A Beginner’s Guide to K-Pop (ft. PDS K-Pop-ers)


Photo by Teddy Yang from Pexels

Emily Zhu, Online Staff Writer

K-pop, short for Korean pop, is an umbrella term for music that originates from South Korea. K-pop is rapidly gaining popularity across all corners of the globe and within the PDS community. Sensations like BTS, Blackpink, and EXO have been met with immense success overseas. K-pop music is expanding towards the Western market, with many groups and artists collaborating with artists such as Cardi B, Selena Gomez, Nicki Minaj, and French Montana. But with an extremely wide range of sounds, artists, and concepts, K-pop can be an intimidating world to navigate.

K-pop music dates back to the early 1990s, taking influence from a number of genres, including western pop, hip hop, R&B, and EDM. In a sense, K-pop is not necessarily its own genre of music, given that it draws from an immense range of musical styles. Each generation of K-pop has evolved significantly from the last, and there is always something new to look forward to. Nowadays, K-pop is distinguishable by its powerful singing and dancing, and its quality production. A great portion of K-pop consists of groups in which each member has a designated position, including vocals, dance, rap, and visual. 

In fact, K-pop is just as much a visual experience as it is an auditory one. K-pop idols are known for their flawless performances, trained to perfection. Other than the complex choreography and catchy vocals, many elements are employed to fit the “concept” of the album, including stage outfits, makeup looks, and even hairstyling. These perfectly executed, well thought out performances are what make K-pop so satisfying and entertaining for many.

So what kind of K-pop are PDS students listening to? Senior Annie Zhang’s favorites include Korean R&B artists such as DPR and Dean. On the other hand, junior Elizabeth Lee prefers lively, bright music: “I tend to like fresh and light-hearted concepts, so my favorite artists are Seventeen, Weeekly, and Astro.” Junior Eleanor Ding, another K-pop enthusiast, appreciates all aspects of K-pop and has an endless list of artists that they like, of which their favorite girl group is Dreamcatcher and their favorite boy group is Day6. Even within the PDS community, there is massive diversity in preferences. With such a large variety of songs to choose from, there is bound to be something for everyone.