K-Pop is short for Korean pop music, and it is rapidly gaining popularity around the world as social media networks make it easy for South Korean musicians to reach international audiences.
Wonder Girls were the first ever K-pop band to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US.
Sun, one of the band members, explained their roots: “We grew up listening to real pop, original pop. So after we shared our things with Korean people and through Asia – after that moment we wanted more experience with other people too.”
The band teamed up with the Senegalese American R&B and hip hop artist Akon for their new single ‘Like Money’. Another member of the band, Lim, said: “Working with him was an honour because we’ve always been a huge fan of Akon and he was very gentle when we met him in person and he was very nice and friendly.”
2NE1 (pronounced ‘Twenty-one’ or possibly even ‘To Anyone’) is another up and coming K-pop band which used social media in their quest for world domination – they’ve clocked up more than 300 million views on YouTube. Band member, CL, enthused about the web: “Through the internet and YouTube and everything, there’s no walls anymore. And music has the power to break any walls. So I think it’s the music that brought us here.”
The band sings mainly in Korean but is considering recording in English. CL said: “We have an album coming out in Korea soon. And I would love to do at least a single in English, for more people to connect to the lyrics.”
BUt K-pop isn’t confined to girls. South Korean rapper Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ video has been declared the most liked on YouTube by the Guinness Book of Records.