K-Pop History


Nowadays, most people heard about K-Pop. Without a doubt, K-Pop has become a global phenomenon entertaining youth worldwide. If you still not familiar with K-Pop, you can start with this newly released music video of BTS (방탄소년단 in Korean).

K-Pop gained popularity in the early 90’s. The group Seo Taiji and Boys pioneered the K-Pop culture with a fusion of American rap and Korean lyrics. They defied the status quo at the time, by merging different cultures of music. Their style was defined as a mix of hip hop and new jack swing. Enjoy one of the most popular music in the 90s below.

Their success helped birth many other groups such as H.O.T that had its debut in 1996. It comprised of 5 good looking male singers who could also dance. This created a trend in the upcoming groups as the most had similar characteristics of having a particular style, looks and charisma creating sounds like hip hop B.A.P.

Apart from some girl groups such as Fin.K.L and S.E.S, K-Pop was tend to be a bit male dominated. This changed in the early 2000’s when girl groups became more and more popular revealing mega star Kwon Bo-Ah also known as the K-Pop Queen. She has since released over 20 albums. She also paved the way for many upcoming girl groups such as the SNSD who were feminine in a glamorous way drawing many young girls attention.

In 2009, their catchy tune ‘Gee’ became a worldwide sensation. Their international success helped the Wonder Girls also achieve their international success. A notable milestone in Wonder Girls’ career is being the opening act for the Jonas Brothers in 2009 alongside Jordin Sparks.

Together with many glorious girl groups, 2NE1 dominated the industry with an edgy, confident sound with their song ‘I am the best’ in 2011. The Western audience really gravitated to their ‘rebel’ image increasing the popularity.

This paved way for the powerful girl groups, such as Blackpink’s rise.

‘Gangnam Style’ by Psy was a worldwide party anthem in 2012. Almost all corners of the world learnt the dance to this catchy tune. This was just a taste of what was to come from K-Pop.

BTS is by far the most successful group from Korea. The group of seven male singers have surpassed both Korean and global expectations. 2018 was a significant year in their career. Their songs from the album ‘Love yourself’, ‘Tear’ and ‘Answer’ debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart in May and September respectively. In June of the same year the Time magazine named them one of the 25 most influential people in the internet. Their internet fan base is unmatched and they have used this platform to create awareness to mental health, injustice and politics. In 2020, through their online fan base, they were able to disrupt a political rally in the US and also forge forward the Black Lives Matter movement. Also, their fandom has attracted numerous western collaborators, from Halsey to Zara Larsson to Charli XCX, further propelling BTS’s pop domination beyond Korea.

This is only a brief touch of K-Pop! Try our playlists and let us know your favourite K-Pop idols!