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:
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).
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.]