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Shauna: Hi everyone, my name is Shauna Stewart and I’m back with another episode for Magnolia on Mic. So this is our first summer episode, we’ve finished our episodes through the semester and we’re gonna be releasing a few episodes over the summer until we start back up again in the fall. So this is my little summer episode. 

Shauna: So as you guys may have guessed, I am a fan of K-Pop. If you listen to our previous episode that Reese, Henry and I did about our music recommendations for the summer, I recommended a few K-pop songs. And so today I wanted to talk a little bit more about K-Pop and why I’m interested in it and things that I find to be entertaining about K-Pop. I also wanted to tell you guys a little bit more about the genre in case you’re not super familiar with it. I know a lot of people have probably heard the term K-pop before but aren’t too well versed in it and what it means. Also, if you haven’t clicked off already from just hearing the word K-pop, I’d like to convince some of our listeners to give it a try if you haven’t already. I think there, there’s a lot of different types of K-pop out there. There’s a lot of very talented Korean artists and musicians, so I think that you should give it a try if you haven’t already. 

Shauna: So I guess starting off I can talk a little bit about why I’m interested in K-Pop and kind of what got me into it. So my first, I guess, experience, exposure to K-Pop actually happened in 2018. I was in Paris for a school trip and I was sitting in the hotel room because I was kind of bored. We didn’t really have any more activities planned for the day and I was scrolling through YouTube and I saw the thumbnail for BLACKPINK’s DDU-DU DDU-DU music video and I was really drawn in by how bright and colorful it was. So I clicked on the music video and I really liked the song, so I just went through and watched all of their music videos and their like behind the scenes videos and their reality show I think it was. And I got really interested in BLACKPINK and then kind of entered I guess the K-pop scene that way. I started watching YouTube videos of other K-pop groups and things like that.

Shauna: Nowadays I don’t listen to that much BLACKPINK, but I know they’re still quite popular. I know they just had a performance at Coachella this year and a lot of people seem to enjoy it. So yeah, I think BLACKPINK is a very good group to kind of, I guess ease your way way into K-Pop. They have a lot of like bright upbeat, really fun songs. So I think they’re a good group, a good like gateway group into K-Pop. Currently I listen to a lot of Stray Kids and a lot of fourth gen like boy groups. I’ve been listening to a lot of Cravity recently.

Shauna: Yeah, so I think one of the reasons why I was drawn to K-Pop in the first place was partially because of how like bright it looked. I feel like at the time the music that I listened to wasn’t all that different musically speaking ‘cause I listened to like a lot of Imagine Dragons X Ambassadors, Walks The Moon, Panic, things like that. But like visually like looking at the music videos and like the dancing and just like the energy they had I felt was kind of different from what I was used to. So that’s one of the things that really attracted me to it. Also, like the costuming, the makeup, like the set design, everything, it was just so like attractive to me. In high school I was…I went to performing arts high school, so like thinking about how they were putting the music videos together, how they were doing like the set design and costume designing like that really piqued my interest.

Shauna: Also, they’re incredibly talented singers and dancers. So I was very like, I guess hooked from when I first saw it. But since then I think my interest has kind of grown just to like enjoying the music. So I listen to a lot of Korean r&b and Korean hip hop in addition to K-Pop and I kind of just enjoy the music and enjoy, just enjoy the vibes, you know? So that’s my reason for kind of being into K-Pop and wanting to talk about it. 

Shauna: But I guess before I continue, I can talk a little bit about what K-pop is or what like the term means. So K-pop stands for Korean pop and it really incorporates a plethora of different genres. So different K-pop groups might choose different like concepts to focus on or different genres of music to kind of build their… build their music around. So some K-pop groups have like Latin based music for example. So Kard is a K-pop group. They’re co-ed, meaning both… they have both male and female members and their music is very much Latin based. Or if you look at groups such as like Stray Kids for example, they have a lot of like noise music, almost house type music. So yeah, different groups kind of incorporate different genres into their music.

Shauna: And so K-Pop doesn’t really reflect a specific, I guess sound or genre. It’s kind of an umbrella term encompassing a lot of different things. And a lot of different artists, some people look at K-Pop specifically as like boy groups or girl groups, some people include soloists. So it mostly focuses on like popular music that is in Korean or coming out from Korea or made by Korean artists. And it’s actually quite interesting because the term K-pop actually came from Japan because in Japan they have the term J-pop and it was kind of to reflect like the changing in the Korean music scene to reflect kind of what we see as modern K-pop and as the modern Korean music scene. Before there was a lot of like trot music, slower songs, definitely more… the music was definitely more ballad like ballad based, a lot of soloists, there weren’t really very many groups performing. So when Japan kind of saw this trend towards kind of like the group aesthetic and this different type of sound, more like dance music, they coined it K-pop. So that’s my little like K-pop 101 intro I guess. 

Shauna: And another thing that I think is really interesting about K-Pop is the way that it’s becoming more incorporated into the Amer American music scene. So things like K-pop artist appearing on award shows or going to like really popular events like Johnny from NCT 127 was just at the Met Gala. And then BTS has been on a bunch of American music show awards. There’s been K-pop idols who go on like television talk shows, so like Jimmy Fallon for example, or the Kelly Clarkson Show. So I think there’s like more and more of a push for them to get out in front of American audiences and for more American audiences to know who they are and know their music. Which I think is really interesting because a couple of years ago like K-Pop was seen as a very like niche thing. Like not that many people were into it. People might ridicule you if you were into it. And I think now there’s more of like, it’s become more popular, it’s become more mainstream even if you just look at the amount of like K-pop concerts that are happening in America or that have happened over the past year, there’s definitely way more than say like 10 years ago, 15 years ago. So I think there is definitely more and more opportunities for people who are interested in K-Pop to like go see their favorite groups or their favorite artists here in America, like without having to travel all the way to Korea to go see them.

Shauna: I think it’s, it’s interesting that they’re becoming more integrated into the American music scene, even through things that, through like collaborations. So like there’s a collaboration between P1Harmony and Pink Sweats. They have a song together. There’s also a song with B.I. and Soulja Boy, which is definitely one that I wasn’t expecting, but I think it’s a pretty good song. There’s one with BeBe Rexha and Yeji and Rujin from Itzy. And then Seventeen and Annmarie have a song together. BTS and Megan thee Stallion have a song together and then two 24kGoldn and Sokodomo have a song together. So I think even if you’re just not looking at K-Pop, if you’re looking at k r&b or even K hip hop, there are still these collaborations with American artists that make it, I think it’s a really exciting time to be a K-Pop fan just because there’s so much music out there and there’s so much kind of happening within like the K-pop industry and just with K-Pop in general, it’s always, at least for me, it’s always fun to see like what kind of concepts they, they pull out next.

Shauna: Like, oh, what kind of like… what kind of music is going to be released this time? Will it be like Bollywood inspired? Will it be drill? Will it be trap? Like that’s always really fun for me because I feel like sometimes you, like you never know what you’re gonna… you’re gonna get, it’s kind of like a little surprise. You… generally with the groups, they have a very unique sound that’s unique to them. So generally their songs kind of follow within that sound or follow within that pattern. But then you find these little elements that make listening to it each time, like you find something new. There’s a new, a new part that you didn’t hear the first time you listen to it. So I think that’s another reason that K-Pop is so attractive to me personally.

Shauna: And I think some people still have this like idea in their mind that all K-pop is really bright and bubbly and girlish and things like that, but there’s definitely some K-pop that’s like that. But then you also have the K-pop that’s more like r&b based and that sounds really soulful or K-pop that’s more hip-hop based and like dance music or house music or drill. So I think there are definitely, I feel like there’s like a k… a type of K-pop for everyone, no matter what kind of music you listen to or what genres you’re into, there’s probably a K-pop group out there that makes that type of music and it’s, it’s good that there are so many groups and that there’s something out there for everyone, but then you also get to the point where it feels kind of oversaturated. 

Shauna: So like I said, I’ve been into K-Pop since about 2018 and now it feels like it’s difficult to keep up with all the new groups that come out every year or trying to keep up with all of the songs that are released. So right now I kind of just follow the few, the few artists that I really like or that I’m really into.

Shauna: But yeah, it’s always a nice little surprise when one of my friends is like, oh, have you heard this new song that came out and I haven’t? And then they introduce me to a new group or a new song that’s always really fun. And then I think the amount of content that surrounds K-Pop also keeps it interesting. So let’s say an artist that you like or an artist that you follow isn’t, isn’t releasing any music right now. Normally they have like variety shows you can watch. They have reality shows, also competition shows. So it’s kind of like there’s something there for everyone. A competition show that I really like is Show Me the Money. So that show follows more towards Korean hip hop artists. I’ve actually discovered a lot of new music and new artists through watching that show and kind of seeing how they interact with other people in their industry and their music making process, their writing process has been really interesting to me. 

Shauna: Yeah, I feel like I’m… I’ve gone on maybe a little bit of a tangent, but I really just wanted to share with our listeners something that I’m personally interested in and maybe hopefully it piqued your interest as well. For the next, for upcoming episodes for Magnolia On Mic, we kind of want to try and do more episodes related around the club member’s interests. So if you’re interested in talking about something that you’re personally interested in or you’d like to work on a podcast episode so you can talk about your interest and share your interest with our listeners. Magnolia On Mic does receive applications for the summer and the fall, so if you’re interested, you should definitely apply. And we’re always looking for new ideas and new opinions to share with our listeners. Also, if you enjoy the more interest-based episodes as opposed to just things that are going around the school or like interviews or things like that, please let us know. You can DM us on Instagram or send us an email or any of that. Those things. Please like the episodes on Spotify and follow Magnolia On Mic on Spotify. And I guess that’s it. That’s closing out this episode for me. I hope all of our listeners can look forward to our other summer episodes and the other episodes we have coming out in the fall. And thank you for listening.

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