Yesterday, on June 30, I managed to interview with Allysse. Since she’s from Antioch, we met at Concord. The interview was actually wonderful. She turned out to be a very open-minded person, who’s very understanding of different cultures. She’s been a fan of K-pop since 2006. However, it was in 2012 when K-pop became a bigger part of her life. She competed at a Korean Festival for K-pop covers and she won best vocal. She was offered a trip to Korea and stayed in Gangnam for a while. She will actually participate in the preliminary competition of K-Pop World Festival 2015. It will take place at Music Concourse in the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco on July 11th. If she wins, she can go perform in Korea, being one of the twelve teams that do perform. On top of that, the winner will win a round-trip to Korea. The winner could also meet K-pop stars in person! That’s exciting, isn’t it?
Now, she has signed with afreecatv, a broadcast station in Korea, to work on online streaming. She even has a YouTube channel where she covers different aspects of Korean culture: the music, the fashion, and the language.
Here’s a short 5 minute excerpt from the interview:
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On June 21 of 2015, I interviewed Elaine Cumming, a Business Development Associate at Soompi. She’s a BD Associate now, but when she worked in Korea, she interviewed Korean stars and agencies. So she’s someone who knows about the whole K-pop culture and fandom.
Here is a short excerpt of the interview and a list of questions I asked.
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This is the final draft of my infographic! It’s gotten more colorful and organized, right?
Even though Asia has billions of more people, America has twice as many fan clubs as Asia.
If you look at this infographic, you can see how the number of K-pop fans has been growing since 2011. In 2011, there were 3.3 million fans. In 2012, there were 6.7 million fans and 783 fan clubs. In the following year, there were 9.3 million fans and 1,000 fan clubs. Imagine how many K-pop fans there are currently in 2015!
What shocked me the most is the information I gathered for the pie chart. Even though Asia has billions of more people, America has twice as many fan clubs as Asia. I do also have to consider the fact that each fan club has different amount of fans. Some may have a few members and others much larger. It may be easier for more fans to gather all in certain clubs because they already built this close-knit online community for years.
In addition to the infographic from above, I made two additional. They are K-pop World Maps. They tell approximately how many fans were in each continent as of 2013.
The stats are from Yonhap News and The Korea Times.
I asked MRJKPOP if I can interview him and he said YES! The problem though is that he’s all the way in Michigan. But don’t worry since we have technology. I sent him this list of interview questions below, and he will answer by sending a video of him answering. The list of questions turned out WAY longer than I thought it would.
- How were you first introduced to K-pop?
- What were your initial reactions to listening to K-pop?
- What stood out to you?
- What do you look for in a K-pop group when picking your favorite group?
- Do you personally go watch K-pop concerts/fanmeets?
- Are you part of any fan clubs? Or at least identify as a certain fan of a group? (such as Shawol if you’re a SHINee fan)
- If so, what does that fan name mean to you?
- Do you have any role models from K-pop?
- Did you experience any culture clashes as a K-pop fan?
- Do you get influenced by Korean culture/fashions/music? (like do you find yourself saying certain Korean words or expressions)
- On top of listening to Korean music, do you study more about Korea like studying the culture, language, and history? (Do you learn Korean to understand lyrics or rely on reading translations?)
- What are the benefits of being a K-pop fan?
- What do your friends/family say after hearing your love for K-pop?
- Did some find it odd or did they accept it?
- Have you introduced K-pop to your friends/family who are not familiar with K-pop? What were their reactions? Have you ever been successful?
- How has K-pop influenced your life?
- What are some differences/similarities you notice between K-pop and American pop?
- How about K-pop fandom vs. American fandom?
- When some people first listen to certain K-pop songs, they claim that they copy American songs. What is your take on that?
- Do you also listen to other Asian music other than K-pop?
- How is K-pop different from other Asian pop? How did K-pop stand out and spread so much across the world?
- Do you listen to any songs from Asian American stars?
- With K-pop rising popularity in America, do you think this shows more acceptance to other cultures? Will the Asian stars (including Asian American stars) be able to make a break through in American entertainment?
- What are some cons of K-pop?
- Which aspects of K-pop do you wish would change/be fixed?
- What are you opinions on K-pop producing new idols/groups rapidly?
- Do you think that this may effect how much quality they will be able to present?
- What is your opinion on the issue of lip syncing that was a hot topic during the last couple of years? (Dancing vs. vocal performance?)
- Many Korean celebrities try to keep many things in secret, such as dating or even smoking, in order to keep their image “clean” as Korea is a very conservative country. Once they get caught, they’d have to apologize the public. Many fans would stop being their fans once these issues (that seem small to us Americans) come up. What do you think about Korean celebrities having to keep their image “clean”?
- How long do you think the popularity of K-pop will last?
Although I’m not very clear what the story of my project will be as of yet, I can guess what the overall feel of my project would be like. It would definitely be upbeat and energetic. I need to get the audience excited to learn more about K-pop culture. While browsing around the web for some free music, I came across this song called “Rave Digger” made by user FoolBoyMedia. It’s a perfect fit. Even though I’m in my class lab right now, this song makes me want to get up and dance. I can play this song in the background when there’s footage being shown of certain events and people.
Another song that I think would fit my project is this song called “Music Loop Electronic 115 bpm” by orangefreesounds. This song has a rather cute and happy feel to it. This would be perfect for almost anything for the project. Like the first song, it could be played in the background for footage that’s being played. Or it could even be in my intro!
As of Week June 20, 2015, two K-pop boy group albums top Billboard World Album Chart. These two boy groups are EXO and SHINee. EXO landed on number two with their album, “Love Me Right” while SHINee landed on number eight with their album “Odd.” However, two weeks ago, on the week of June 6, SHINee’s album was number one.
I think allkpop does a wonderful job of explaining Korean words that isn’t easily translated into English. In fact, I think they did it much better than I would have. The words on this list, though, were more for people who were more familiar with Korean words. If you’re totally new to the Korean language, refer to koreanthroughkpop. They help you learn some Korean through K-pop song lyrics. They breakdown the lyrics to a song and explain to you what they mean. Another option is talktomeinkorean. They also teach Korean in a similar way.
These are multiple versions of my logo’s first draft:
The paint palette represents my dream career and what I enjoy to do. And the lock in the “S” represents that I’m open to new ideas/concepts to be created. The username itself doesn’t really have an extraordinary meaning. It’s a username my sister made for me when she was helping me make an email around 3rd grade.
I tried making another logo that looked a bit more unique:
There are two orange slices added to the left and a leaf at the bottom. Altogether, this looks like a bird, right? It was intentional 🙂
This info graphic is not complete. It shows how K-pop fans have been growing around the world, especially in America. Surprisingly, it seems that America has twice as many fan clubs as in Asia.
The stats are from Yonhap News and The Korea Times.