K-pop 101: #17 music genres edition

by: Jeffrey posted: 3 years ago



Dear readers and patients,


Over the last few entries of K-pop 101 I have covered a variety of music genres. In this last post regarding music genres of K-pop, you might find some strange ones. Some of you might think some of these music videos don’t fall under the K-pop genre, but this is debatable. Because does K-pop mean Korean pop or Korean populair music? I will let you be the judge of that.

Jazz: Girls’ generation TTS – Oh my god

As you might suspect Girls’ generation TTS is a sub-unit of Girls’ generation. The sub-unit consists of the 3 main vocalists of the group Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun. As such the music the trio brings out is of an entire different level than what they normally do with the rest of the group. Not saying the rest are bad singers, but I don’t see them pulling of songs like “Oh my god”. It’s a jazz inspired song that shows their experience as seasoned singers. There are only a few groups out there that can pull of a song like this.


Big band: IU – The red shoes

IU is the master of music genres. It’s difficult to classify most of her music. Since her debut she has released songs in a great deal of genres. She has started her music career at the very young age of 15. 2010 was her breakthrough year that gave her national stardom. That year she released her single “Good day” and it currently holds the title as song with the most number of weeks at number 1, together with Psy’s “Gangnam style”. During this period she gained the nickname Korea’s “Little sister”. Imagine the shock that 5 years later she was revealed to be dating the 11 years older singer Chang Kiha. They had been dating for 2 years already when the news came out.


Trot: Hong Jin Young – Thumb up

The next 3 music genres that will talk about, you will probably find a bit questionable. The first one is Trot. Trot may be seen as a genre of it’s own, but it is recognized as the oldest form of Korean pop music. The genre exists since the early 1900s. It’s popularity declined around 1980s, but has since been revived by artists such as Big bang’s Deasung and Hong Jin Young. Her greatest hit is “Love battery” and she promotes it like crazy. Whenever I see her on a show she, or the other people on the show, never fail to mention the song. Her song “Thumb up” is her latest release.


Metal: Inlayer – Mindjack

You probably think I’m joking right now. Metal part of K-pop? It certainly isn’t, but I still wanted to put this group on this list. Why? Because of my metal roots. Yes people, I was a metalhead before I became a fan of K-pop. And reading through the comments of this music video it seems I am not the only one. There are a ton of K-pop fans who previously were a fan of metal and some still are. I really don’t get the connection between them, even though I am one of the people who got into K-pop while I was a metalhead. Maybe it’s the bombastic nature of both the music styles that connects the two.


Reggae: HaHa – Rosa

Fans of actual reggea might be offended if they hear me calling this song reggea. I really don’t know anything about the music genre, but apparently HaHa is a big fan of it. Many mistake HaHa for a comedian as he gained popularity with international fans through the show Running man and appearances in many other variety shows. What most people don’t know is that he started out in a boy band called Z-kiri, although this group was short lived. Most of his musical success has come from his collaboration with Skull as the duo “Skull & HaHa”. Both are big fans of reggea and have since collaborated with some well known reggea artists like the son of Bob Marley.


That concludes the music genres of K-pop series. If you missed any in the series you can click on the link below to see the previous post. Leave a comment if you want to share any other significant genres I might have missed.


Yours sincerely,


Dr. Hallyu

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