How I Got into K-Pop Part I

[Part I | Part II | Part III]

I’ve now met a couple of online bloggers who are and have been k-pop fans much longer than I have. In fact, while this industry is still growing globally and most people in my circle (aside from my daughter and her friends and one other adult friend) have never heard of BTS or EXO (other than from myself), I feel like I’m actually behind in the scene!

The only thing I have going for me – I started listening to k-pop BEFORE the big BBMA win for BTS. And while I did mention about how k-pop started taking over our house, I didn’t really talk about how I, personally, discovered k-pop other than just to learn what my teen was into (in order to show interest in her passion).

The thing is, she was way more into EXO at first – BTS was a secondary group with her then favorite BTS hit single, I Need U.

Did I like this song? Yes. Was I crazy about it? Not at the time. I am now. But here’s the catch and this is just me, personally. I’m not into as much ‘slow or mellow’ music. Never try to impress me with a ballad, for example, whenever introducing me to a new music group/artist.

I love mellow music, I really do. To grab my attention, however, fast-pace and energy is what feeds my soul. Still – my teen liked it so, like a good parent, I went to iTunes and made the purchase.

Then, I started to branch out on YouTube. At first, I’m sure I was checking out more EXO songs because that was her passion at the time. I did search also for top k-pop 2017 songs, etc. I mean, damn. You get a lot of info from YouTube alone.

Lo-and-behold… BTS popped up. A lot. So I started to click on one video. Then another. And another. Before I knew it, I was going down that rabbit hole. Before I knew it, it didn’t take me many clicks to realize what they had to offer. Not long after, I was back in my iTunes, purchasing a several more songs (mostly BTS). THAT’s how it all started.

Below were the first five BTS songs I discovered, in the exact order.

1) I Need U:

2) Dope:

3) Boy In Luv: Note – I added the Choreography version rather than the music video (I was uncomfortable with the way they pushed the girl into the locker to get her attention; I think it played into a lot of fan-girl fantasies of having the guy take control but… well, I just wasn’t comfortable with it).

4) FIRE:

5) Blood Sweat & Tears:

I think I was lucky in how I started to listen to BTS’ work. I was introduced to such different songs from their different eras, spanning over the past few years and now, bringing me to their current comeback releases. I also think my discovery from one song to the next was an amazing build up because FIRE & Blood Sweat & Tears are thus far one of my favorites. I can’t really say I like one over the other because they differ too much from one another.

Anyway, that’s how my personal journey started. As much as I enjoy other k-pop groups/songs, I don’t think I would have been into the whole subculture as much if it hadn’t been for BTS holding my interest firmly and rooted into this interesting world I’m now exposed to.

[SIDE NOTE: Man, they look so different from the Boy In Luv and even Dope era to Blood Sweat & Tears. I admit it’s hard for me to watch these really early videos because the maknae line is so… baby-ish! Haha! Talent was still there but you can tell they’re more grown-up now. I mean, Jungkook’s voice has dropped since Boy In Luv. Thank god for that – he sounds so much better now. Jimin has lost his baby fat in his cheeks and V/Taehyung looks better now, too.]

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20 ml More

So it was a Friday evening – September 29th, to be exact. We met at The Loose Moose for after work dinner and drinks.

While waiting for RV, I took a look at their wine list. They had three options as far as quantity for the red wine I was eyeing. 5 oz, 8 oz of 1/2 a litre.

I leaned forward to Tai and asked, “Hey… I’m going to have two 8 oz glasses anyway. Is that around the same amount as 1/2 a litre? Would I be better off just getting the 1/2 litre?”

Tai pulls out his unit converter app, “Let me check…”

I wait.

“Oh yeah! You’re saving yourself $2! Annnd… you’re getting 20 ml more wine!”

“20 ml more?”

“Yeah! Hey – that’s an extra sip worth!”

So yeah… I got the 1/2 litre.

Tai’s logic was very, well, logical. How could I dispute it?

BTS Mic Drop

I have nothing really to write about as far as my life, currently. But I did want to just add this BTS live performance of Mic Drop because it is crazy good! Good song, good choreography and just overall a really good performance!

There are so many elements I love about how BTS raised the bar up from just this one song alone…

0:22 – 0:45 : J-Hope is just so badass here. Even before he starts rapping where he continues his badass-ness. Honestly, I can’t describe it in mere words. All I can say is after watching his intro, he’s my new hero.

1:40 : Jimin does this body/hip shake that reminds me of Bollywood. I love it! Any world influence when it comes to music/dance, always catches my attention. It means the band isn’t afraid to be open and try new things.

2:03 : Jimin leading this sequence where he leans to his left and bobs while circling his arms in the same direction. Everyone else follows in sequence. This is my favorite part of the choreo.

2:15 : Epic Rapmon entrance. And he keeps going with such fierceness I think he’s about to bust through the screen! I love the way he punches the air to emphasize his rapping.

2:37 : Jungkook, always the hard-working maknae. During this whole comeback, I really feel like all his hard work has paid off. In this part of the dance sequence, V joins in and they both just rock that stage together!

3:33 : Jin gets his moment in here too. And I’m glad because he really brings out this slow-bit of the song with his vocals. In fact, as much as I like Jungkook, it’s nice that this song didn’t focus as much on him (something I find happens often). I felt it was an even distribution of all their parts together. As my daughter points out, they are pros in how they transition from one member to another during their choreo and I couldn’t agree more!

3:40 : Lets talk about V for just a bit. One thing that always impresses me is how he can bring such animated facial expressions to the plate. He does not disappoint during this performance.

4:08 : Suga. Mic. Drop. Enough said. 🙂

Confessions No. 14 – Black Sheep of the Family

Maybe it’s because from the get-go, my MIL pushed her ideas on me about the norm of a proper wife and mother. Maybe it’s because, as much as I do care about them, I find them so much more conservative than I am that I feel suffocated after visiting them for a mere two days.

Maybe I’m just a shit-disturber. And I enjoy seeing people squirm.

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RED!

When my 13-year old daughter used semi-permanent red hair dye I couldn’t help but take a photo (making sure it was in sunlight to really bring out the red) and email it out to my in-laws.  I included an image of one of her k-pop biases, too. Because her red sort of matched his. And he’ll be every image of not-conservative, bad-ass (to them) and just all wrong for them. And because I’ve been annoyed that they’ve treated her like a little girl, not listening to me to stop buying her children’s clothes that are childish and pastel, I just wanted to shove it down their throats… she’s NOT a baby anymore.

She’s an individual. She’s becoming her own person. And if they want to remain close with her, it’s better to accept it. Embrace it! And enjoy this time because it won’t last long. In a blink of an eye she will be an adult. She will really then being living her own life. And it’s better to try and get to know her as she goes through so many changes because this is, I feel, a critical part of her development of who she will become later down the road.

Is this Becoming a K-pop Blog?

I swear, I never imagined I would be posting about K-pop THIS much. Though, it’s mainly my fascination with BTS. Here’s the thing… While they are not the first K-pop band I tried out (because of my daughter), they ARE the first band I’ve experienced a K-Pop come-back with. And what a crazy comeback! With record breaking views on YouTube and top 20 iTune & Amazon sales for their latest album Love Yourself, I can feel the energy from this entire process.

With their latest come back release, DNA, I did not anticipate how much went into the hype. Not that it was just fluff-hype. I was actually really impressed with the marketing and teasers! With different concept photos and teaser videos – they know how to keep their fans on edge.

I just have one question – do they ever stop? Do they ever take a break? These K-pop idols sound like they have exhausting lives. Not only are they learning the new songs, the new choreography, practicing, going on a variety of Korean TV shows, performing come back shows, going on International Tours as well as Korean/Asian concerts, participating like crazy on Social Media on their spare time, but I’ve learned they take part in some of the production of the songs, writing lyrics, etc.

It’s insane to think some of them are still finishing university and when they were a trainee, they still had to focus on graduating high school. For these idols, they haven’t had a ‘normal’ life since they were 15 years old.