What is K-pop?

What is K-pop?

Well, according to Wikipedia:

K-pop (an abbreviation of Korean pop; Hangul: 케이팝) is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements.

“K-pop” is technically an umbrella term for popular Korean music. Some include K-Hip Hop and K-RNB when referring to K-pop, but they are technically different genres. K-pop has evolved to fuse together different elements of music so it does not limit itself to one genre.

How do K-pop groups come to be?

Well, if I’m not mistaken, it was SM Entertainment (one of the three biggest entertainment companies in South Korea) that formulated the making of K-pop groups that we are familiar with today. That includes the intense training that idols undergo before they debut.

Prior to debut in their respective groups, idols train under their companies. They are trainees, honing their skills. How long these trainees have in this pre-debut phase depends from person to person. Some debut after a month of training, some a year or more, some never debut at all. Jimin of BTS trained for a month or so, while Jihyo of Twice had been a trainee under JYP for ten years.

Sometimes, trainees are promoted prior to debut. This is to grab the public’s interest, to gain fans before the group is set to debut. Pre-debut BTS uploaded covers (song and dance), some groups have dramas to introduce the members (Astro, SF9, etc.), and the company may choose to debut the group through a survival program (Twice, Monsta X, iKON, Winner, etc.). (see: Idol Survival Programs)

What happens in idol survival programs is that the final team is usually not already decided. Trainees compete for a spot in the final line-up. Some idol programs aare to decide which group of trainees are ready for debut, or which members of an already formed group will debut. It depends on the concept of the show.

Recent idol survival programs have included former idols whose groups have disbanded/are struggling.

More Than Music

K-pop idols are known for doing more than just singing and dancing in sync. Some are actors, some host TV shows. Many star in variety shows. They are multi-talented people.

It is not uncommon for idols to venture into acting. Some receive praise, some criticism for their portrayal of characters in dramas or movies. Notable idol actors/actresses are:

  • (former) AfterSchool Uee
  • Astro Cha Eunwoo
  • BTOB Sungjae
  • BTS V
  • Exo D.O
  • Got7 Jinyoung
  • Miss A Suzy
  • SS501 ~forgot the name but he’s the guy who plays Jihoo in Boys Over Flowers
  • Super Junior Siwon
  • ZE:A Siwan
  • ZE:A Hyungsik

So, basically, K-pop is more of an industry than a genre of music. K-pop groups tend to do a variety of musical genres, which makes it difficult to really define the term.



This is a fangirl post and does not necessarily contain accurate information. If you’re looking to write a school requirement on K-pop, I suggest not to use my articles bc I’m not exactly reliable. lol I’m only pointing this out bc I did a paper on k-pop and it’s hard to find reliable sources. I’ll try to link some good articles when I find some.


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