O Cruel World of Kpop!

I’ve been into Kpop since 2009 I think and aside from the influx of rookie groups, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Kpop industry hasn’t changed all that much? I was lucky enough to get into the Hallyu wave early, just slightly before the influx so at least I didn’t have that many groups to learn from the start.

That’s right, learn. Because honestly, at the first glance, the groups probably all look the same. And zooming in, the members look even more similar. You try to tell them apart by their clothes, by their hair, by the height, by any little thing but once they change slightly (even just change a pose!!) you’ll likely be back at square one. I quite like trying to differentiate the groups. As I’ve explained to ST numerous times, I relish the Ah-hah! moment when you can suddenly tell all the members apart. Like only a few views of the MV ago, they all look the same. BUT SUDDENLY THIS TIME, THAT’S WOOHYUN! THAT’S GYU! THAT’S DONGWOO! THAT’S MYUNGSOO! And so on.

But that’s not the topic of discussion for this blog post. I’ve been wanting to start a series of blog posts on Kpop because it’s one topic that has managed to sustain my goldfish attention span for so long. Also, it’s incredibly fascinating and there are so many sides to Kpop one can touch on! I initially wanted to start with why I like Kpop but I suspect it’d deteriorate into me just going ‘AAAHHHHHH OMG Y U SO HANDSOME I LURVE YOU LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVEEEEEE’

Yup so not a good way to start. Instead, I’m going to kick off this series with this post I read on tumblr.

In a nutshell, the article is about BAP’s latest comeback, BADMAN. They interview BAP who talk about how it’s been so long since their last comeback (WHICH I LOVED) and how they’re going to show a new side of themselves to their fans and everybody else (I honestly wonder how many new sides can a group have, because that’s basically what they all say during each comeback).

When they say it’s been so long since their last comeback, they mean that it’s been SIX MONTHS since their last comeback. One Shot (their last comeback) was released in Feb 2013. Six months they’ve been away. But from the way they say it, you’d think that it’s been what, two years maybe?

That’s what it’s like in the Kpop world, saturated with new releases and more competition than the groups can handle.

It’s not like they only record in those few months. Having a comeback signifies recording songs, learning new choreography, promotional photo shoots, and I don’t even know what else. Granted, the new songs could have been recorded months ago, but all that is done ON TOP OF overseas promotions, tours and so on. Where do these people find the time?! Do they have more than 24 hours a day? More than 7 days a week? More than four weeks a month?!!!

And their worry about being away from the scene for so long stems (I think) from the fact that while they were gone, other groups have put out their new songs, NEW groups have debuted, fans may have moved on (?! except the hardcore ones I guess). The world of Kpop is as such, the fickleness of fans (except hardcore ones I must always have this disclaimer oops) and the short attention span of the industry. If you’re gone for too long, the general public will forget you. Unless you appear on shows or have other activities. Because there is always always ALWAYS some other idol group to chase after, who will shine, who will have hit songs, who will FILL YOUR SPOT.

So what can they do but keep generating new songs, keep releasing MINI-ALBUMS which are what, six songs max?, keep on doing what they do. It’s such an incredibly tiring, full-time job being a Kpop idol.

My initial reaction while reading the article was that they were making a mountain out of a molehill. What is six months compared to a year that the Blackjacks (2ne1 fans) have been waiting?! But then I remembered how competitive the world of Kpop is. How cutthroat and brutal. So yeah I guess some of their concerns are justified.

So I feel quite sorry for these idols. They’ve got to work so hard and I can’t help but wonder where the bulk of what they earn go to. Do they earn enough to justify the time, the blood and the sweat (omg at the dance practice hours really) they put in?

Okay. I’ve lost the point of this blog post (as expected).

So I’m going to stop while I’m ahead. I guess I started this post trying to explain why idol groups have to release (mini) albums so often. Then it morphed into how hard they work. Then I’m not sure what happened. I LOST THE POINT OF IT T.T Guess I still need practice.

I decided to try this out because since I have a blog and I (used to) enjoy writing, why not try writing something that’s not recounting my not-very-exciting life and EDUCATE MY DEAR READERS ON THE WONDROUS WORLD OF KPOP. Also because I need to practise writing proper again since I’ve lost touch with this sort of thing. So yup, (mostly) proper sentence structures, grammar and all that here. At least, more than when I’m blogging my usual stuff.

Toodles pop hope you’ve learnt something new from Pui San talks Kpop (JUST DECIDED ON THE NAME OF THIS SERIES!)

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O Cruel World of Kpop!

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