Introduction and K-pop 101

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On any of my social media accounts, private, public, whatever, I’ve posted about K-pop. All my instagram stories, twitter people you know I’m that K-pop friend. The one who keeps on talking gibberish you may or may not understand. #sorrynotsorry

Figs Hallyu is a new category talking about well Hallyu (the Korean wave) so it won’t just be K-pop, I’ll be including K-drama, K-movies, K-food, K-beauty: anything and hopefully everything Korean in the UAE.

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I’ll start with an intro to K-pop, South Korea’s main export and their biggest tourism factor. K-pop is huge over most of Asia and it’s slowly reaching the Gulf and the Indian subcontinent.
In just the last year we’ve had Teen Top visit Dubai for a showcase at Meydan Gallery, which we think was a feeler to see the reaction.

We were then rewarded with  KCON Abu Dhabi, a one day festival of everything Korean which ended in a 2 hour concert (squeals, more on that in a future post).

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What is K-pop? Well, Korean pop music but there are so many sub genres within sub genres. There’s, K-rock, K-rap, K-hip hop (some killer tracks right here) and so so much more. Basically any genre you can think of with a K added.

I personally think that there’s waaaaaay too much talent in South Korea. They have it all: outstanding vocals, hardcore choreography and bubbly personalities all packed into music videos with insane production values.

Below are a few music videos a favorites selection if you will.  Quick warning though K-pop is a black hole and very easy to get addicted to, once you start there’s no going back, so welcome and enjoy your stay here!

Boy Groups:

EXO – Growl

This is a one shot MV as in it was shot in a single take :O

BIG BANG – Bang Bang Bang

One of if not THE most iconic K-pop group globally making headlines in: Forbes, The Washington Post, Billboard, Hollywood reporter, etc you get the drill.

BTS – Dope

The song starts off with “Come on in, this is your first time with BTS, right?” and for most people it was! This video was the start of their immense popularity and you can definitely see why.

GOT7 – Just Right

Throwing in a little cuteness. These guys go from “everything about you is just right” to “why the eff don’t you love me witch”.

SEVENTEEN – Mansae

Technically the ‘largest group’ in K-pop with 13 members, but don’t get intimidated the members are easy to identify. It only took us 10 minutes to learn who everyone was. Also the dance on this one leaves you speechless.

Girl Groups:

Girls’ Generation – You Think

Asia’s girl group right here. Channeling their sexy side for the first time with You Think, “cause boy you ain’t cooler than me.”

TWICE – TT

“I’m just like TT”, they mean the crying emoji T_T. This group is known for their infectious songs that Korea (and the world?) can’t stop singing.

F(x) – Red Light

F(x) is one of the few groups that isn’t afraid to experiment with their music, they’ve tackled: pop, electro house, alternative, retro, soul etc. Personally Red Light stood out, it was a dark, sinister, rebellious concept showcasing their intense yet feminine image.

Sistar – Shake It

Summer anthem queens! Colorful music videos, short shorts and booty shaking. How can you not smile when this comes on.

Mamamoo – You’re The Best

All of Mamamoo’s songs are just bops, how can you not jam to them. Beagle (playful) idols alert!

Oh My Girl – Liar Liar

Bubblegum pop is one of K-pop strengths and this catchy song about all your friends lying about liking a guy in a pastel af house is a prime example.

Since this is the last video! The dance version of this song is just wow, just watch how intricate the choreography is and how much just one member moves around (I like to focus on YooA, the one in orange).

Remember how I mentioned talent earlier, they sing and dance in complete coordination – military level coordination! I’m sure any one of those videos proved my point.

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This post is just a short introduction to K-pop as I didn’t wan’t to overwhelm readers, post a little bit of info and add a couple of videos. In my next K-pop post I’ll talk more about well known/mainstream groups and fan culture.

Let me know what you think about Figs Hallyu in the comments below or on social media and what to feature next.

P.S: If you want more of a backstory behind K-pop, checkout the slideshow (circa 2011) below. This is pre exo, pre bts, pre a lot of other people that made kpop more mainstream. It also has a couple of old groups that aren’t as active anymore or have disbanded.

 

Born and brought up in the UAE. Honest to the point that I throw shade, I run a website that covers food, beauty and everything Korean! Email me here: info@whatthefigs.com. Such a multi-fandom (where y'all at?).

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