Tuesday, 23 October 2012

kpop thoughts

I know that if you don't know me personally it must seem like I live in a pool of my tears. I don't - for the most part - but I am an emotional person and crying is the natural way for me to release when all those feels just becomes too much.

lol I dunno, it just struck me that lately it's all about crying and being a sad and emotional mess around here, and it's not really like that all the time, I guess it's just often the emotional times I need to vent here

so here we go again

Mads and I follow a blog called Eat Your Kimchi, a couple of Canadians living in Korea and blogging about what life is like in Korea from a foreign perspective, and all aspects of Korean life, especially kpop.

Recently they were invited to KCON, a big kpop convention in Irvine, California, and of course they posted about it once they came back to Korea.

One of the videos they linked to is the one below by The Verge



And yes, it made me choke up.

If you're not into kpop, or even if you are, this might be impossible to relate to but I was just SO. HAPPY. I know it was an edited video, from a kpop convention, in the US, BUT STILL.
The feeling that something I love so much and that matters so much to me is finally getting some recognition was just overwhelming, that sense of "yes, finally!!!!".

And the sight of excited fans at concerts - and especially concerts with groups I like! - just always gets to me. The regret that it's not me who's there to enjoy, and at the same time so happy for the people who were able to attend because I've been there and I know how amazing it is to be part of that crowd.

I wanna be part of that crowd again..

Anyway, another thing I've been thinking a lot about lately-
I know that the whole Gangnam Style phenomenon has done an amazing job of putting kpop into the general public all around the world, even here in my little country, and suddenly having people from all sides talk about Gangnam Style has been a completely surreal experience.

It's not that I'm not happy about the almost-overnight success, I love Psy and he's an artist whom I so far feel can handle the massive jolt of attention, and as a person he's just really pleasant

I just can't help but think out of almost every kpop numbers out there this is not a very good representative, and as such it's probably giving the world the wrong idea about what kpop's all about.
The possible downside to the success of Gangnam Style could be that as much as it's helping spread the kpop knowledge it might also set up the rest of the world of kpop for failure due to unfulfilled expectations in the worldwide audience.

There is nothing typical about Gangnam Style, the music video, Psy's image compared to the rest of kpop, and ironically also not to the rest of Psy's own music if you ask me.

I'm not sure of what I'm trying to say here, I'm just not one of those people who think that because of Gangnam Style kpop is ready to invade the entire planet. And to be honest, I'm not sure if I even want it to..

I want to be able to buy my CDs in stores, and see idols on TV instead of Youtube, and listen to Urban Zakapa in cafés, and go to concerts in my own- well, okay, maybe not my own country, but something closer than Asia, with even lesser known artists.
I want kpop to be recognized and respected for the awesome music and extremely hardworking artists, but I'm afraid that if the marketing towards Western markets become too strong it will lose it's kpop-ness in the attempt to make it big.

And I don't want that. I want it to be Korean lyrics even if I don't understand a word they say, I want the girls to be cutesy enough to make you wanna throw up or sexy, not slutty okay some are slutty, but still, it's a different feel enough to make you question your sexuality, I want the guys to be touchy-feely and covered in eyeliner and accessories and skinny jeans and femininity and once again make you question your sexuality, I want the counted down greetings and fan colours and toe-curling fandom and bias names and hair colours in all the colours of the rainbow.

That, to me, is kpop, and I'm not sure the West will ever be ready for that.

So maybe it's better if it stays home and just remains somewhat underground in the rest of the world..



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