Various Korean pop (K-pop) music groups are crossing international borders and making themselves known in the western music scene. They are breaking the general public’s view of K-pop as “fake, overly cutesy and cringey.” They have a passionate and devoted fan base that gives them unconditional love and support. Three groups in particular are making K-pop more global. They are none other than BTS, BLACKPINK and NCT.
Bangtan Sonyeondan, or more commonly known as BTS, are no doubt the most popular boy group in general right now. Consisting of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, BTS is known and loved for their inspirational messages in their music, along with their intense choreographies. They have appeared and performed on several talk shows including, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” BTS also attended the Billboard Music Awards and won the Top Social Artist Award for two years in a row. Described by Time magazine as “next generation leaders,” BTS have made global impacts as well with their LOVE MYSELF campaign.
Another group breaking barriers is BLACKPINK, a four member girl group comprising of Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa. They debuted in 2016 and have already amassed over 200 million views on each of their music videos. BLACKPINK is known for their strong, girl crush image, which is quite different from the usual cute image that most girl groups in Korea have. This has helped them attract even more fans around the world. BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, Rose and Lisa all attended New York Fashion Week recently. The girls also released a collaboration with English artist Dua Lipa titled “Kiss and Make Up,” which is featured on her new album.
One more group that should be mentioned is NCT, or Neo Culture Technology, that has been steadily rising. This particular group is known for their unique concept with their 18 members split into three units: NCT U, NCT 127 and NCT Dream. Over time, additional units are to debut with mixes of both new and old members. The three units that are currently active have all appeared on major Billboard music charts. NCT 127 has even recently performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” with the English version of their new song “Regular” and attended the American Music Awards. Apple Music even picked them for their “Up Next” artist series.
Sophomore Rachel Hu, who is a fan of all three K-pop groups, described their success as “an opportunity for opening new doors. All three groups are introducing more people to K-pop, which leads to more opportunities for new groups that debut after them. I’m sure that BTS, BLACKPINK and NCT are going to get even more popular.” BTS, BLACKPINK and NCT are just starting their journeys of making themselves known worldwide. They will have to face obstacles and prejudice against them along their respective journeys. They can overcome it though, thanks to the undying love and support from their beloved fans.