Open LettersAn Open Letter to K-PopAnnie Stamell

Dear K-pop,

Um, let’s talk about how awesome K-Pop is. I mean, first of all, thank you Psy for bringing K-pop to America. You are awesome and I have no idea what you are saying on Gangham Style but I love your tuxedo and your dance moves and your horses and I’m so on board whatever it is you’re selling me. Which, at this point in time, feels like an obsession with K-Pop. I’m sold.

Sure I’ve had the newest Mumford & Sons album on loop since I bought it and I await Taylor Swift’s new singles each Tuesday like it’s Christmas and the Fourth of July and Halloween all at once (my favorite holidays combined = Taylor Swift’s latest ditty on teen angst). But I find that most of my current musical curiosity tuns to K-Pop, and researching K-Pop, and reading interesting articles about K-Pop, and thinking about how I can get into K-Pop, and exploring the amazing nail art of the amazing female stars that comprise a lot of K-Pop, and seriously where can I learn all those sick dance moves?

I want to live inside a K-Pop music video. Seriously. Every K-Pop video I have ever seen (which is so far, around seven) is so much fun. Like a madhouse where everyone is all strung-out on pixie sticks and bubblegum and there are mist machines and techno lights and explosions and also yoga and like, an animated sequence. Everyone has super awesome fun dance moves that are performed in the style of the Step Up movies, as though the dancers are competing against some other group of people dancing, (possibly the viewer?), and everyone has bright colored eyes and hair and glowing skin and wildly inventive but still fashionable outfits and holy hotdog the nail art! I mean this is just some next level nail art. I think Katy Perry could be the closest thing we have to K-Pop. Katy Perry just scratches the surface of K-Pop.

The biggest struggle I’m having with K-Pop is that I don’t know what anyone is saying but I find that I don’t even care all that much because it’s obviously all about fun. I mean this is the most fun-loving subculture I’ve seen since San Francisco’s Summer of Love in 1967, which I obviously wasn’t around for, but have imagined to be dreamy and centered around fun-loving activities.

K-Pop is polished and succinct and is adored by, like, a gazillion people all over the world. We’re all enjoying this moment together! And I am so excited that we are getting into K-Pop here in the US of A because we were super behind on the Electronic Dance Music (EDM, duh) scene and that bums me out because we’re listening to jams that club kids were blasting in Ibiza circa 2002 and it makes me feel a little bit sad for us. It’s weird how 2002 is ten years ago. What was going on in K-Pop then? Sometimes I get super bummed about how all these amazing things are happening musically all over the world but we only get some of it. I want all the music, all the time. I’m proud of us that we’ve gotten on board Psy’s train because I think he’s really onto something with those beats and the moves and that tuxedo and those horses. Mostly the horses. I want to know more about them. I hope horses are a staple in K-Pop music videos going forward.

Love,

Stamos

 

Still image of Psy from “Gagham Style” music video via PopDust

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  1. I’m mexican, and I love Kpop since 2008 :D…So, I’m not discovering kpop with PSY. For me, his song is only 1 from 1223434534 songs of so many groups that I have heard before! and do you know what? I love all of them!!! Also, the singers are great people and talented. Now, I know everything that you can’t imagine about that country. Everyday I investigated and discover sth new…in 4 years. Imagine that! it’s interesting n_n. I have many korean penpal friends, and I can say that they’re really great persons!! the cutest!! o/ their personality is cool and fun ^^ and…their music? is the best for me. In these years, I’m thankful to all of them to bring us this present called KPOP, it makes me really happy <3

  2. Fun article, and funny you mention 2002 since that was the year i got into K-Pop and about the time the “Korean Wave” began, with SK exporting it’s pop culture to neighbouring countries, specially China. btw this song: “Champion” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTT9MT0rMhU was on PSY’s 1st album, and shows that he has been about fun from the start. If you like EDM and… horses… you should check work from the super pop dance band “Koyote”, “soo jung” is one of their hits (if you wanna skip to the horse part)
    other hot bands from that time were SES, BabyVOX, Jewerly, boyband Shinwa, and soloists BoA and Jjang Na-ra. Have fun at youtube!

  3. I didn`t even know what Kpop was untill now. Google`d it, and loved it :)

  4. You should come here in Australia! I’ve got so many friends listening to K-pop like 24 hours and they’ve got a lot of knowledge about it too(not me though). It is fun, but not so much a fan of K-pop and people say I should be, cause I’m Asian, but it’s just not me:) But you’ll be so interested when you get to know more about K-pop especially from my friends:) Tey’ll be non-stop talking about it.:)

  5. Most KPOP videos have versions with english subs on you-tube :) Check out Fantastic Baby (BIGBANG), if you like crazy videos

  6. I personally haven’t heard much k-pop. I’m more into j-pop and c-pop. But nice article, haha.

  7. k-pop is pure entertain.

  8. I’m just going to leave this here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L05wn7w0Rz8

  9. This is a great article. I’m glad that there are other people who appreciates K-Pop even if they cannot understand the lyrics. K-Pop is awesome and you should definitely check it out, let’s start with SM Entertainment Artists like Girls’ Generation and EXO.

  10. This is EXACTLY how I feel about k-pop music. I want to be a part of it all so bad. Check out Miss A’s Breathe. Kind of an oldie but still so catchy and awesome. YAY KPOP!

  11. K pop < J Pop, just sayin

  12. I love the Wonder Girls! I had never heard of them before and they were on So You Think You Can Dance one night and blew my mind! That song Nobody is hella catchy, and the dancing? Fuhgeddaboudit!

  13. Please tell me you have watched Hyuna videos because she is the Korean princess of my heart I LOVE HER. Also anything SNSD, of course!!

  14. Dunno if this article has made the rounds yet, but if your interested it sorta dissects what Gangnam Style is about: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/gangnam-style-dissected-the-subversive-message-within-south-koreas-music-video-sensation/261462/

  15. Gangnam Style is actually about the overabundance of capitalism in South Korea. It’s satire, and to be fair, if you don’t speak Korean, you wouldn’t get it. “Oppa” translates to a “bigger brother” or boyfriend (sense any patrimony?) and “Gangnam” is a place that’s equivalent to Beverly Hills or 5th Avenue. The entire song is literally about how a man longs for a woman who represents all these superficial things so that he can live the “dream” that only money can buy.

    Check out his more serious interviews to see what he’s about. Or, read this: http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_21582641/gangnam-what-it-means?source=inthenews

  16. I love “Gangnam Style”, is a catchy and funny song, but if you want to listen to k-pop go and check Super Junior, they are awesome and gorgeous <3

  17. I love this. K-pop is pure awesome!

  18. i started watching k-dramas a few years ago which led me to listen to k-pop and now I’m hooked! i’ve been to 4 concerts this year, and i’m going to k-con in october, where 4minute, vixx, b.a.p., exo-m, and g.na will be having a concert. there’s something addicting about the music – maybe because it is reminiscent of late 90′s/early 2000′s bubble gum pop, and all the good times and fads it enlivens.

  19. I too got obsessed with k-pop through PSY, and now I’m a fan of BigBang, especially G-Dragon, in my opinion, he’s a genius. Anyway, I’m now studying korean and learning to write in hangul which is super fun!

  20. i currently live in south korea, and you just can’t even imagine what kpop is like here. it’s like *nsync and britney spears on steroids (what? i grew up in the 90s). most of what i’ve learned, i’ve learned from my students. apparently, the popular artists (aside from psy) are t-ara, i-u, beast, g-dragon, 2ne1 and girls generation. although i prefer lee sang.