Originally emerging as a music genre, K-pop has evolved into a massive music subculture with millions of fans around the world.
K-pop is a genre of popular music originating in South Korea. It is influenced by styles and genres from around the world, such as experimental, rock, jazz, gospel, hip hop, R&B, reggae, electronic dance, folk, country, and classical on top of its traditional Korean music roots.
The term "K-pop" became popular since the 2000s. Previously, South Korean pop music was called Gayo (가요).
Modern K-pop "idol" culture began with the boy band H.O.T. in 1996, as K-pop grew into a subculture that amassed enormous fandoms of teenagers and young adults.
After a slump in early K-pop, from 2003 TVXQ and BoA started a new generation of K-pop idols that broke the music genre into the neighboring Japanese market and continue to popularize K-pop internationally today.
With the advent of online social networking services and Korean TV shows, the current spread of K-pop and Korean entertainment, known as the Korean Wave, is seen not only in East Asia and Southeast Asia, but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Latin America, North Africa, Southern Africa, the Middle East and throughout the Western world, gaining a widespread global.
The first generation of Kpop groups started in the early 1990s to 2000s. Thanks to the pioneering group Seo Taiji and Boys whose debut song “I KNOW’ that introduced a new pop sound that incorporated Western-style pop music. The group changed South Korea’s music landscape and paved the way for other artists to become more flexible and be experimental with style, choreography, and sound.
The reigning aesthetic during this generation revolved mostly around pop and hip-hop. Even in this era, people could tell that Kpop had the potential for global success
Notable Members: SHINHWA, SEO TAIJI & BOYS, H.O.T, g.o.d, S.E.S
The second generation started in 2003, but there is no exact year when it ended. Some say 2009 to or 2010. The debut of TVXQ brought a new generation of Kpop groups.
In this period, Hallyu or the Korean Wave has expanded and become more popular not just in Korea but across Asia and Australia. Their unique, distinctive choreographies, captivating melodies, and lyrics captured the hearts of many. This was when ballads and mellow love songs also started becoming more popular. But even with slow melodies, Kpop never fails to incorporate intricate choreography and movement to their performances—a very crucial aspect of the industry.
Notable Members: Bigbang, Wonder Girls, 2ne1, Super Junior, Girls Generation,SHINee, Epik High, TARA, KARA, After School, 4minute, Brown Eyed Girls, Miss A, UKISS, SS501, 2 PM, 2 AM, B2ST, SISTAR, f(x)
Iconic songs of third Generation brought K-Pop to the world’s fame. Groups succeeded in conquering multiple music charts and made new iconic melodies to the K-Pop industry.