Youth from all over Asia have been inspired
by Korean music throughout the last decades. Kpop music has become more famous
than anyone would have thought about it. From genres imitative of early
twentieth-century European and Japanese styles ("trot" and "yuhaennga") to
contemporary pop and rap bands, there is something for every category of
listeners to enjoy. In fact, we can say that the success of Korean music is part
of the "Korean wave" ("Hallyu" in Korean), which refers to the recent
recognition of Korean popular culture.
This began with the export of Korean TV dramas ("Jewel in the palace" and "Winter Sonata" in southeastern Asia) and continued with the success of Korean movies and popular music. The current success of Kpop music can be explained by the fact that South Korea is the 10th largest economy in the world. Due to its fast economical growth, Korea can afford to invest large amounts of money in the music industry. Spectacular laser shows and fireworks often accompany Korean pop singers' performances.
Young stars with good looks, latest styles and amazing dance skills create Kpop music. Korean Music is similar to Western music (pop, rap, soul and blues), except that the lyrics are, of course, in Korean. Another difference is that contemporary Korean music has managed to integrate traditional instruments and influences. The emergence of Kpop music started with the popular group Seo Taiji and Boys, in 1992. Today, artists like Rain, Se7en, Boa, Shihwa and TVXQ are the favorites, not only in Korea, but also in other countries from eastern Asia. For example, BoA has had a huge success on the Kpop market partially due to Lee Soo Man's adaptation of the Blue Ocean strategy.
After they have conquered Asia, the next logical step for the ambitious Kpop music singers is the US market. In order to do that, of course, they have to sing in English, as most Americans do not understand Korean. Some artists, such as the Korean reggae singer Skull, have already released a song in the US charts. It is just a matter of time until the "Korean invasion" of the US music market will begin. It cannot be a coincidence that celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears have visited Korea now, when Korean music is only one-step away from international fame.
Although some criticize the Korean music landscape because there is not enough variety in the music styles, nobody can deny that Kpop artists are doing an excellent work. The fact that the pop formula has dominated for the last 15 years proves that the procedure has been entirely successful. Apart from pop, R&B and hip-hop have also developed, with bands such as Drunken Tiger, Tasha, Dynamic Duo, Lee Hung Hyun and Kim Hyun Jung. Although it is claimed that the local rock scene has been deserted, bands such as Yoon Do-Hyun Band and Seo Taiji have gained national recognition and perhaps they will even gain international recognition in the future.
If you are a fan of Kpop music, you must be happy, as your favorite bands really have chances to achieve worldwide fame. After Japan and China's culture have benefited from recognition in the Western world, it is time for Korea to make it through. Overall, there is a promising future for all Korean singers.
About the Author:
If you have not heard of Kpop yet, you sure will in the closest future. Korean music has already conquered eastern Asia and it is aiming at the Western world now. All you have to do is to wait for Kpop music artists to break into US and Europe charts. Our guess is that you will not have to wait too long.