K-Pop Fever Spreads

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K-Pop Fever Spreads

BTS Love Yourself Tour in Oakland, CA

BTS Love Yourself Tour in Oakland, CA

BTS Love Yourself Tour in Oakland, CA

BTS Love Yourself Tour in Oakland, CA

Yesenia Chavez, Reporter

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Many students at King City High have a love for music of various genres. One genre in particular has been a big topic in the news globally, and finding their fans at school did not take much effort. This is K-pop, which is short for Korean Pop.

There has been a significant growth in students who are K-pop fanatics, also known as ARMY, and they were all overjoyed to speak about their favorite genre of music.

I had asked Laysha Ramirez, Senior at KCHS, “How is K-pop so popular around the world”? She expressed, “I think it’s getting more attention, but some people are still a bit close-minded about it. But they’re getting this massive wave of attention because of their talent and they’re just overall great entertainers.”

Ramirez had been introduced to K-pop back in 2015 by her best friend and has continued to follow many groups under this category. I soon asked Ramirez, “Why do you continue to listen to K-pop despite a big language and culture barrier?” She replied, “The music is really good, even if you don't understand it. It’s the feeling you get. Also I tend to search up the lyrics in English and I love the way they add a lot of meaning into a song with a captivating beat.” She expressed big fondness to the group BTS as they have been the first group she has listened to.

BTS, short for “Bangtan Boys,” is a South-Korean, seven member boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment back in 2013. They are currently South Korea’s most popular K-pop group to take the mainstream media by storm and have even performed at the Billboards, and have appeared twice on The Ellen Show.

Laura Villagrana, Senior at KCHS, and Erika Villagrana, Freshman at KCHS, have been fortunate to see BTS for their Love Yourself Tour, twice, both in Los Angeles and Oakland. Keep in mind that BTS was the first K-pop group to sell out all 14 shows in North America, some saying within 5 to 10 minutes. I had asked them both, “Would you want more people to like K-pop?” They both replied, “We hope they become more recognized because as of now, many people disregard their music because it is in another language and they are Korean, but the message they are trying to get through is so important and greatly influences the youth of today.
Also, we would like people to support K-pop idols because of all the hard work they put into everything they do. It’s not just solely for entertainment, but it helps bring diversity and breaks social norms.” They began to grow an interest for the boyband after they both watched music videos and their dance choreography which left them in awe.

Senior at KCHS, Amy Cedeno, has recently entered the world of K-pop. She was captivated by their unique sound and their appearance was similar to “real life anime characters.” Cedeno does

mention that although BTS are known for their great music, “they have an amazing fashion sense that many adore.” She hopes to see them in concert in the near future, and cannot wait for what the new year will hold.

Samantha Nuno, Senior at KCHS, has been interested in Korean culture since her middle school days. Nuno claims, “I wouldn’t force anyone to like K-pop, but to be open-minded to the idea. People would be surprised to how different our standards of beauty are and how South Korea’s music industry is more based on entertainment, but they are adding varieties of cultures to their music such as Latin and English lyrics.” By adding different languages to their own, it “brings in more attention from people worldwide,” claimed Nuno.

On September 24 th , BTS had made history performing a speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York in partnership with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). They spoke of their “Love Myself Project” which involves self-acceptance and spreading love for others. The leader of the band, Kim Namjoon, quoted, “Yesterday’s me is still me. Today, I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes…I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for who I hope to become.” This project in the end had raised around $1.03 million and will be given to a campaign to end violence against the youth around the world.

Haley Rowe, Sophomore at KCHS, had come across Korean pop after watching a react video from the YouTube channel Fine Bros. Upon watching the video where people reacted to K-pop, it was an introduction for Rowe to the idea of this new foreign music, but Rowe fell in love with the genre after more exposure from her friend. I had asked Rowe if she has seen any Korean idols or groups. She replied, “I have seen Got7 and Exo in concert” and she emphasized that it was the “best days of [her] life”. Got7 and Exo are two more examples of the many existing Korean boy bands that hold popularity in South Korea and gain attention from fans from many
nations. Rowe stated, “K-pop is well known everywhere, all thanks to PSY’s Gangnam Style”, which indeed introduced the world to South Korea’s pop culture.

Emily Medina, a Sophomore at KCHS, was introduced to BTS through Youtube. Medina states, “I think K-pop is for some people, sometimes people don’t like it because they don’t understand the language. But this shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. It’s catchy and the meanings are very deep.”

Also a Sophomore at KCHS, Micaela Martinez had stumbled upon K-pop through K-dramas (Korean dramas). Martinez hopes for people to take the time to try to listen to Korean pop as it will, “help out the underrated groups to receive the attention they deserve, this includes sponsorships, and possibly showing up in The Ellen Show.”

Back in 2014, BTS had a reality TV Show, Bangtan Boys American Hustle Life, which had all seven members go to Los Angeles to try everyday things. In the end, they had roamed the streets of LA to hand out flyers to promote their first concert which was free. Now in 2018, as they have grown on a massive scale, they sell out in the span of minutes, and in China, 10 seconds.

If you are interested, the K-pop fans of KCHS advise everyone interested in music to at least take a moment and experience this growing genre.