There's a lot of "beginner's guides" out there but some of them are pretty boring. I decided I should make it fun and make a guide about something not a lot of people know about, which is why I created A Beginner's Guide to K-POP!
Korean pop music isn't just famous in Korea anymore. People all over the world (me included) are totally obsessed with Korean culture and have recently fallen in love with their pop music. South Korea is actually the country with the largest active boy pop-group; Super Junior with 13/15 members. The reason it's 13 or 15 will be below.
The music is a combination of pop, r&b, hip hop, and lots more. One of the newest K-POP groups, Nu'Est (haha) has a lot of dubstep influence but fall under the category of K-POP.
So lets get started, shall we?
If you are interested in the music, the group that is more famous at the moment is Super Junior. They are made up of 13/15 members, depending on who you ask. Technically there are 13 members, but SM Entertainment (the label) decided to open auditions in China and recruite two members to be a part of a Super Junior sub-group. Some fans consider Zhou Mi and Henry as members of Super Junior, but others say it's only the original 13.
Left to right: Donghae, Sungmin, Kibum*, Kangin*, Yesung, Heechul*(hat), Siwon, Han Geng*, Kyuhyun, Shindong, Leeteuk (Leader), Ryeowook, and Eunhyuk.
The other two members, Zhou Mi and Henry are not pictured. The reason for the astrics: Kibum is currently not in Super Junior because in 2009 he left to pursue his acting career and solo work. Although he still considers himself a part of Super Junior, the speculation of him returning to the group on their next album has not been confirmed. Kangin is currently in the military. Under South Korean law, every citizen has to spend two years in the military. Kangin left Super Junior two years ago and will be back next week! Heechul left to do his military business as well but because he didn't pass the requirements, he is currently doing forms of community service. Han Geng has gone through A LOT. He is no longer in Super Junior because he is originally from China and there were complications with his visa to Korea. He officially left in 2011 and has been working on his solo career in China.
Another famous group that people just getting into K-POP should know, is DBSK/TVXQ.
Left to Right: Junsu, Yoochun, Jaejoong, Changmin, and Yunho (Leader).
There's a lot of history to DBSK/TVXQ. In South Korea they go by DBSK - Dong Bang Shin Ki which means "Rising Gods of the East". The five members left training and came together in 2003, one of the oldest pop groups. Unfortunately, due to complications with their contracts, three of the members left DBSK. Jaejoong (middle), Yoochun, and Junsu (to the left) all left and became JYJ, which makes up their initials. DBSK currently makes music but with only two members, Changmin and Yunho. There is hope the five will become DBSK again but because the three left DBSK's label, some are thinking they won't allow it.
In regards to hip hop and r&b, a group that is very popular is Big Bang. Some of you might recognize their name as the winners at the EMA's for Best Worldwide Act, beating out Britney Spears!!
Left to right: G-Dragon(leader), Seungri, T.O.P., Daesung, and Taeyang
Big Bang is another group that has had to deal with a lot of drama. Just last year, G-Dragon was stuck in a controversy after he was caught smoking marijuana. In America we would say shame on you but let them continue their work. In South Korea it's almost a career-ruiner. During this time, Daesung had a horrible accident in his car and hit a motorist, which ended up killing him. Many people called him a murderer so he hid away from the public eye. Big Bang joined together after their horrible controversies and made a new album that came out this year. They're been together in 2006 and they have overcome all the drama to be the best hip hop group in South Korea to this day.
There's your beginner's guide to K-POP! I hope you liked it and I hope you're interested in learning more. I will definitely create more guides in the future!
While at the Pomona stop of Warped Tour this year, Echosmith took some time to chat with us about being on the tour two years in a row, what new bands we should check out, their gratitude for signing to Warner Bros. Records, and what to expect from the band for the rest of the year. Watch the full video PV Q&A above.