Post #3 -Introduction to K-POP
My Uber driver, a very handsome, tanned and dreadlocked young Dominican with the cutest accent, politely verifies my name as I slide into the co-pilot seat of his brand new car. It supposedly was going to be a shared ride, but nobody else came, so we chatted affably until silence installed itself. He must have felt uncomfortable to be quiet, and offered to put on some kind of music that I like, since he assumed that can’t possibly like reguetón. I actually do!
“What music do you like?”
“What is that?”
“Pop music from Korea…”
“Ah, never heard of it.”
“It is nice”…I said.
I was immediately disappointed with myself for not speaking more highly of one of my biggest weaknesses. I took out my cell and opened YouTube. Typed in BIG BANG Fantastic Baby and voilà! The Bettlejuice-like clad GD, with a Rapunzel-like red mane falling down to the floor sits on a throne and grunts the beginning of the song. Pause. We stop at a red light. I pump-up the volume, press play and show the Uber driver the video for about 10 seconds.
“Woah… this is cool… is this K-pop? I have to look it up as soon as I get home. This is awsome! I’ll Shazam it right now!”
“Glad you like it. You must know the Gangnam Style song as well, no?”
“Yes, yes, I heard it a million times in clubs. So, this is K-pop!”
This is not the first time I pop up GD’s flashy ‘mise-en-scene’ to show someone what K-pop is. It is like using a K-pop business card that never fails. Does Fantastic Baby really represent the essence of K-pop? In a sense – yes.
Big Bang is a classic act with staying power. Each member has a super personality, talent and career. Their fandom of fanatic groupies reaches millions world-wide. The quality of their videos is superb. Their concerts colossal. They sing, dance, compose, model, create fashion and disturb fashion, curate art, and rub elbows with world legends in entertainment, fashion, culture, and arts. A perfectly oiled music-making machine of epic proportions. This is k-pop, and Big Bang is the perfect business card for it.
As a music genre though, K-pop stands out rather more for its eclectic mix of styles. K-pop is the fast-fashion of music. It is unbelievably prolific and fast-paced. K-artists are non-stop workaholics of the highest rank in matters of talent, discipline and work ethic.
As I look back to when I found out about K-pop for the first time … I have to smile. For all you drama-queens out there, Shin Woo is a well-known character, no? By far not as flamboyant as GD …Jung Yong Hwa’s voice and good ‘manners’ is what got me into it. CNBLUE will always be my biggest weakness, among the many, many that I have. A class act with staying power, talent, humility and work ethics. What’s not to love?
I also smile now at the thoughts I can picture on all your faces out there… since I mentioned talent, discipline, ethics and so on. And what about looks, you will say… Yeah, the looks…now that is a subject for another time, another post… coming soon…