When we began working on this series of primers on Korean pop music, we got a bunch of looks. Some were interested and keen to see what we’re doing. Some were, well, puzzled. “I thought you preferred indie?” some went. “Why are you tackling this obviously manufactured genre?” Well, on this week’s installment of How to Collect Korean Pop Music – the final one – we look at Korean indie acts. Yes, underneath the flash of the pop groups and the feels of the OSTs, there are lots of acts toiling away, doing their thing, and getting some attention for it.
Of course, K-pop isn’t all about the groups. For one, some members of some groups leave to go solo. Some start solo and then join groups. And some, well, some stay solo. You get the idea. So, in this week’s installment of How to Collect Korean Pop Music, we look at the many solo and duo acts that dot the K-pop landscape. Much like the boy and girl groups, their sound runs the gamut from straightforward ballads to edgy hip-hop, and some soloists have become big successes around the world.
A similarly daunting task stares down at us in this week’s installment of How to Collect Korean Pop Music: the girl groups. To our advantage, this means something far more up Rainy’s alley, which means we don’t have to rack our heads thinking of acts worth putting here. (Let this be an apology to the people who told us we missed out on a critical boy group, TVXQ, who are arguably the K-pop scene’s first boy group to amass the following we’d later see with Super Junior and Exo. Yes, we know, we know.)
We’re done with the backgrounder and we’ve given you the must-haves, so this week on How To Collect Korean Pop Music, we dig deep – well, deep-ish; you know our usual disclaimers – into the subsets of K-pop. Today, we begin with, well, the boy groups. And let’s be clear: when we say “boy groups” we don’t just mean the One Direction types who look good and sing in harmonies – although there are a lot of those in K-pop. Of course. There wouldn’t be a very big following if not for that, right?