A side outcome of my trip to San Francisco with the Samsung Imagelogger team was my introduction into the work of KPop and Hong Kong popular culture. Since you all know I'm a huge dork when it comes to what is COOL AND POPULAR, I glommed onto my new bestie, Hong Kong photographer Kar Hoo Chow, for a crash course on all things popular in Asia. This week, I'm going to school you on all that I learned. Because, really? It's so amazingly fun.
So you thought we had boy bands? You think that One Direction, The Wanted, The Jonas Brothers etc are crazy? Well, Korea puts them all to SHAME.
With large boy bands and huge girl groups, the KPop PWNED us Westerners on this front. And just like with Psy, you may not know what the hell they are saying, but you will desperately try to sing along.
This THIRTEEN member band has it all. The moves, the looks (all different for different styles!) and they were the best selling KPop band 3 years in a row. Their hottest song, "Sorry Sorry," is fun, catchy and the video is totally hilarious.
South Korea's answer to Brittany or Katy, Hyuna is an IT girl of the region. Apparently she used to be part of a girls group, and then maybe a duo? But in her break-out hit "Bubble Pop", she appears to be solo. This song has it. In fact, I'm shocked it hasn't been a bigger hit over in the States. It's kinda addicting. After watching the video, I DARE you not to sing along.
Last, but not least is the power house girls group, Girls Generation. Named one of Forbes most "powerful entertainers of South Korea" in 2011, this group sold more than 11,730,000 digital albums and singles collectively in one year. Their hit single, "Gee", about a girl falling in love for the first time, has over 101 million view on YouTube. While I definitely like the "Bubble Pop" song better, I'm guessing you don't mess with Girls Generation in South Korea.
And since I know the number question on your mind... yes, Koreans are also sick of Gangham Style. But? They do love them some Psy.