About K-Pop in Europe (an interpretation)

As it may not be common knowledge yet, I was teaching Italian secondary school students in Ireland for a month for pocket money while spending the summer here with Herself and +1. It has been fun.

Of course I explained to them that I did not actually live in Ireland, and that I was a resident of Korea (no not North, South). This got a reaction sometimes, and other times it didn’t. The students I was teaching were nice, with a decent standard of English, but I was lucky to have the higher levels, as there were other teachers who were considerably less fortunate. But anyway.

With one class the students were mostly around 17, they liked music, boys/girls, fashion, and having a good time, like most people their age. They were, for want of a better word, normal. At the end of an early class, some students came to me and asked me if I listened to K-Pop (note: they didn’t ask if I knew it), but they gave me an appropriately skeptical look as they asked me. In their defence I think they were looking for a way to start a conversation.

Well, anyway, it turns out they were familiar with all the hit makers, and they were particularly fond of Shinee (or however the fuck you spell it). I wretched, naturally. “No, you don’t like it?” they asked. I shook my head with pursed lips and explained about the noise pollution and saturation in Korea. They looked like they understood.

“Well”, said one, “I like it. It’s fun. I mean I don’t love it. It’s fun. It’s something to listen to. But, like my favourite band is Muse, so… “. I think she was hoping I wouldn’t judge her too harshly. And we left it at that.

I suppose because I am not left with K-Pop burnt ears that I can approach this subject with a mature outlook. What I got from this exchange was that, yeah we know it’s poppy manufactured crap but it’s got a certain amount of quirkiness to it that makes it different from the usual manufactured pop crap. Which I can recognise from a musical perspective.

What’s also emerged from this thought process was that, you know the way you see those programmes in Korea showing millions and millions of European kids going to a K-Pop showcase in Paris or wherever, the reason why people are excited is because they’re at a concert and concerts are exciting, and people will say anything when a camera is put in their face when they’re excited.

Anyway, maybe I’ll look a little more favourably on the K-Pop in Europe thing as something musically different, and that’s why people listen to it, for a change, and because it’s fun. Which I suppose it is when you aren’t subjected to listening to it all the fucking time.

From this lesson maybe I’ll try to be less of a cynic. Actually that won’t happen. Maybe I’ll be more mature in my cynicism. Perhaps.

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3 thoughts on “About K-Pop in Europe (an interpretation)

  1. I love this post on several levels. 1) the title struck me as very interesting, I’ve had the impression from earlier posts–you are not into KPOP (confirmed above-love your “tags”) Your style of writing really makes me happy. after a long day in my fucking cubical (I wanted to bring the word cubical home) it’s nice to check out the blogosphere and read something that makes me smile. 2) I am American-live in a small California town where COUNTRY is what people are referring to when they say MUSIC, yet I have fallen for KPOP for all the reasons you mention above. 3) I also share similar feelings about it’s “popiness” and I find most of it quirky enough to really get hooked. I am outside the age bracket for their normal fans…but I feel music is not age or gender specific. Like art you love it or hate it and it’s value changes from person to person. I really agree about the “concert effect” I have experienced it (recently.) 4) I love to hear about people (okay, kids) and their love (like) for KPOP. It has actually made me feel younger! It just makes husband scratch his head and occasionally ask me to turn it down. If SHINee is not your cup o tea, how about giving Roy Kim a try, trust me. http://youtu.be/Yfkolh96-rc thanks–you’re awesome, oops I mean fucking awesome. sorry for my extra long reply.

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    • No need to apologise for the length of your reply!

      Personally I have no time for the genre of music. I’d sooner walk out of a shop that stand there browsing if the music were playing. So that will tell you how often I go shopping – and I do actually like to go shopping, provided there are clothes I like and sizes available (again, Korea, sorry, you lose).

      Anything that doesn’t qualify as the over-glorified annoying pop-tastic nonsense is grand by me. Music is an industry and every act that makes it has been groomed for success in some manner or form, be it a choreographer or ten years of experience in dirty clubs.

      Anyway, thanks for the kind comments 🙂

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      • Ahh…thank for that. I am sure it’s a music genre..I mean the only genre they play anywhere. I totally get the Korean size thing. LOL I recently went to Los Angeles..and while there went to Koreatown and to a mall…I purchased a messenger bag that fit fine again…lol, but in a shoe store I asked if they had a 39 and the girls looked at each other, puzzled and said they only had sizes up to a 37. In my head I said….OF COURSE! In the future should I consider moving to SK to teach English….I better be prepared to only shop for hats, purses and music. Once again—I find your human delightful. Keep posting!

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