It was a big puzzle to me at first, why are K-pop groups so big when we don’t even understand the lyrics and what the groups are singing about? What was the fuss all about? But after careful observation, and forcing myself to watch a dozen Music videos of top K-pop artist groups both male and female, it became clear to me- Korean Pop Culture and anything Korean is a result of careful and meticulous work of creatives. It would not be far fetched to say that it has infected the entire world- Koreans know how to create the perfect brand, image, and lifestyle that anyone would want to aspire to.
Korean Pop Culture involves more than just the music or good looking Koreans- it involves complex work and timing and study of what works and what does not work- it is an elaborate and careful scheme of presenting an image to the world- and redefining what it means to be Korean- to the point of infectious ideas and imagery- so did Koreans succeed in creating perfection- in many ways Yes- they have created a trillion dollar industry that would last for a very long time-
K-pop Fashion Gave Rise to a Trillion Dollar Industry
Humans need to have something to look up to, something to follow and something to define themselves with during the early stages of their life. K-pop is usually for people aged 12 to 24. The imagery of K-pop music is so popular because it makes you dream of a role to aspire to in the future- or something to look out for and want when you are still growing up. It is more than just the music, it is more on how the K-pop celebrities, interpret themselves in a much more different way. No one really wants to be regular, and people want to express themselves in unique ways, the fashion and color scheming of the K-pop Fashion industry, has inspired countless of fans globally to be more expressive, be more colorful, be open to sexuality- and self-expression and in a way a total revolution of the self.
K-pop is far more complex
The dance choreography, creation of music videos and routines performed by the artists are by no means easy- it took years of careful practice and training. Making Korean artists skilled. You can just observe by the way Dara, or Sandara Park dresses up and the way she styles her hair, there is a different quality to it- and every year these K-pop group idols evolve, you do not see them bringing out the same material over and over again- its as if these artists are striving for perfection. K-pop artists create a movement and their careers evolve, they are not like Western artists that become ” in”for a short period of time, they undergo careful training to make sure that they stay on top for the longest time.
Korean Icon Culture as a Whole
This training and development are not isolated with K-pop music stars, it can also be seen in top Korean dramas that are released every year. A lot of Korean actors have gained global power and following. Park Seo Joon, for example, has amassed skincare brand endorsements globally for expensive and luxurious facial creams for men, because they have become global icons themselves.
It would not be so far fetched to say that top skin care brands like Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream or top Amazon brands like Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay would be endorsed by K-pop groups, Koreanovela actors and icons. The best products in the skin care market are already endorsed by Koreans may it be a western product like Laneige or Elemis or locally homegrown brands.
Korean Pop Culture has become so significant, so moving and so powerful that they are able to enter the Western Market even Hollywood films. The training that goes into every Korean celebrity is immense- just look at how BTS has grown over the years and how they dominated the Billboard Hot 100, they are so powerful that even American skincare brands want them.
While a lot of internet memes still ridicule the K-pop industry, it seems that these K-pop performers have the last laugh. Just look at the brand and global power of Black Pink, Girl’s Generation, BTS, Twice, 2Ne1 and Momoland.
As an article on Vox.com would ask, don’t ask what makes a K-pop song, ask instead what makes a K-pop performer?
K-pop performers and even Korean actors and actresses have exceptionally high-quality performances, extremely polished aesthetics, and in house method of studio production- it is no longer a question of how they made it to the billion dollar industry- rather it the sentence to say is Why Not?