Welcome to Kpoppy!
Maybe you saw Gangnam Style and wanted to dig a little deeper. Maybe you found yourself singing along to the background music on Starcraft gameplay videos. Maybe you have a friend who is crazy for Kpop and trying to convert you.
Whatever the reason, I have designed this site for the outsider and the newbie and the simply curious. It's valuable to expose yourself to all kinds of culture, whether popular or not… whether you end up liking them or not. Ideally, Kpoppy serves to inform you and little else, so that your own opinion may develop organically.
I am no expert. I don't know Korean. I didn't know Kpop existed until 2005. The content of this site is a sum of information that would have been helpful to know when I first delved in. There was no single source to get me started on what would become an odd sort of hobby. Kpoppy is an easily-digestible guide towards understanding what Kpop is about. It provides a broad view of the industry, and of course, the music. If you want music and only music, try one of these three links below. If you'd like to dip a toe into Korean culture and the music industry, read on and navigate through the pages at your leisure.
KP101 : The Basics
South Korea is one of a gazillion Asian countries.
South Korea is not North Korea.
North Korea is the temperamental dictatorship that believes it is still at war with the world. Its leaders care more about their missiles and egos than taking care of their own starving people.
(I am now banned from Pyongyang)
This is important. They are two very different countries. South Korea is fairly small and could roughly fit inside Arizona. There are a few large cities, but the capital Seoul, is the beating heart of the country. It looks like any other dense International metropolitan city busy with life.
Koreans speak Korean; their written language is called Hangul. They eat kimchi, drink soju, sing at noraebang, and boast some of the best internet in the world. South Korea is a big exporter of electronics, robotics, and machinery. Brands like Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and Kia Motors are probably recognizable to you. Won (KRW) is their currency. Summers are hot, humid, and rainy. Winters are freezing and snowy. Education is taken extremely seriously. Students often spend all day at school and exams are intense. Television and mainstream media are packed with Kpop music programs, dramas, and variety shows, which provide relief from the daily grind of working or studying. And Starcraft tournaments, because... why not?!
Kpop (or K-pop) is technically an all-encompassing term for anything in Korean popular culture or media. Anything like food or film, fashion or literature could qualify. But the primary usage of Kpop is in regard to music. Specifically, it's the trend of highly infectious, polished, finely choreographed Idol pop, which has developed over roughly the last 15 years. This is the focus of Kpoppy, but there is a growing cache of non-Idol links if you're on the hunt for more variety in what Korean music has to offer. Take the dive and enjoy your stay!