Getting myself educated?

  • I recently moved to Korea and while being here my look on kpop has totally changed and I wish former me would have known these things:


    - Kpop is really not that big in Korea. I live in a city with 300 000 people... and there is NOT even ONE kpop/album store. Only the big convenience store has 5 albums (2 wannabe Itzy albums and 3 X1 albums) and even while being in Seoul I had to find a store on Naver map because I just couldn't come across one.

    Further, nobody seems to be talking about kpop at all. My Korean friends all feel very indifferent, they once asked me if I knew bts but when doing karaoke, not one song was a kpop song.


    - Fans don't have to speak Korean. Yes, I really felt before if you didn't even try, you weren't really a fan. I have been studying Korean in university for 3 months. I have to admit, I go 3x times as fast as my classes because I also have a private tutor, but studying Korean is hard and you need to put a lot of effort into it. So no, now I don't think speaking or not speaking Korean makes you less of a fan. Some people aren't that bright to do it and even then it takes sooo much effort. I only have respect if you try to study/be fluent in it.


    - You don't need to like every group for any reason. All my groups are mid-tier groups. Before I really felt the pressure to follow all groups, listen to every single comeback, and like every single group. I came to realize it is not needed. I don't need to put time in groups I don't like. I don't need to listen to every song. You can just follow what group you like. That brings me to my next point.


    - Liking only one group is not less cool, or wrong. I really thought like this before. Brutally honest. I just hated army that only liked bts and didn't have any interest in other groups. I found it annoying disrespectful and boring. (non-kpop warning) Now I really like måneskin. If you don't know them they are a rock band from Italy (linked) and I recently fell in love with them. So I actually searched for more rock bands, rock music. But I realized I don't like the genre that much, and if you ask me do you like rock? I will say no, just maneskin thank you. So I want to apologize to all army I cursed at in my head. You do you :) It is not my business anyway.


    - How much merch you have doesn't make you more of a fan. For about two years I spend a TON of money on kpop. I have a comfortable living so I spend at least 200-500 euro (270 000 won - 670 000 won / 245 usd - 612 usd) each month which was a crazy amount for a one day/week working student. I had no money at any time because it immediately went to kpop merch (albums, lightsticks, photobooks,...). I have stopped with that bad habit and it feels good to have money. Now I spend around 20-50 euro a month on kpop depending if my faves made a comeback or not. So no have 5000 albums or 20 doesn't matter as much. After everything I have my favorite item is a Treasure blanket. It is soft practical and I love blankets :)


    - Promise the last point. Kpop isn't that serious. Your life shouldn't be only about kpop, your ults, your bias,... Live your life. When stanning kpop I became so narrow-minded. When starting to like maneskin I was just shocked how open they were and how human they were. They laugh, they cry, they joke around, they smoke, they drink alcohol, they have plenty of tattoos, talking about their sex life like we are their partners, they date, they kiss any gender, even the female bassist had half-naked photoshoots when she was 18. Yes, they are the extreme of the spectrum, they are like 70s/80s rockers (minus the drugs) and then I realized how suffocating (some) fans are. Kpop idols never have the chance to be themselves to not stir any drama, issues and I honestly just feel bad now. They are normal people like all of us but still, we treat them like some god/goddess that are well behaved and never does anything wrong. At this point, I just would like them to be more human, to be able to speak their minds, to be themselves,... (not that they have to smoke or such, but I hope you understand?)


    Sorry I don't know if this more of a statement I tried to make or more of a rant. What do you agree with and what do you not agree with and are there any things you learned over the years, months,...you wish you knew earlier?


    (THERE IS NO HATE TO ANY PARTICULAR GROUP, SORRY IF I MADE YOU FEEL THIS WAY)

  • agree but that was always my stance :D


    people shouldn't be judged if they listen to only one artist in a genre. maneskin is a great example of that. i don't know if you listened to them before eurovision :) but rock usually doesn't do well there, gp always favours other genres. but this year they liked a rock song and voted for it. i assume lots of new fans (me included) aren't into rock at all and after their win, they gave their discography a try and liked it. one more example rammstein. lots of their fans aren't into industrial metal/metal at all but like them.


    don't force yourself to like something, you either click with it or don't.

  • Sounds like common sense, but I know it's not for everyone :pepelove1:

    Kpop isn't a job, isn't a relationship. Kpop should be fun, and if it's not, you're doing it wrong.

  • Agree with everything. I mean I have no clue about your first part, never been to Korea but the other points.

    The language. I love watching Korean variety shows but some of them just doesn’t get subbed so I decided years ago to try to learn it. Got a proper language book...and got stuck after the simple basic. It’s haaaaard. It’s way too hard to do it alone without a teacher so I gave up. But 12+ years watching variety shows and I can recognize basic sentences so if a sub is not out for a show I watch I understand the general meaning and that’s enough for me.

    I also agree with the money part. I was never a person who liked to spend money so I don’t buy merch. I bought my first album this time because...I felt it was important to me to buy this one album. Until now I was fine with digitals. And that’s not gonna change.

    And also yes to the last point. I would love to see them being themselves but unfortunately with the fan culture that’s not possible.

  • Many good points. But I hope many of us here don’t have to move to Korea to learn these lessons.


    Kpop is fun and if you’re not having fun and stressed because of fan wars, charting and arguments, it means you’re taking it a little bit too seriously. Step back and stop making everything about you or your idol/s.


    Thanks for sharing!

  • agree but that was always my stance :D


    people shouldn't be judged if they listen to only one artist in a genre. maneskin is a great example of that. i don't know if you listened to them before eurovision :) but rock usually doesn't do well there, gp always favours other genres. but this year they liked a rock song and voted for it. i assume lots of new fans (me included) aren't into rock at all and after their win, they gave their discography a try and liked it. one more example rammstein. lots of their fans aren't into industrial metal/metal at all but like them.


    don't force yourself to like something, you either click with it or don't.

    I am happy you like Maneskin now. I just discovered them because of eurovision. I know not everyone is a fan of the festival but for me I like how it opens doors for different genres, cultures,... sometimes people like it, sometimes they don't and it is fine.

  • Sounds like common sense, but I know it's not for everyone :pepelove1:

    Kpop isn't a job, isn't a relationship. Kpop should be fun, and if it's not, you're doing it wrong.

    I think because I have pretty very much grown up with kpop, and there is a lot of (loud) not so good examples I got carried away, luckily I got back with my feet on the ground~~

  • Many good points. But I hope many of us here don’t have to move to Korea to learn these lessons.


    Kpop is fun and if you’re not having fun and stressed because of fan wars, charting and arguments, it means you’re taking it a little bit too seriously. Step back and stop making everything about you or your idol/s.


    Thanks for sharing!

    I also hope that many of us don't have to move to Korea to learn this. I personally am in Korea but I think any other country would have worked too? Except for the first point, it is pretty much about me getting ripped away from old habits, seeing the world and myself in a different way and it made me realize a lot of things.


    I am happy to be able to share it~

  • Hi Bibblessss


    I enjoyed to read your short Story. Thanks!


    What are your favorite groups / solo artists now?

    Happy you enjoyed it ^^


    I have a hard time pointing out which groups I like now more than just the music. But this pretty long list seems to sum up all the groups I enjoy listening to. (I decided to put a little ♡ next to the groups I just like a little bit more.)


    e'last
    exo
    ikon
    nct
    onf
    onlyoneof
    p1harmony
    pentagon
    sf9
    the rose
    treasure ♡
    verivery
    victon
    wayv
    winner

    brown eyed girls
    cherry bullet
    fromis_9
    girl's day
    girl's generation ♡
    red velvet
    rocket punch

    weeekly

  • I have the feeling that K-pop was more popular and impactful among normal, common Koreans in 2nd gen era than it is these days.


    For example, in 2009, the majority of the annual Top 20 songs on South Korea's music charts happened to be K-pop songs from a wide, diverse range of K-pop groups.


    Nowadays, K-pop might be far more widespread globally than it was in 2nd gen era, but I have the feeling that in South Korea K-pop and K-pop groups collectively have less popularity and make less of an impact among the Korean general public than they did back then, in 2nd gen era.

    'No more shall man have wings to bear him to paradise. Henceforth, he shall walk.'

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