Blog Post 1
Music is one of my favorite pass times. I listen to music in the shower, while going to sleep, working on homework, etc. And because I love music so much i tend to listen to a bunch of different types. I am dedicating this post to talking about one of my favorite genres at the moment: K-pop.
To say that I listen to quite a bit of k-pop would be an understatement. For one group alone in the past 5 months I have listened to 56 hours of the k-pop group EXO. When I tell you I have listened to Obsession at least 27 times I mean it because one afternoon I listened to that song over and over and over again for two hours. EXO was one of the first groups to break out of Korea and make it to America. They have been surpassed by BTS in popularity but still have a loyal fan base seeing as they are still just as popular as they were during their debut in 2012 despite losing three members.
The high production cost of most k-pop music videos sets them apart from those produced in the states. They are almost like short films or episodes in a saga when you watch all the music video’s from one album. For example, in EXO-K’s first album Mama they established lore for each of their members that can still be seen in today’s music video’s through easter eggs.(EXO-K is one of the many sub groups that make up EXO as a whole) In the video for the song Mama they gave each of their members supernatural powers. Moving forward to 2020 when Kai (a member of EXO) released his own EP he uses his “supernatural abilities” to teleport in the music video for Mmmmh just like he did in 2012.
Different Types of Group Membership
One thing that can make K-pop a little bit different from American or British boy groups is the simple number of members. When EXO debuted they had 12 members; currently there are 9 members however only 5 of which are active. BTS is comprised of 7 active members. NCT another popular K-pop group which has had some success in America has 23 members and 4 sub units. Because they have so many sub groups all 23 members are active at all times but they may be working with a different sub group.
The difference between past members, active, and nonactive members is as follows: active members are currently working on creating, promoting, or preforming content exclusively for their group, nonactive members have not left the group but are not part of the new content that is being created. BTS is special not only because they were the first to not only make it to American audiences but dominate American charts, but they changed the game because post their success it is no longer common for idols to age out (aging out happened to two of the three members of EXO who left). Because of American audiences not being willing to have members just be swapped out at will like Korean audiences are used to BTS’ request for their label to not add or subtract members has been respected in a way we haven’t seen before.