With so many KPOP groups debuting every year, companies are needing to change up their game to compete. Though groups may debut with differing concepts such as cute, hip-hop, fantasy ect. are they really all that different? Obviously things are going to change in the music video, looking at any kind of genre, the question is has it changed for the better?
When I was first introduced into KPOP in 2011 I was so amazed at how diverse it was. The first song I listened to was B1A4’s Beautiful Target and even though even I will admit it was a little different to other music videos at the time, it was new and original and that it what made them expand as a group and we all couldn’t wait for what the next music video would be. ‘Be My Baby’ was another big hit of 2011 and the music video was pure art (to say the least). All these new concepts were being released one after another and as KPOP fans we didn’t know what to do with all this new excitement.MBLAQ’s ‘Mona Lisa’, Hyuna’s ‘Bubble Pop’, MYNAME ‘Message’, BIGBANG ‘Love Song’, ‘Trouble Maker’s ‘TroubleMaker’, TEEN TOP’s ‘No More Perfume On You’, were some of the best Music videos of the year due to their diverse nature and the purpose to gain attention with their aesthetics! Videos I would suggest to watch that are gorgeous and original include; IMFACT’s The Light, History Psycho, Romeo Lovesick, VIXX Hyde,andWonder Boyz Tarzan. The music videos that are amazing are usually not viewed due to the lack of interest in the groups.
The first thing I think anybody can agree with is that the songs from years ago were poppy and were created for basically one reason: to create lyrics and a sound that people with be able to sing along to in any language, getting it stuck in their heads. Though this can come across as a bit cheesy, trying to constantly make songs that are easy listens... it worked and it many cases it is what attracted people to KPOP in the first place. Ring Ding Dong by SHINEE, I’m your man by SS501, Gee by Girls Generation and Sorry Sorry by Super Junior are just some of the songs I can find myself singing to on a daily basis. we still have songs now that reminisce this like Knock Knock by Twice and Very Very Very by I.O.I but this is not many companies intent as intense, dramatic songs are the rage at the moment. However I don’t think SM will have move away from these types of songs, as it has made them successful from the time they were born to now. It is a good thing that songs have changed? Maybe it is? Just because they used to be poppy back in the day doesn’t necessarily mean they have to keep that trend right? Maybe it is good that they are getting more recognition from America or other parts of the world now that they have fizzled out of the ‘over the top’ phase? Well the thing that made KPOP so attractive in the first place was this ‘over the top’ genre of music and videos and do other parts of world now like us for our differences or the similarities that have been seeping in?
in my opinion groups have been the major change in KPOP. I think it is also an opinion that will get me the biggest hate out of everything. So I will say now that yes I still love KPOP and still follow groups that have debuted recently so no I’m not stuck in the past refusing to even give groups these days a chance, it is just an observation with which I think has changed the foundation of kpop. Groups such as BIGBANG debuted with a simple list of members as they were all easily distinguishable due to their vast differences and their own style. Now for many years this was the case. I could easily tell each member apart, I could tell they suited their position and they were definitely a piece of the group. Groups could debut and people could easily distinguish them within the group and compared to others. They were all unique in their concepts members and songs. This stopped for me in in about 2015-2016 when I felt like groups started to debut with similar appearances. There were all these gorgeous sculpted people debuting in which I couldn’t tell one member from another. I am not saying beautiful people can not be talented at all, it just seemed suspicious to me when everyone was so good looking and it seemed that the looks were starting to over take talent. This is not the companies fault as we are as a generation beginning to enjoy the company of better looking people now. Look at the 20th century in music in America, do you think some of the people then will be able to make it now from pure talent? I don’t think so. Unfortunately looks out way talent now and it has become ever so obvious in the recent years. If you aren’t a talented singer, rapper, or dancer it can be trained easily in KPOP as their system is so good anything can be taught. I remember watching a video a few years back saying “KPOP stars aren’t born, they are made” and it is more prevelant now than ever. I think anytime someone mentions BTS there is a stigma around it that they are ‘hardcore army’s’. Well let me start off by saying BTS is NOT my favourite group but I respect them (a lot) and even though the universe was on their side when they debuted for instance it was at a crucial point where social media because KPOP’s closest friend no one with half a brain can say that they are very good at what they do and they are similar to earlier kpop groups. Though I wasn’t there for groups like BIGBANG and TVXQ’s debut I feel like people knew they would be successful. Many groups just haven’t found their footing yet and it is hard to establish their true genre.
In all KPOP has changed drastically and I know that I will never be able to re-live the good old days. I still thoroughly enjoy KPOP now and I don’t believe I will be leaving the fan base anytime soon. It is nice to see many elements of the older KPOP in today’s KPOP and it is great to see many artist being recognised. I hope that people will learn to love KPOP for being, well... KPOP!