What are the differences between the different Kpop generations? ⋆ K-Selection

Kpop has existed and ruled in South Korea for many years now. Over time, it is now expanding internationally.

In total, we are at four Kpop generations, each bringing its novelties and its particular universe.

On May 13, Korean media platform Arirang published an article that digs deeper into the “genealogy of Kpop idols”

Let’s take a closer look at what this means.

  1. First Generation K-pop (Seo Taiji & Boys, HOT, SES, Fink.KL, Sechs Kies)

The first K-pop groups date back to the mid-1990s, when the “BIG3” companies were still made up of SM, YG and DSP Media.

At that time, Korean dance and hip-hop music were the most popular, and idols debuted even without systematic training.

Lee Soo Man played a huge role in the birth of K-pop, where he introduced African-American style hip-hop music, and other experimental music could be added to Korean pop.

  1. Second Generation K-pop (TVXQ, Super Junior, BIGBANG, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, 2NE1, Wonder Girls)

From the mid-2000s to the early 2010s, several pioneering activities can be seen to have helped shape today’s global K-pop industry and the subsequent Korean Wave.

Around this time, intricate choreography and addictive songs were introduced, now under the guidance of a strict K-pop training system.

These groups also expand the boundaries of fandom, but the concept at that time was still mostly about “clichés”, often talking about love.

Arirang pointed out:

“However, the biggest difference between the first and second generation was their potential to expand their brand awareness in the global market. »

  1. Third Generation K-pop (BTS, EXO, TWICE, BLACKPINK, MAMAMOO)

The third-generation idol debuted in the early 2010s. Around this time, BTS and BLACKPINK became key players in sparking global interest in the K-pop industry beyond Asia. .

When it comes to their song concepts, the third-generation idols have drawn attention for using K-pop to release fan songs, encouraging songs about self-love and other inspirational topics.

The message found in the lyrics wasn’t the only change. The way music is released, the length of the album, and even the way K-pop groups promote it have changed a lot over the years, adding to the workload of idols in the constant release cycle. and promotion of new music.

Around this time, album sales, views on YouTube and other social media platforms also became tools to measure band popularity, which can be determined using fandoms.

  1. Fourth Generation K-pop (ITZY, IVE, (G)I-DLE, TXT, aespa, ENHYPEN)

In the early 2020s, fourth generation idols were born.

Thanks to BTS, which paved the way for idols to shine in the global music market (according to Arirang), the fourth-generation idol now claims to be a global artist with a worldwide audience in mind in everything. what he does.

This time, the fourth-generation idols are expanding K-pop by introducing their own “identity” through their “worldviews” as aespa.

The word “self-produced” idols has also become widely known, where the members themselves produce their own songs to incorporate their own styles of music.

Which generation do you prefer?

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What are the differences between the different Kpop generations? ⋆ K-Selection


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