K-Pop is spreading like wildfire around the world and there are several reasons why. First, the music videos. Everyone has seen Psy’s Gangnam Style by now and if you haven’t, then you must not know that it’s the most viewed video on YouTube with over two billion views. That’s a record kept by a Korean pop musician. K-Pop music videos can be cool, crazy, or cute — better yet, all three. A lot of budgeting goes into their music videos because they want those high number of views and to achieve that goal, they express their songs in the most flashy way possible. Even if it’s a slow, ballad song, the music video will have a set that looks like it costs more than a year’s worth of college tuition. It’s all about the visuals.
The second reason why K-Pop is becoming so popular is the “Hallyu” wave, a term describing the increase in Korean pop culture. Now that we have easier access to content from other countries by going on YouTube or simply searching on Google, we can immerse ourselves in their cultures without having to buy a plane ticket. In the case of Korea, through vlogs, fashion trends, dramas, reality TV shows, manhwa (Korean comics), and so forth, people from other countries get a taste of this Hallyu wave thanks to K-Pop, which takes up a huge portion of the wave.
The third reason is the integration of American-style music. There are many K-Pop idols who have made connections with famous artists in America such as G-Dragon and CL who are both from YG Family, the entertainment company in charge of their respective groups — Big Bang and 2NE1. These K-Pop idols appear in the American artist’s songs or vice versa. Needless to say, K-Pop has begun to sound more “Americanized” but still has that K-Pop factor that makes it so unique and addictive.
The last reason is the choreography. With music and singing, there has to be dancing. Most upbeat K-Pop songs have dances that are either easy to learn, appealing to the eye, or jaw-dropping for the overall aesthetic of the song and music video. This allows lovers of K-Pop to tune in to the song and find their rhythm as they suddenly have the urge to start dancing. Famous choreographers such as Parris Goebel, Ian Eastwood, and Aimee Lee Lucas have come up with dance routines for K-Pop groups, so if you’re a fan of them then you’ll definitely need to check out the groups they choreographed for.
But it doesn’t end here. In order to convince you, who may be new to K-Pop, here is a list of music videos that are worth watching. Aside from the video views, you will find many reasons why they received such a high number. Disregard the language barrier — we’re all in it for everything that was just described. Feel free to watch one, some, or all and get ready to convert to K-Pop!
Bang Bang Bang (2015) – Big Bang
I Got A Boy (2012) – Girls Generation
Everybody (2013) – SHINee
Crazy (2015) – 4Minute
FM (2015) – Crayon Pop
Dope (2015) – BTS
Growl (2013) – EXO
Red Light (2014) – f(x)
Rocking (2013) – Teen Top
Error (2014) – VIXX
Come Back Home (2014) – 2NE1
And for those who haven’t seen it…
Gangnam Style (2012) – PSY