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Kpop Popularity On The Rise
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Kpop Popularity on the Rise

A few years ago if someone asked me what I thought about Kpop, I would have responded with, "What is that?" However, over the last year Kpop popularity has been on a steady rise outside of South Korea and even I discovered it and became a fan.

Kpop started as a musical movement that swept South Korea in the 90s. The music is heavily influenced by American music and culture; many kpop pop songs feature English words or slang, and videos often feature elements from American culture, such as clothing and props. You will find tracks influenced by Rap, Hip Hop, R & B, Rock, and Techno, but most of the popular groups are based on the Pop genre.

Many Korean pop music groups have been modeled after Japanese pop groups: surgery, sweet, and cute. Kpop music comes in many different packages, there are solo artists, girl groups, boy groups, and mixed girl/boy groups. A few popular solo artists are Boa, Rain, and IU. 2NE1, Wonder Girls, and Girls Generation, Kara, and After School are a few of the popular girls groups. Super junior, Beast, Big Bang, and 2PM are a few of the most popular boy groups. Coed School is one of the few mixed groups that has received some popularity, but mixed groups have yet to achieve the popularity of the non-mixed groups.

In 2011, Several top Kpop artists released music in the American market featuring tracks completely in English: Boa, Wonder Girls, 2NE1, and Girls Generation are a few. Recently Kpop group Girls Generation performed on Late Night with David Letterman (01/31/12).

Korean cultural product popularity is not only on the rise in the U.S. but also in other markets as exports rose to over $4 billion in 2011. The most notable products were Kpop and Korean dramas.

Most of these products are being discovered through social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and blogs. Many major Korean production companies have established music channels on YouTube to promote their artists. These companies are also using Facebook to promote new releases and concert dates. Many Kpop fans are posting regularly on their blogs about their favorite artists and there are a few websites that have combined social network features with Kpop news, such as allkpop and GoKpop.

More and more Kpop artists will be making the move to break into other markets and in 2012 we should see more Kpop releases and performances in the U.S.


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