Hello to Kpop
The most common question people ask when they meet other kpop fans:
How did you get into kpop?
For me, I wasn’t introduced to kpop right away. What do I mean by that? Read on my friends!
When I was growing up, my older brothers exposed to me anime, back when they were only available on VHS (only 90s kids would know, lol). All throughout elementary school, junior high and beginning of high school, anime was all I knew. I was kind of a gamer back then too (Final Fantasy 7 FTW).
It was 2003 when I heard of Inuyasha. I was drawn to the song Every Heart in the ending credits and found out that the artist was BoA. Every Heart was (and still is) SO good so I looked up her other songs and music videos with the limited resources I had. YouTube didn’t exist yet and the internet was not what it is today. Heck, it was hard to download music, at least with decent quality (who remembers Napster and Limewire?). This was why I didn’t know anything or anyone beyond BoA. I only knew of her Japanese songs then, not knowing that she was actually Korean. That explains why some of her Japanese songs had Korean versions (which were really the original versions, DUH). She was my idol y’all.
In college, I was introduced to music shows like Music Bank and Inkigayo and from there, I discovered other artists, like Lee Hyori and DBSK and later on BIGBANG. By this time, YouTube was made available but not a lot of videos weren't. I had to rely on downloading torrents to watch episodes or videos (same goes for kdramas!). It was a real struggle being a kpop fan back then!
Anyhow, you can say that BoA was my gateway to kpop. Discovering her Japanese songs led me to her Korean songs. Meeting other kpop fans also helped me in discovering other artists as well. I was so happy to have met some during college! I always felt like the odd one out in my circle of friends because they didn't share the same interests.
So, how did you guys get into kpop?
Hi, thank you so much for the thoughtful article! It made me realize the hardships that my classmates and friends must had endured throughout middle school to watch animes and kdramas. As for me, I got into kpop two years ago after my friend played “War on Bangtan” and loved the song immediately! Before that, I was shown by friends video of CL performing at her concert, and I recognized EXO in Korean bookstores. I was even introduced to Sumni, after one of the creators of “Steven Universe” revealed the character Ruby having the same emotions as Sumni does in “24 Hours.” Nonetheless, nothing ever resonated with me. Therefore, I would say it is not by coincidence or luck that the Bangtan boys achieved what they have done so in the west. While I was exposed to kpop since late middle school, I always preferred western music. However, I came to appreciate Korean popular music after this initial nudge from BTS. Today, some of my favorite groups are VIXX, Got7, and Red Velvet, so things have certainly changed!