Ever since Psy's Gangnam Style went viral, everyone now knows about K-Pop, and K-Pop artists are gaining popularity overseas like never before. Still don't know what K-Pop actually means? Well it's shorthand for Korean Pop (there's also J-Pop, for Japanese Pop) and it is a massive phenomenon in South Korea and throughout the East Asia region. K-Pop and J-Pop bands have millions of die-hard fans and put those try hards (*cough* One Direction!) to shame.
So, what makes a K-Pop or J-Pop band? They must have a) exceptionally fabulous hair that defies the laws of gravity b) cute, non-threatening baby faces that make fans go "awww..." and c) possess either a "cutesy quirky" or "punk lite" dress code. Basically, they have everything a person wants in a pop group. (And who doesn't want someone with fabulous hair, great clothes and dreamy eyes serenading them? Sigh...)
But apart from the pop-tastic fun of their music what I really love about these bands is their style. They have the edge on any Western group where it comes to the level of creativity in their music videos and photo shoots. The amount of daring and fun they seem to have with their clothes and hairstyles is just plain awesome, and puts that impostor Justin Bieber to shame. Really kiddo, you call that good hair?! Pfft. And would you ever see One Direction in pastel coloured suits, angel wings or big band uniforms? I don't think so!
I've put together a little montage of my favourite groups- they all create some seriously catchy music, have the coolest videos and rock some seriously awesome fashion ensembles!
And what would a K-Pop feature be without some actual music? Here are my fave video picks:
Perfume: Spring of Life. Japanese girl group Perfume make the cutest videos with the best dancing! Check out their official You Tube channel for more of their gorgeous videos. Magic of Love has some particularly awesome 70's styling going on!
Big Bang: Fantastic Baby. These boys have been rocking some seriously sweet outfits, hairstyles and accessories since their debut in 2006. If you're looking for the edgiest and most creative hair styles to emulate then watch their videos! (And really, how can you not love a boy band called Big Bang?)
2NE1: I Am The Best. These gals aren't afraid to edge it up and are known for their bold hairstyles and outfits as much as their catchy hooks.
Super Junior: Sexy, Free and Single. It's not hard to see why this this nine-member boy group is so popular! They're all hot, but in a "you can take him home to see mum" kind of way, have fantastically quiffed hair and own some serious dance moves. Swoon.
If any of these songs have got you hooked, they can be found on iTunes along with all the other fantastic K-Pop and J-Pop artists that I didn't have room to mention in this post! And if you want to see more and keep up-to-date with the latest music releases then tune into SBS's PopAsia TV show and radio show. It's on SBS2 at 6pm every Saturday and every Sunday at 4pm. It's chock-full of Asian-pop awesomeness and is not to be missed!
Are you in love with any K-Pop or J-Pop artists? Which group do you think has the best style? I'd love to know!