Soooo… someone in the office is a secret K-Pop lover and I’m not going to say who it is… but it’s definitely me! I don’t think many of the other FLIPsters have had much exposure to Korean pop music beyond PSY’s iconic Gangnam Style.
Frankly, I also hadn’t had much exposure until about a year and a half ago, but look at me now; I’m way deep down the rabbit hole. *Cue faded look back into the past* It all started with one little music video, LOVE ME RIGHT, by a group called EXO.
I am in so deep that I actually just got back from seeing EXO live in concert. As much as I would have loved to, I didn’t book myself a trip to South Korea just to see a band… I did, however, take a weekend down in NYC where they were performing for their second time in North America. The concert was superb, and it is all I can think, and talk, about now, despite still not having a voice a week post-concert!
Let’s start with the basics about EXO so you’re not left COMPLETELY lost. They debuted in 2012 with 12 members making up two sub-groups EXO-K and EXO-M (Korean and Mandarin), but they perform just as EXO now, as one group. With that being said, they have also recently premiered a new sub-group of three, EXO-CBX, which puts out additional music, but that’s for another day.
Each of the 12 members auditioned individually to train with the entertainment company S.M. Entertainment – which operates as a talent agency, record label, music and concert production company – and once they became trainees, they were selected to form EXO. Currently sitting pretty at nine members and KILLING IT, EXO is one of Korea’s most successful musical groups, releasing music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese and enjoying major international success, including in North America.
They are unbelievably talented, and their success is rightfully deserved. They put in many, many, many hours of rehearsal time, for both their tremendous vocals and their sharp choreography. They bring their everything to their performances (which I can say from experience!!!) and their songs are such jams. Sure, I don’t really know what they are singing besides the few lyrics in English, but that’s not going to stop me from bopping.
Even if you don’t end up down the rabbit hole like me, I really do encourage you to take a listen, or watch a video, to get a feel for the world of K-Pop. “Life is way too short, don’t waste your time and… stop the music and listen!” I’m sure I’ll see you at their next North American concert!
If you’ve caught the K-Pop bug and want to –
fall further down the rabbit hole – learn more about this entire industry hit up Toronto K-Pop Con this weekend (May 12-14) for concerts, fanmeets, and panels.