How to de-stress? Be a K-POP FAN
Everyone has those moments where you just want to be free of all the stress and be relaxed.
As an Asian, I have been very much familiar of the Korean music since I was in grade school, but the songs I have been listening to are mainly Korean drama soundtracks then I met CNBLUE and FTISLAND. But, basically it is because of CNBLUE, I got REALLY into Korean Pop Music which is odd because they basically under the K-ROCK genre (which I would rather not dwell). It was because of my friends who are huge K-POP fans that I am still enjoying KPOP until this day.
Usually, when it comes to music, I stick to one group - that's how loyal I am. I am Taylor Swift fan (swiftie for more than 10 years already). When it comes to KPOP, you really to be ready - ready to meet so many groups and enjoy their music.
I know KPOP has been slowly introduced to the US and to the rest of the world, thanks to the efforts of BIGBANG, EXO, BTS, SNSD, 2NE1, and many more.
How do you become a KPOP fan, really? Should I say, how did I become a K-POP fan?
1. Watch Korean Drama (K-Drama)
Although, I have friends who are huge K-POP fans but not really into K-Drama. But, for me, I was a K-drama fan first before getting into K-Pop. If you want to start at this step, let me know, I have a long list of K-drama recommendations. One my favorite pastimes is watching movies or binge-watch TV series, that's why I could easily get hooked into Korean drama. While watching, you could really get into deep because of the soundtrack which later on you will search on google which is hard because it's not like you could google the lyrics because then, how would you know the lyrics without 'google-ing' the song first right? Them from 'google-ing' it, you'd see the lyrics in Hangul (Korean Alphabet) and it's Romanized form, plus the English translation (which for a non-Korean speaker/reader, very beneficial. Some fans became one after watching a K-drama because some of these K-Pop idols are actually actors at the same time. Like I know some friends who became BTS fans after watching Kim Taehyung or V on the K-Drama "Hwarang."
2. Watch a K-Pop Video
As for me, it all started with one video which my friend showed me. Then, fast forward 2017, I am typing this listening to Red Velvet's "You Better Know." My friend showed me a video of Girls' Generation and of EXO. Then, when I went back home, I find myself downloading their videos and singing along just uttering the words that I believe sounds like the words they were saying. From one YouTube video, another one would pop and you just could not stop. It is that addicting and for the fact that you could not even understand them or pronounce what they were saying. I have a long list of K-Pop videos to watch to jumpstart this journey. This is basically the most important step into becoming a K-Pop fan, whether you are watching a music video, performance video, a live performance video, a dance practice or a fan-compiled video.
3. Watch a Korean Variety Show
I am quite fascinated that I am surrounded by friends who are just K-Drama fans, just K-Pop fans, just K-variety show fans, and friends who just love everything that I just mentioned. This popular variety show called "Weekly Idol," invites K-Idols and gives them a chance to introduce themselves to the public and they make them do these funny things like for example "Random Dance" where they have to dance the correct choreography while their songs are being randomly played for a prize, most of the time, the prize is not CASH, but FOOD, you know, like MEAT? Sometimes, you just randomly see these videos on Youtube, then you realize it is quote funny, and you get to ask yourself, who are these people? Or shows like 'Running Man' which is by far the most popular variety show in Korea. They invite K-actors and K-idols to do the funny, unique and interesting challenges, some who are just fans of the show do not usually wonder who the guests are, but if they spot someone, then it's a different story. This is like a trap because there is really no going back after this.
4. Google Them
Whether you watched K-drama or a K-Pop video, one does not just proceed without searching for them on google. Some would start on Youtube like, "who's the one 3:01?" Then a fan would answer, "that's Chanyeol," and so forth. You can also just search on Google, "EXO Members Profiles," and trust me, you will not be disappointed. Once you know their names, you do all of the above over again. Once you know they have a K-drama, you watch all of them, once you know they were guests on this particular show, you look for it online. Then, you will always have Youtube or Daily Motion to give you videos with subtitles.
5. Know the K-Pop Terms
It is important to know these terms when you enter the K-Pop world because you would read or hear about it most of the time. Like for example, aegyo (or being cute or cuteness), sasaeng (obsessed fans), daebak (awesome), oppa (a girl calling an older man a big brother or if that person is just plain handsome), unnie (a girl calling an older woman), hyung/noona (a boy calling an older man and woman respectively), sunbae (seniors), hoobae (juniors), maknae (youngest in the group), stan (actively following a kpop group), CF (commercial film), bias (your favorite idol), and of course, fighting (you can do it!). There are still tons that I failed to mention but, you will just be familiar to them as time goes by.
6. Follow them on Social Media (and follow K-Pop news sites like Soompi)
You like their official page on Facebook, you subscribe at their channel on Youtube, you follow them on their official twitter account, on Weibo or on Instagram.
You wait for their updates especially if they have an upcoming comeback shows. Without following them, how then would you know?
7. Connect with K-friends (through Fandoms)
Chingu (친구) means friend in Korean. It has been said that when both of you "stan" a particular group, you automatically become friends. It is fun to know that it is not just you who enjoy stuff like these, you get to update each other every time a video comes out and you talk about your ultimate bias and send out gifs. You work so hard to vote for your favorite group or increase the number of views on their new music video.
EXO has EXO-Ls, BTS has ARMYs, Seventeen has CARATs, GOT7 has iGOT7, DAY6 has MYDAY, BLACKPINK have BLINKS you name it. But, trust me, most fandoms have toxic members but setting it aside, it is fun to get along with them.
Now, you are all set. Enjoy this journey and save up to watch that next K-Pop concert in your area or buy that new album.
Thanks for reading!