Gangnam Style The Global Phenomenon KPOP
How Koreabooming started?
When I was 13 or 14, I started listening to K-pop singer BoA, because
I grew up in Vancouver, and J-Pop was popular at the time. A friend
of mine introduced me originally BoA, and a couple years later, began
to expand and began to hear the most popular groups. I could not
find any resources fast and reliable Internet for K-Pop music, so I
started Koreaboo, which was released in 2010.
Given the surge of interest in Korean pop music, you must have
experienced strong growth in its site.
Yes When we started we had a launch event in Los Angeles. As K-
pop has expanded internationally our traffic grew with him.
Popularity of Korean pop music is very established in Southeast
Asia, China, Japan and in your opinion what does this offer
music as their predecessors did?
I think that K-Pop is super attractive and production quality is super
high. This is really important. The music videos are big budget, well
done, polished, and it's just super-catchy pop music! This song has
its own tendencies, and his own style. Even beyond that, there are
different styles within the genre, and this is not done in a style of
music of the 90s. They really keep up with the trends and what's new.
What is a general age range for K-Pop fans?
They are very young! I think our demographic is 14-26. We are
holding an event called KCON, and I see posts of 11 years old!
However, there are older fans in their early to mid twenties.
Your blog is a great resource. How do you keep it fresh?
The most writing is done by publishers and management personnel.
In terms of access, controversy always gets a lot of views. We try not
report much controversy unless fully researched. We are sure that it
is 100 percent accurate before pushing information. Regardless, if
SM is an artist, we have tons of hits. When released news of
SHINee's return, we have a huge amount of traffic. It is still one of our
most read articles.
How do you differentiate your blog from sites like K-pop?
We differentiate ourselves by working hard with the community. We
work with all communities. We set up two of the first K-Pop
convention with our SM City event. The event is our first KCON North
American convention. So it's not just online, do a lot of community
activities as well.
Let's talk about the unprecedented popularity of Style Gangnam.
The singer, PSY, made more television appearances stateside
than any other Korean artist to date. What is your opinion about
the phenomenon of Gangnam style?
When I first saw it I thought it was pretty cool, but not really my style
of music or what I like. In the U.S. started because it was a funny
video. That's how it spread - like most viral videos. In terms of trends,
I do not think it's possible to sustain the popularity Gangnam Style. I
do not think most people who like the style Gangnam will hear
For K-Pop fans who do not speak or understand Korean, what
do you think is the appeal of the music?
I like certain types of K-Pop, it is pleasant to hear. I listen mostly
ballads and hip-hop. We do not need to understand exactly what they
are saying, but through music videos that you can tell what is
happening. If it's catchy, no matter what language it's in.
Finally, what kind of translation you do for the blog?
We receive entertainment news directly from Korea. We checked with
our partner site to see if our different translations. We often conduct
peer reviews too. So the senior writers will check up on other writers
before publishing, and try to minimize the error as much as possible.
What sparked your interest in K-Pop?
Wendi: It started with rain. I was impressed with his talent and also
for who he was as a person and his rise to fame and struggles. So
yes, I am a big fan rain. Through him, I learned about MBLAQ, a
group of boy he was training. It was just a natural progression into the
world of K-pop in there.
Kris: For me, it all started with the hit Korean drama "Boys Over
Flowers". I took an interest in Kim Hyun Joong, I discovered later was
the leader of SS501, a group of K-Pop. It led to my interest in Korean
You are both working on an exciting site for K-Pop fans now. Tell us a
little about kPOPfix.com.
Wendi: kPOPfix is a collaboration between Kristina and I We both
love K-pop and know how diehard K-pop fans can be. Then Kristina
came up with this idea of having a citizen journalism approach to K-
pop. We learned from our own experience that the K-Pop fans have
their say and contribute, and there was not really an outlet for them.
So we think a site where K-Drama and K-Pop fans can put their
thoughts out there directly, it would be a cool thing. This is kPOPfix!
What K-Pop offer that other genres do not?
Kris: It offers fun, fashion, and emotion. It is the only genre of music
that I know that actually causes the fans before the release of a new
video. Moreover, it offers an inside look at the lives of idols. It creates
a more intimate level of entertainment. Not to mention, it provides hot
guys and girls!
Wendi: I've never seen so much time and money invested in visual
appeal as I have with companies of K-Pop entertainment. Everything
is beautiful and lovely. Aegyo is a very important skill K-Pop idols
must have to attract their fans. Everyone is beautiful, the guys are so
beautiful, the girls are so pretty. Furthermore, I believe that K-pop is
an interpretation of Western pop, hip-hop and R & B music, but with a
very special touch Korean.
What is your opinion about the phenomenon of Gangnam style?
Wendi: I'm very happy for PSY, and as someone who's following K-
pop for over three years, is a good feeling to see K-pop, finally
receiving mainstream recognition in the U.S.. PSY Desire and any
other K-Pop artists crossing better. I would like to see other artists
like Rain, Big Bang and 2NE1 as much success has also PSY.
Kris: I think it's really cool and kind of crazy how it got so many views
on YouTube. He exploded overnight. I am very happy that he's
putting the Korean entertainment industry on the map. However,
"Gangnam Style 'is not everything, and not the full definition of K-Pop.
Not much more to him than the" dance of the horse. "
For K-Pop fans who do not speak or understand Korean, what do you
think is the appeal of the music?
Kris: I think fashion is a combination of cool, bright colors, young,
fresh faces. If you understand what you're saying or not, is the beat of
the music. It can be played in any club in the world.
Wendi: I think the style often used in K-Pop music recalls the music I
heard growing up. It's kind of retro and has a different feel than is
now on the radio in the West. K-pop speaks to your heart, not your