Please allow me the opportunity to introduce you to the soundtrack of my life for the past 1.5 months. These are the songs that are blaring from speakers in the streets, playing on the MP3 players of my students and circulating on repeat in literally every bar in Suwon. The combination of the relatively small size of Korea and the fact that every popular band seems to have an average of 15 members, makes one wonder just how many Koreans are part of KPop bands themselves. I was hanging out with a Korean friend in a bar recently and nearly every (by nearly every, I mean 2) music video that came on the tv behind us, he knew one of the members. These are a few of the songs you have been missing by not living in Korea.
First, check out Ring Ding Dong by Shinee
If this is your first sampling of Korean Pop, perhaps you should consider checking out Chocolate Love by Girl's Generation. This is a massively popular song/music video, that also happens to be an advertisement for the Chocolate phone. This is just a small example of how intertwined Korean popular culture and consumerism really are... maybe it is the marketing major in me, but I think I kind of like it.
Next is a song called Bo Peep Bo Peep by a band called T-ara (pronounced Tiara). Let me warn you, this is going to be the song that will most easily be stuck in your head for the rest of your life. My students recently asked, "Teacher! What does Bo Peep Bo Peep mean in English?" It is hard to shatter dreams and let them know that it really doesn't mean a thing, so I took the opportunity to teach them all about Little Bo Peep, and her poor, lost little sheep.
Now, check out G Dragon, who seems to potentially be the most popular of the songs I have posted. The old man vice principal for my school literally has this song as his ring tone. One of the things I have found interesting about pop music here is that all Korean demographics seem to really truly love it. Unlike in the states where a power hungry man in his 40s wouldn't be caught dead with a Top 40 pop bop song as his ring tone, Koreans all seem to come together for their love of G Dragon.
Stay tuned for my next post, in which we discuss the not so shiny side of KPop.