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Category: Kpop

Korean Music or Kpop has its own fandom.

The Korean or Hallyu wave of South Korea’s music and entertainment has been dormant for the past decade and has been sweeping into people’s heart like never before. Filled with a blend of all the genres of music, people have loved the experimental style, irrespective of age. However, just like every legendary phenomenon, K-pop has its own beautiful origin story.

The Beginning

We all know that k-pop first came into limelight with stars like PSY with his iconic Gangnam Style and BTS with their multiple hits. But k-pop isn’t that recent as the people perceive. In fact, it started way back in the 1950s with The Kim Sisters.

The Kim Sisters were the Korea-born American group, which broke through into the world and specifically, in the American Media and came to be known as the first k-pop group who became famous. They were so popular that they were frequent guests at the Ed Sullivan show, appearing over 20 times.

Their success during the 1950s was instrumental in their survival during the Korean War and its effects. They worked till the 1980s and are still remembered as the first ones to make Korean music more known to the world.

The 1970s

Political expression and activism was one of the topics broached through the Korean music. The most recent example of it being BTS, who speak out about the Anti-Asian hate movement in the US.

The music not only speaks about political or social pressure of people but also ranges from mental health to bullying, fused beautifully with the melodies and beats of the songs.

One of the pioneers of this movement was Kim Min-ki, a folk singer and composer. His most famous song came out in 1970, called Morning Dew, a sorrowful melody, through which he spoke about the youth’s pro-democratic movement during a political unrest and strife.

Kim Min Ki

Due to the topics discussed by him in his music, his albums were often labelled as “too controversial” and were banned multiple times.

Here is his iconic number, Morning Dew.

The 1990s

The 1990s brought Seo Taiji and the boys to the world. They were the first group that resembled the K-pop we have right now, hence being another foundation step for the mega music industry. They were the ones who fused Korean and American music and laid the foundation for the K-pop Revolution.

This also led to the iconic dance routine mixture to their songs and hence, the first ever k-pop group was born, still written beautifully in the golden books of music history.

Seo Taiji came to be known as the “Cultural President of Korea”.

Seo Taiji and the boys consisted of three members, Seo Taiji himself, Yang Hyun-suk (now the boss of one of the Big three companies, YG Entertainment) and Lee Juno.

On their 25th Anniversary in 2017, they collaborated with now-legends BTS in an iconic performance.

First Gen K-pop (90’s and 00s)

Then followed is what we call the first generation of k-pop. H.O.T was the first ever group with the perfect blend of beautiful music, visuals and dance, Their hit song Candy in 1997 became a huge success.

Other bands like Sechs Kies, a boy group and S.E.S, a girl group, were the first proper k-pop idols.

Second Gen K-pop (00s and 10s)

The second generation of k-pop began with the debut of G.O.D (Groove Over Dose). Their music made way for bands like TVXQ in 2003, Super Junior in 2005 and BigBang in 2007.

Third Gen K-pop (10’s- present)

Top left: EXO, Top right: TWICE, Bottom left: BLACKPINK, Bottom right: BTS

The revolution of k-pop started again when PSY released Gangnam Style. The song became an overnight hit, breaking the internet.

But in the same year, a rookie group from a small company debuted with their hopes and dreams etched into their songs. That group was BTS. And what followed was all absorption of the music market by them. Absolute Dominance.

They paved the way for k-pop and bands like EXO, BLACKPINK, TWICE and SHINEE walked with them to this road of history and, hence, the k-pop we know now was born.

Since then, their juniors, the fourth generation, have been equally talented and walking down the path of glory. Bands such as TXT, STRAY KIDS, ENHYPEN, AESPA, SEVENTEEN and ATEEZ are known to be masters in their art, talented in not only vocals, rap, visual and dance but also composition.