Korean pop music’s catchy beats gain worldwide popularity

K-pop could change the world.

OK, maybe not the world — but there is something about the overly poppy music that gets you up off your feet and dancing to the beat. In the last decade, Korean pop music has become increasingly acknowledged throughout the world. In modern South Korean, K-pop is the way of life.

Being Korean, I have listened to my fair share of K-pop. I can’t help it. The catchy, high-pitched tones just get stuck in my head. I remember first listening to it and wondering what it was that I was listening to. As I began to learn more about the Korean culture, I also learned the importance of K-pop.

Much like being a celebrity is a common dream in America, being a K-pop star is what it’s all about in South Korea. Kids try out for different agencies and go through training for months or years. During this time, people are selected and put into different groups to train and practice together. After the company feels they are ready, the group “debuts” and has a rookie year where they perform their singles on music shows and guest star on popular variety shows. Each year after that, whenever a K-pop group or star has a new single, it’s broadcasted live on a popular music show and called a “comeback.”

Recently, the lively dance music made its way to America. In 2012, the first KCON was held in California, a convention that is held solely for the purpose of connecting Korean pop fans and artists with one another. S.M. Entertainment, one of three big music agencies in South Korea, has previously put on shows in California and New York for their SMTown world tour. It’s a concert that showcases all of the different K-pop groups and artists under S.M. Entertainment. During a performance on “So You Think You Can Dance,” two contestants danced to a remix of 2NE1’s “I Am the Best,” a popular K-pop song that was also included on the soundtrack for the Xbox Kinect game Dance Central 3.

K-pop has even made it on America’s Billboard list. Everyone remember that annoying song with the weird Asian guy who danced like he was riding a horse in the completely random video? Yeah, that song. The Gangnam Style phenomenon swept the world in 2012. It had everyone learning the dance and singing along to the words when they had no idea what they meant. Of course, there were the anti-enthusiasts who thought the song was ridiculous, but that doesn’t discount its popularity.

Gangnam Style was popular throughout Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and South America. Psy isn’t the only one to venture onto other continents, however. Super Junior, Girls Generation and Big Bang are some of the top K-pop groups in South Korea and have had toured across the world.

I’m not saying that K-pop is going to be the next big thing, but it’s on its way to becoming something the whole world takes notice of. K-pop tends to be upbeat and can put you in a good mood. It might never happen, but still, I think K-pop could change the world. Kamsahamnida.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lcoppola92