- Published on Wednesday, September 12 2012
- Written by RJ Williams
Say what you will about the invasion of social media into our lives and culture, but for aspiring artists in South Korea, it has been a godsend!
Thanks to sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, Western audiences now have greater access than ever to the growing musical movement happening across the Pacific known as “K-Pop” (short for “Korean Pop”, obviously), and, on the other side of the coin, these emerging stars now have massive exposure on a global scale.
As Western culture slowly but surely becomes more accessible to Asian cultures, South Korea, perhaps more than any other country in that region, has happily absorbed Western musical influences and adapted them into their own unique genre. K-Pop is a spunky blend of dance, electropop, and sometimes rap, and the artists who perform it are not shy about letting completely loose in their personal style. It’s like candy for the eyes and ears, and Americans are loving it!
One group in particular who seems to be leading the charge of the K-Pop invasion is the Wonder Girls. We first got to know these five young ladies back when they were just teenagers on the 2006 MTV reality series “MTV Wonder Girls”. American audiences got their first taste of these Korean imports, seeing their day to day activities and even their process in auditioning and choosing the fifth member of their tribe (Yenny). After charming us with their personalities and wowing us with their singing and dancing skills, the movement had begun. A debut album, a second MTV reality series, and a stint opening for the Jonas Brothers on tour followed, opening the door for other K-Pop sensations like Rain, BIGBANG, and 2NE1.
The Wonder Girls have certainly been making their mark in the States, and we definitely had a blast with them during a stop in L.A., when we caught up with them at – where else? – a Korean BBQ restaurant:
Recently, we got to chat with the ladies again when they visited our Studio, to hear all about their killer collabo with Akon:
Check out the full music video of “Like Money” ft. Akon below:
And if we’re talking about K-Pop, it just wouldn’t be complete without a mention of PSY, the South Korean rapper who gave us “Gangnam Style”. If you hadn’t been aware of the K-Pop phenomenon before this single hit our ears this summer, then this surely took care of that. The title refers to the lifestyle lived by the wealthy citizens of the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea – sort of the Korean equivalent of Beverly Hills. The song is in Korean, but, honestly, all you need to do is watch the video – no translation needed! PSY’s unapologetic swagger and quirky dance moves (which might give LMFAO a run for their money) has inspired a sensation in and among itself, with all kinds of videos going viral on YouTube of ordinary people showing off their own “Gangnam Style” dance moves.
Admit it – you can’t NOT be happy after watching that video! And that is, maybe, the greatest appeal of K-Pop!
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