So what’s HOTTT in pop music right now? American pop? J-Pop? Erm, X Factor? Don’t even think about it! If you really want to have your finger on the #WHATSKEWLRITENOW pulse, it’s time to fire up YouTube and set your Google Translator to ‘Korean’… K-POP IS COMING!

You may have heard of the ‘Hallyu’ (‘Korean Wave’) movement that’s been making news for the last few years, which has seen the spread of South Korean culture – TV shows, clothes, video games etc – across the rest of the world. However, it’s Korea’s pop music – K-Pop – that’s REALLY taken off recently, with K-Pop acts now gaining hugely widespread followings in places like Japan, America and even the UK. Ultra fun, hyper fashionable and almost ridiculously good-looking, K-Pop acts like SISTAR, BEAST and After School have rapidly exploded into international superstar status.

Girls’ Generation

Having trained in singing, dancing and performing in elite industry-run schools for up to six years, new K-Pop acts are quickly hyped on YouTube and English language K-Pop websites/blogs, which provide a quick, easy way for fans around the world to gain access to all their favourite bands – and with the K-Pop industry working non-stop to produce hit after hit of dancey, addictive songs and videos, it’s not long before new listeners are hooked. Cute, catchy and FUN – could Korea have discovered the perfect pop recipe?


With recent events like signing girl group 2NE1 to “blow up” as global super-idols, boy band BIGBANG securing a Top 3 space in the American Billboard Chart (Top 10 in the US iTunes Album Charts), and K-Pop club nights even cropping up in the UK, it’s clear that the K-Pop phenomenon is much more than just a ‘Wave’ – it’s the FUTURE.


SISTAR are a four-piece K-Pop girl group made up of HyoRin, Bora, SoYou and DaSom. Making their debut in 2010 with the sugar-sweet ‘Push Push’ single, the group have since shot to K-Pop infamy, having played gigs in places like New York and Sydney as well as Japan and China, and releasing their first full-length album So Cool this August.



“An integral part of the K-Pop market is the very intense, marketable side of it – musicians need the style/look to get public attention. In Korea, we are recognised as one of the sexier, fresher and more playful female groups, because of our rough dancing and enhancement on stage, as well as our cold live attitude.”


“New concepts and the endless pursuit of novelty is the main attraction of K-Pop worldwide. We like to compare ourselves with an energy drink – you look at it, you want to try it, you get the energy of it and then you want more! World domination would be too cool!”

“We make songs that turn a person in a depressing or sad mood into a person who enjoys music, dancing and morality.”


“Image strengthens the song, and with upcoming global fashion trends in the videos, K-Pop always gets attention. We would love to collaborate with Adele, Ke$ha and Joss Stone!”




Elite Gymnastics are James Brooks and Josh Clancy, an #UBERCOOL production duo hailing from Minneapolis who are known for their ❤ LOVE ❤ for all things K-Pop (check out their K-Pop-centric mix for Forty Ounce Clothing, called All We Fucking Care About Is Kpop, Whitehouse And Our Cats!).

1. HyunA – ‘Bubble Pop!’
2. 2NE1 – ‘I Am The Best’
3. After School – ‘Shampoo’
4. T-ARA – ‘Roly Poly’
5. BIGBANG – ‘Tonight’
6. Baek Jiyoung – ‘Love Game’
7. Miss A – ‘Love Alone’
8. GD&TOP – ‘Knockout’
9. Beast – ‘Fiction’
10. KARA – ‘Step’



The biggest K-Pop news resources on the web tell all about the exploding pop phenomenon… check them out for everything you need to know about your favourite K-Pop artists!

“K-Pop is addictive! The songs are catchy, the outrageous fashion is fun and there’s plenty of eye candy!”

“Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the melody will get you hooked. How can you not take notice?”

“K-Pop is a feast for the eyes, easy on the ears and has an incredible hype machine driving it. There is no such thing as overexposure in K-Pop!”

“People are simply looking for something different, and K-Pop is filling that void”

“K-Pop artists aren’t just putting out music – they’re also being pushed as personalities. They are both idols and people you could hang out with in real life.”






KPop in the UK




Words: Charlotte McManus

Translator: Danby Choi


About Charlotte McManus

Editor for and Freelance writer - The Creator's Project, SUPERSUPER!, Don't Panic, FAULT, Flux, Who's Jack & more.

Posted on 11/03/2012, in Culture, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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