“’ You can just enjoy music without understanding it. Music is a universal language,’” senior Carolina Moctezuma said, quoting South Korean singer-songwriter and rapper CL.
Moctezuma is a member of the new K-pop dance club at Carmel.
“Just because you can’t understand the words does not mean you can’t understand the meaning,” she said. “Music is something you feel, it is not something that you understand.”
Club founder Alexa Trankolova agrees. “It’s just music in another language. It’s no different than Spanish music, Russian Music, etc.,”
The new club is open to anyone, whether they enjoy K-pop or not. In fact, as K-pop’s popularity grows globally, common stereotypes and myths about the genre are being debunked.
“People in the West think of K-pop as something that’s weird and out there when it’s just music, but in Korean,” club member and junior Iyana Brunson said.
In fact, K-pop has been able to touch a large number of people globally, regardless of what their native language is.
“I like [K-pop] because of how unique and different some of the songs are compared to Western pop,” Brunson said. “With K-pop, there are songs that talk about the hardships of being LGBTQ+, as well as songs about murder mysteries, and depression.”
“K-pop music is authentic because each member helps write lyrics from their own experiences and lives,” Moctezuma said. “K-pop helped the Korean country to break away from the society norms and be more accepting and open-minded.”
Regardless of being in a different language, K-pop and Korean music go deeper than many would think. In many cases, listeners can find hope and inspiration through their messages.
“I personally enjoy K-pop because it helped me get through some tough times I was going through,” Moctezuma said. “Some K-pop songs talk about how everything is going to be ok, don’t give up, you got this. It helped me feel like I’m never alone, and I always have music with me.”
The music also brings people together.
“[K-pop] brings people together in a setting with our shared interests, being either learning the dances or discussing the music,” Brunson said. “I met one of my good friends through our love of K-pop, and if it wasn’t for K-pop, I don’t think we would be friends.”
“[Korean artists] sing songs that many people can relate to because it’s what they have been going through and have gone through and it creates a strong connection between the artist and fan,” Moctezuma said.
But why start a K-pop dance club? Well, a large part of K-pop aside from the actual music, is the dance and choreography associated with it. It too helps to express a message and tell the story of the artist(s).
“I think what makes [K-pop] unique is the members dance, and not only have back up dancers while they sing,” Trankolova said. “I like K-Pop because of how it incorporates meaning and choreography. Lots of artists also have a large storyline/plot behind their music.”
Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable change in the west’s view of K-pop, and it is being more accepted as mainstream.
“It’s music, there are songs that bopped, and of course, there are songs that flopped,” Trankolova said. “You don’t have to listen to it or participate in anything if you don’t like it, but you also don’t have to make fun of it.”