K-pop – All You Need To Known About

What is K-POP ?

K-pop is sweet and short name for Korean popular music. The K-pop is a form of popular music originating in South Korea as part of South Korean culture. K-pop is a part of 1990 Korean cultural wave, known as “Hallyu,” occurring during South Korea’s dramatic economic expansion and globalization. Now a days, K-pop is one of the most popular music genre around the world as similar to Taylor Swift in the United States and rest of the countries. K-pop is not about music about also includes Korean rock music, hip hop, and electronic music.

The term “K-pop” became popular in the 2000s. Previously, South Korean pop music was called gayo. While “K-pop” can be a general term for all popular music from South Korea or pop music from the country. K-pop become more popular after the 1988 Olympics held in the gleaming city of Seoul elevated South Korea. Popular Psy’s Gangnam Style opened the pop music floodgates in 2012. Armies of boy groups and girls groups followed. K-Pop conquered America in 2017 when boy band BTS rocketed to the top of the U.S. pop charts. BTS now rules a Twitter empire.

As South Korea Musics begin to flurish in the market, the more modern form of the genre emerged with the formation of the hip hop boy band Seo Taiji and Boys, in 1992. With the advent of online social networking services and South Korean TV shows, the current spread of K-pop and South Korean entertainment, known as the Korean Wave, is seen not only in East Asia and Southeast Asia, but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Latin America, North Africa, Southern Africa and East Africa, the Middle East and throughout the Western world, gaining an international audience.

In the year 2018 k-Pop become of the leading music brand around the world making a 17.9% increase in revenue growth. In 2019, K-Popmusic is ranked at number six among the top ten music markets worldwide according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s “Global Music Report 2019,” with BTS and Blackpink cited as artists leading the market growth.

What was the first Kpop group in Korea?

Korean Music or K-Pop is one of the most histrocial musci which can be traced back to 1885 when an American missionary, Henry Appenzeller, began teaching American and British folk songs at a school. The first known Korean pop album was I Pungjin Sewol by Park Chae-seon and Lee Ryu-saek in 1925, which contained popular songs translated from Japanese.

The very first group in K-Pop to exist was H.O.T., which debuted in 1996. Most of the songs are relatively fast-paced and have a strong sense of rhythm, which is suitable for dancing. Some Korean singers gained international popularity. In 1959, the Kim Sisters went to Las Vegas and became the first Korean artist to release an album in the U.S. pop market. Their cover of “Charlie Brown” reached No.7 on the Billboard Single Chart. The Kim Sisters also appeared on TV programs and radio programs and held tours in the U.S. and Europe.

Modern K-POP: Rise of Korean Wave (Hallyu)

K-Pop now become one of the most popular brands around the world. Korean Music increasing popularity forms part of Hallyu, or the Korean Wave: the popularity of South Korean culture in other countries. By the beginning of the 21st century, the K-pop market had slumped and early K-pop idol groups that had seen success in the 90’s were on the decline. The birth of second-generation K-pop was followed by the successful debuts of SS501 (2005), Super Junior (2005), Big Bang (2006), Wonder Girls (2007), Girls’ Generation (2007), Kara (2007), Shinee (2008), 2NE1 (2009), 4Minute (2009), T-ara (2009), f(x) (2009), and After School (2009).

What is a K-pop idol?

A K-Pop idol is an artist in Korean pop music or the K-pop industry who works as a member of a group or as a solo act. They are usually under Korean entertainment agencies as trainees, undergoing intense training to improve how they sing and dance and speak a foreign language before becoming full-fledged K-pop idols. K-Pop idols maintain a carefully curated public image and social media presence and dedicate significant time and resources to building relationships with fans through concerts and meetups.

What is K-Pop Trainee System ?

A K-Pop idol gets trained, the training process can last for an indefinite period of time, ranging from months to years, and usually involves vocal, dance, and language. Once a trainee enters the system, they are regulated in multiple aspects including personal life to body conditions and visual appearances. The system requires trainees to maintain a “wholesome image” while remaining “private about their lives and thoughts”.

Becoming a K-Pop trainee is a very difficult task, as trainees have reported that they were required to go through plastic surgeries, such as a Blepharoplasty or a Rhinoplasty, in order to adhere to the acceptable Korean beauty standards. The investment on a potential trainee could be expensive. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that the cost of training one member of Girls’ Generation under S.M. Entertainment was US$3 million.

Process of how to become a Kpop idol

In Hollywood, you can get so lucky you just get picked up on the street and can get a chance at stardom. But in K-pop its all different, the K-pop entertainment industry takes a lot of decisions. The process of becoming a K-pop Idol is listed below.

  • Step 1: Audition
  • Step 2: Become a Kpop trainee
  • Step 3: Debut as a Kpop idol

Popular Kpop Idols and Idol Groups

Here’s a list of the most popular K-pop boy groups and girl groups now. They are considered to be the 3rd generation of South Korean K-pop groups.

Kpop Boy Groups

The Kpop Boy Group is a group of boys who perform together. The genre encompasses a diverse array of modern styles and genres such as R&B, jazz, gospel, rock, hip hop, experimental, country, folk, classical, EDM, electropop, trap, and traditional Korean music.

  • BTS (방탄소년단)
  • iKon (아이콘)
  • Seventeen (세븐틴)
  • Got7 (갓세븐)
  • NCT (엔시티)
  • MONSTA X (몬스타엑스)
  • Stray Kids (스트레이 키즈)
  • Super Junior (슈퍼주니어)
  • Shinee (샤이니)
  • Big Bang (빅뱅)
  • 2PM (투피엠)
  • EXO (엑소)
  • TVXQ (동방신기)

BTS (방탄소년단)

BTS or Bangtan Sonyeon Dan is a famous South Korean K-pop boy group with seven members under Big Hit Entertainment. The septet—consisting of members JinSugaJ-Hope, RM, JiminV, and Jungkook—co-writes and co-produces much of their own material.

After launching in 2013 with their single album 2 Cool 4 Skool, BTS respectively released their first Korean-language studio album, Dark & Wild, and Japanese-language studio album, Wake Up, in 2014. The group is the first one to sell one million copies in South Korea for their second Korean studio album, Wings (2016).

BTS had become one of the major boy bands in the south Korean industry. By 2017, BTS had crossed into the global music market, leading the Korean wave into the United States and breaking several sales records.

Their follow-up releases “Savage Love”, “Life Goes On”, “Butter”, and “Permission to Dance” made them the quickest act to earn four US number-one singles since Justin Timberlake in 2006.

BTS (방탄소년단) Boys Group

iKon (아이콘)

iKon (아이콘) is also of the most popular South Korean boy band formed in 2015 by YG Entertainment, consisting of six members: Jay, Song, Bobby, DK, Ju-ne and Chan. Their debut studio album Welcome Back (2015) debuted atop the South Korean Gaon Album Chart and featured the number-one singles “My Type”, “Apology” and “Dumb & Dumber”, as well as the top-ten singles “Rhythm Ta”, “Airplane” and “Anthem”.

From 2016 to 2017, the group released the singles “#WYD” and “New Kids: Begin”, and embarked on their first Asian tour and several Japanese tours

iKon (아이콘) Boy Band

SEVENTEEN (세븐틴)

Seventeen is a popular south Korean boy band formed by Pledis Entertainment. With 13 members and three units, SEVENTEEN is revered as one of K-pop’s leading superstars. The group consists of thirteen members: S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon, and Dino

The former Seventeen Magazine cover stars celebrate over 2 billion streams and boast over 10 million albums sold. They kicked 2021 off with a bang coming in as the first group with two No.1s on Billboard Top album sales and were nominated for the Best K-pop award at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards.

SEVENTEEN (세븐틴) Boy Band

Got7 (갓세븐)

Got7 is another South Korean boy band with seven members made from JYP Entertainment. The group is composed of seven members: Jay B, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. GOT7 released their first EP, Got It?, in 2014. The group’s second studio album Flight Log: Turbulence, debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart.

Their 2020 album Dye is a must-listen, which comes as literally no surprise. In April 2020, GOT7 released their 11th EP Dye and broke their record for first day and first week sales. 

Got7 (갓세븐) Boys Group

ENHYPEN (엔하이픈)

ENHYPEN (엔하이픈) is also one of the most popular South Korean boy bands formed by Belift Lab, a joint venture between CJ ENM and Hybe Corporation. They debuted on November 30, 2020, with the extended play (EP) Border: Day. After making their debut in 2020, ENHYPEN won four “Rookie of the Year” Awards. They’ve garnered over 100 million views between the music videos for their singles, “Given-Taken,” “Drunk-Dazed” and “Tamed-Dashed.”

ENHYPEN (엔하이픈) Boys Group

K-Pop Girl Group

K-pop girl groups refer to South Korea’s all-female idol groups who account for a large portion of the K-pop industry. Groups that began the generation transitional groups that debuted in 2012 onward such as Blackpink, Twice, Red Velvet, GFriend, Mamamoo, Momoland, and I.O.I have risen to distinction in recent years and helped contribute to the widespread attention and appreciation of K-pop.

  • Twice (트와이스)
  • Blackpink (블랙핑크)
  • Red Velvet (레드벨벳)
  • (G)I-DLE (아이들)
  • MAMAMOO (마마무)
  • Momoland (모모랜드)
  • Girls’ Generation (소녀시대)
  • Wonder Girls (원더걸스)
  • 2NE1 (투애니원)
  • T-ara (티아라)
  • Kara (카라)

Blackpink (블랙핑크)

Blackpink is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment, consisting of members Jisoo,  Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. The group is one of the most popular Kpop girl groups that had made history as the first K-pop girl band to perform at Coachella in 2019 and once again as the highest-charting K-pop girl group on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200. 

The group debuted in August 2016 with their single album Square One, which featured “Whistle” and “Boombayah”, They are also the first K-Pop girl group to have four number 1 singles on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.

Blackpink (블랙핑크) Girl Group

Girls’ Generation (소녀시대)

Girls’ Generation well known as SNSD is a popular South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment. The group is composed of eight members: Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun. Girls’ Generation debuted on August 5, 2007, with the single “Into the New World” from their eponymous Korean album. The group rose to fame in 2009 with the single “Gee”, which claimed the top spot on KBS’s Music Bank for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks and was Melon’s most popular song of the 2000s decade.

In 2018, they made it into the Guinness World Records after winning 13 trophies at the MelOn Music Awards, making them the artists to have won the most awards at the show. 

Girls’ Generation (소녀시대)

Red Velvet (레드벨벳)

Red Velvet is a popular South Korean girl group formed and managed by SM Entertainment. The group is has 5-member Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy, Yeri.

The four-member K-pop girl group released their first single “Happiness” in 2014. After a new member was added to the group in 2015, Red Velvet’s Ice Cream Cake became the best-selling album on South Korea’s Hanteo chart. 

Their hit singles “Red Flavor” and “Power Up” reached number one on the Gaon Digital Chart. Numerous others have charted on both the Gaon Digital Chart and Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart, including “Happiness”, “Ice Cream Cake”, “Dumb Dumb”, “One of These Nights”, “Russian Roulette”, “Rookie”, “Peek-a-Boo”, “Bad Boy”, “RBB (Really Bad Boy)”, “Zimzalabim”, “Umpah Umpah”, “Psycho”,

Red Velvet (레드벨벳) Girl Group

Twice (트와이스)

Twice is a South Korean girl group formed by JYP Entertainment. The group is composed of nine members: NayeonJeongyeonMomoSanaJihyoMinaDahyunChaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The K-pop group consists of nine members of different nationalities coming from places like Japan and Taiwan.

They rose to popularity with their single “Cheer Up,” giving them awards such as Song of the Year and Best Performing Single. They released their debut EP The Story Begins in October 2015. The music video “Like Ooh-Ahh” garnered 50 million views on YouTube, making it the most-viewed debut music video for any K-pop group.

In May 2021, Twice’s video “Breakthrough” garnered 100 million views, making them the girl group with the most music videos to surpass 100 million views. 

Twice (트와이스) Girls Group

Momoland (모모랜드)

Momoland is one of the K-pop girl groups that MLD Entertainment formed. They were created on the appropriately titled Finding Momoland in 2016 and have been killing it ever since.The show’s winners Hyebin, Yeonwoo, Jane, Nayun, JooE, Ahin, and Nancy served as the original members. 

Their debut mini album Welcome to Momoland was released on November 10, 2016. The South Korean girl group has won and has been nominated for several awards. The most recent awards in 2020 were the Korean Wave Idol Award and Group Singer Award for Korean Arts and Culture Awards, and Korean Entertainment Arts Awards.

Momoland (모모랜드) Girl Group

What are the most popular K-pop songs?

  • Psy (싸이): Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
  • Super Junior (슈퍼주니어): Sorry Sorry (쏘리 쏘리)
  • Infinite (인피니트): Be Mine (내꺼하자 ㅣ naekkeohaja)
  • Brown Eyed Girls (브라운 아이드 걸스): Abracadabra (아브라카다브라)
  • Blackpink (블랙핑크): DDU DU DDU DU (뚜두뚜두)
  • Big Bang (빅뱅): Lies (거짓말 ㅣ geojinmal)
  • Exo (엑소): Monster
  • BTS (방탄소년단): DNA
  • Girls’ Generation (소녀시대): Gee
  • Twice (트와이스): TT (티티)
  • 2NE1 (투애니원): I Am the Best (내가 제일 잘 나가 ㅣ naega jeil jal naga)
  • Wonder Girls (원더걸스): Nobody
  • iKon (아이콘): Love Scenario (사랑을 했다 ㅣ sarangeul haetda)