currently in love with the designer brand Hood By Air, so naturally when I spotted this fan wearing one of the brand’s shirts, I had to take a picture of him. Not only was he wearing a HBA shirt, but he also sported Boy London pants. Since the graphics were already overwhelming, the fashionable guy paired the outfit very well with a simple necklace and bracelet. I really want his tennis shoes, they are amazing!

    fan fashion 8


    When I spotted this cutie I was really surprised to see a very polished and feminine look. Her pearl shirt with the royal blue pattern matched perfectly with her midi royal blue lace skirt. Her nude flats with a gold tip where so cool and modern. And to top it off, her floppy hat not only kept the sun away from her face, but also made her look incredibly chic.

    fan fashion 9


    Fashion can be really fun, specially when you do a DIY ( Do It Yourself). This girl made a really cool print on her black crop top. She made an all-over print of her BTS bias, Jimin.  She paired the shirt with high waisted shorts and a really cool pair of statement shoes.

    fan fashion 10

    Last but not least, I would love to showcase some of the amazing cosplays that I found at KCON 2014.

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    Which showcased fashionista was your favorite?  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.

    K-Pop Release Cheat Sheet 08/03/14-08/09/13

    In case you may have missed some of the latest released songs and music videos, KPOPme has you covered. Here’s a look at all of the K-Pop releases from the first week of August.

    This week has given us songs by artists including SPICA, VIXX, Lyn, Brown Eyed Girls, seen debuts by Rok Kiss and Songhaye, as well as some performance MVs, including a re-release of INFINITE’s Back.

    [Music Video]

    LYn, LEO of VIXX Blossom Tears

    San E Body Language feat. Bumkey

    VIXX Ken My Girl

    Ladies’ Code Kiss Kiss

    Park Bo Ram Beautiful feat Block B’s Zico

    THORNAPPLE 시퍼런 봄 Live Version

    SPICA I Did It

    Songhaye My First

    Jo Sung Mo 사랑합니다 끝없는사랑

    Su Youn Tell Me Why

    G.NA, The One, A.KOR’s JiYoung, Kim Woo Joo, Lee Ye Joon Miracle

    ROK KISS Rok Kiss

    INFINITE Back Performance Ver.

    Buzz The First Summer in 8 Years

    HEYNE Red Lie Dance Ver.


    Brown Eyed Girls Hush

    Crush Night I Can’t Fall Asleep feat. Punch

    A.T Good MorningRoommate OST

    What was your favorite song released this week? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

    Can History reach success with “Psycho”?

    Loen Entertainment has made a name for itself by distributing music videos of famous Korean groups and artists. Aside from assisting with the distribution of new music, the company houses a few artists as well, under their artist label, Loen Tree. Sunny Hill and IU are under Loen Tree, along with label mate History.

    Initially, in 2008, IU did not have much success when she debuted. It wasn’t until her follow-up album, Growing Up, that her name became known, and she became popular. Her third full-length album, Modern Times, was a hit from release, topping several music charts and programs. Although IU did not instantly become a huge sensation, she has developed into a great singer-songwriter; people absolutely adore her! Now it’s History’s time…

    Let’s be honest, how many of you knew that History’s comeback will be their 3rd mini album? Anyone? I sincerely hope that this is the mini album that will make History popular among mainstream music. Granted, they are competing with BEAST‘s recent comeback and many other well-known artists, but people just need to give History a chance. I thought their debut song, Dreamer was a phenomenal piece, but, unfortunately, it did not receive much commercial success.

    From their debut, it feels as if History is a group that was together for a while, based on how well their voices compliment each other and how mature they all sound. These boys slay all harmonies; they are just so amazing! Their voices all suit each other so well and sound so smooth together. Their sound isn’t really mainstream at the moment, but that’s part of what gives History their pop. Their music sounds familiar, yet modern and new. I can’t quite describe it, but I know that I love it.

      History is back again with their upcoming 3rd mini album Desire. It consists of five tracks and displays elements of funk, jazz, swing, and other genres that are appealing to listeners. Hopefully, this will be the album where people recognize History’s talent so that their popularity could grow

      Their title track, Psycho sounds like an ’80s anthem with the synths and bass. Let me tell you: I love me some ’80s anthems. There are only two teasers out, but I can already tell that this song is going to be on repeat for a while. As I mentioned before, History’s harmonies are impeccable, as are their high notes. There’s literally only 20 seconds of singing in each of their teasers, and the majority of the it is laced with harmonies. And that ending, with the creepy smile… This is going to be good.

      The second teaser gives us a little more insight into the choreography and setting of the music video. It’s clear that the boys are in an asylum, because their love has turned into an obsession. The choreography looks like it will be pretty good. There wasn’t much given away in terms of dance, but there is a lot of touching each other on the neck and head area, as well as pushing each other away. There were a lot of scenes done in black and white, which I love for its artistic value in any video. Sometimes the simplicity of black and white just adds so much more feel and emotion.

      History will release their Desire album on June 23rd, along with their title track, Psycho. Just like IU, I hope that History’s popularity will rise. There are a lot of talented artists out there, but there are some who are just under the radar. History is one of those groups. Psycho could be the catalyst that catapults them into mainstream popularity. No matter the outcome, I will always be a fan of History.Are you guys excited for History’s comeback? Do you think they’ll gain the following they need to make an impact in the mainstream Kpop scene? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

      K-Pop: Korean Music or Music From Korea?

      K-Pop is definitely a distinct genre from Western music, but it’s not exactly Korean music either.

      Obviously, K-Pop is created in Korea, but it’s not like there’s anything unique about it. It may not sound like mainstream Western music (meaning American music), but Western producers write many K-Pop songs. SM Entertainment in particular makes use of Western producers. There are even trial versions of Girls’ Generation and f(x) songs recorded by Ke$ha and Ariana Grande:

      Most K-Pop songs incorporate lyrics in English or some other language. Numerous songs have English titles rather than the Korean ones, which new fans often get confused by,  so why does Korean music have English titles?

      Mostly because K-Pop is now an international phenomenon, and while everyone may not be able to read Korean writing, just about everyone can read English. Another reason is because Koreans think that if someone speaks English they’re more educated and successful.

      There are also K-Pop idols who aren’t Korean, and K-Pop groups that primarily promote in China or Japan, and yet those songs are still called K-Pop.

      That’s not to say that every K-Pop song is created by foreign producers or even contains lyrics in another language, but the sound of most K-Pop songs don’t sound remotely Korean. There is a very distinct sound to traditional Korean music, but that is typically lost in K-Pop.

      Anytime a K-Pop singer attempts to sing traditional Korean or trot songs, it’s almost like the singer must be joking. Only a few idols have attempted to incorporate traditional Korean elements into their songs, like Super Junior-T, a Super Junior subgroup where the members sang trot songs, and ToppDogg’s song Arario, which incorporated Korean pansori music.

      Moreover, the real reason why I question whether K-Pop is truly Korean is because it doesn’t really appeal to the average Korean. K-Pop is aimed at teenagers and young adults, and is very popular abroad, but most Koreans don’t care about it half as much as international audiences do. Some K-Pop songs do become popular, because they’re catchy, but not because they are K-Pop songs.

      The most popular songs in Korea are actually typically indie songs, like Busker Busker’s Cherry Blossom Ending, Junggigo X SoYou’s Some, etc. Coffee shop songs have a unique genre in Korea, and are generally more popular than K-Pop, since the calming style suits more people’s listening palate.

      Urban Zakapa, Nell, and even IU are generally better accepted in Korea than K-Pop idols, since they’re generally considered to be unartistic pawns of entertainment companies. Also, calmer sounding songs are more attractive to older listeners. This is why Akdong Musicians, AKMU, is also increasingly popular in Korea. Although AKMU is run by an idol company, YG Entertainment, the duo doesn’t sound like typical idol acts.

      Now, that’s not to say that Koreans aren’t proud of K-Pop and don’t listen to it –I have many Korean friends who like EXO, BIGBANG, Girls’ Generation, etc. But there’s very little in most K-Pop songs  that appeal to Koreans because it doesn’t evoke Korean values and culture.

      What do you think? Is K-Pop Korean or just music in Korean? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.