Until a couple of years ago, Korean Pop was not relevant in the U.S. but now dozens of K-pop bands are taking over the American charts.
K-pop’s rise is part of the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, which is the spread of Korean culture all around the world, where many people want to experience Korean culture such as fashion, food and television dramas.
K-pop bands have become more popular thanks to the help of dedicated fans, as well as the Internet.
Some K-pop bands such as BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, are starting to tour around the world, performing at venues in the United States.
With the help of media plat- forms such as Twitter, people are now being exposed to K-pop and shows are selling out within seconds.
K-pop groups are known for having many members such as the K-pop group Seventeen, which consists of 13 members.
The group goes through vigorous training for hours, including singing, dancing and learning different languages before they make their debut to the world.
In February 2018, Time magazine named Twice, BTS, EXO, Red Velvet, iKON and Seventeen as the top K-pop bands to watch.
The Korean Wave first started in the 1990s and slowly made its way from South Korea to Europe and North America.
Edith Gonzalez, director of Culture and Social Activities of Hally University of California, Riverside, said singing in a different language made it difficult for K-pop to become popular at first but now it has the potential to get bigger.
“One of the main reasons that it’s taken such a long time for K-pop bands to break out in America is because of the language barrier,” Gonzalez said.
“Social platforms such as YouTube have given K-pop the opportunity to grow even more than it already has. Some K-pop bands have been on American shows before, as well. Girls Generation was on David Letterman and BTS was on the Ellen Show.”
Qiantong Huang, sopho- more music major, said she likes K-pop and relates to the bands because of their dancing.
“I was a dancer and with K-pop groups they sing and dance together,” Huang said. “My favorite K-pop group is Apink, which is a female K-pop group. Each member has a special style and each of them captures the audience in a dif- ferent way.”
K-pop’s rising popularity is being reflected in its place in the American charts.
In 2012, boy band Big Bang’s fifth album “Alive” was the first Korean album to chart on the Billboard 200.
Now in 2018, Black Pink’s song “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” de- buted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and made them the highest-charting female K-pop group to do so.
BTS’ song “IDOL” debuted at 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the music video became the most viewed music video in 24 hours, beating Taylor Swift’s music video for “Look What You Made Me Do.”
Some groups are even starting to collaborate with well- known artists such as Nicki Minaj, who was featured in BTS’ song “IDOL”, and Dua Lipa, who is collaborating on a song with Black Pink.
Allison Strandberg, junior psychology major, said K-pop has become popular in many countries because it brings people together.
“Everyone likes to feel cultured and they can feel connected to people across the world (through K-pop),” Strandberg said.
K-pop’s presence is continuing to grow in the world. K-pop fans are becoming known for their extreme dedication to the genre.
Even if someone is hesitant about listening to this genre, there is a K-pop band out there for everyone.
With their growing success and recognition, there is no way of knowing how long this Korean phenomenon will stay on the charts.