If you haven’t checked out my first blog post where I shared some great K-pop songs for the first time listener, go back and check it out.
Now that you know a couple of K-pop songs, you’re probably wondering what makes K-pop unique and why people seem to be raving about it all over social media. There are many reasons why K-pop is different, but I’m just going to focus on the three C’s of K-pop: concepts, comebacks and choreographies!
K-pop is an incredibly passionate and competitive music genre. Because of this, many groups and solo artists are constantly changing their sound and look, while keeping their original appeal.
What does this exactly mean? Many K-pop groups have new ‘concepts’ whenever they release a single, mini-album or full album. For example, one group might have a more ‘funk’ theme one year and then a year later have a ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ theme. These different themes keep the fans interested, excited and growing in numbers!
Let’s check out another great K-pop group called VIXX and see how their concepts have changed from one music video to another. If you aren’t familiar with VIXX, they’re a male group that consists of six members and are well known for their unique concepts, dances, voices and aethetically pleasing music videos.
The music video above showcases the group in an 18th century gothic setting and clothing.
But nine months later, VIXX released a completely different music video with a new sound highlighting traditional Korean instruments, dress and dance.
Comebacks are just as extensive as the concepts in K-pop and match whatever concept the group is currently using to promote their music. The word comebacks are used to describe the return of K-pop groups and their promotion period for each album or single. Promotional periods for groups can last anywhere from one week to multiple weeks! The Korean music industry includes many music television shows that air throughout the week and many K-pop groups will need to promote their latest songs and albums four or five times per week. Multiple awards are awarded to various artists throughout this promotion time based on votes from fans, music video streaming numbers, album sales, etc. Pretty tiring, right?
Let’s use VIXX again as an example!
For Fantasy, VIXX promoted the song for a month and performed multiple times live in front of a large audience. You can find lots of different live performances on different music show YouTube channels!
Shangri-La promotions started a little while ago and will last for a couple more weeks.
Also, you might be wondering what that chanting is throughout the song. It’s the fans! Yes, fans have ‘fanchants’ that they memorize that usually involves the group’s name, their stage names and memorable parts of the song.
One thing you have noticed right away is that K-pop dancing is NO JOKE! Groups are constantly creating new choreography that is incredibly difficult in comparison to the dance performances of other international artists.
Many times, groups will upload dance videos in their practice room to show their fans the choreography in a better setting. For example, VIXX did a practice video for their songs Fantasy and Shangri-La.
I guess one word to describe K-pop would be ‘EXTRA’! No detail is left unnoticed in this crazy genre of music that always leaves the viewer excited and ready for more.
Let me know what you think about the three C’s in the comment section!
Stay Kurrent. Stay K-pop.