Different Styles of K-Pop! You mean there's more than "Gangnam Style"?
If you aren't living under a rock, then you have probably heard of Psy's "Gangnam Style" in some form or fashion. But did you know that there are other styles of K-pop out there? Yes, the realm of K-Pop expands beyond that of a one man show with a explosively entertaining music video. In America, just because you say you like Pop music, doesn't mean you like every band or every song out there. The same goes for K-Pop. If "Gangnam Style" is your only insight into korean pop music and you didn't like it, don't simply give up there! Continue to explore this hypnotizing genre until you find something you do like! Here are some of the different styles within the K-Pop Genre:
"Aegyo" Boy Bands/Cutesy Boy Groups: Aegyo is a term in Korea to describe a person that is acting child-like and cutesy for attention. A main feature of the Aegyo style is making cute hand gestures and charismatic facial expressions. There are many boy groups that focus on this style more than others. The videos are light and brightly colored, and the lyrics are often about a girl they may want to date, or think is cute. The boys themselves are also dressed in a way we might call, "preppy". The songs are fun and can brighten even our darkest of days...or they may make you want to puke.
Strong Boy Bands/"Manly Boy Groups: In complete contrast to the Aegyo type of group is the fiercer, stronger version. These boy groups often have at least 4 members but can group to a staggering 13 members. The music has a stronger beat and bassline to exude the image of strength and manliness. The lyrics are often still similar to that of Aegyo groups but have a completely different feel by adding different tempos and beats. The music videos are often darker in lighting, if not all in black and white, and focus on harder more intricate dance moves. The boys themselves also wear darker, "bad boy" clothing. To American culture, the men in the groups may not fit the accepted image of the ideal man, but in Korea, they are the manliest of men.
Aegyo Girl Groups: Aegyo among girls is more popular and in no short supply in the Korean charts. The girls dress very cutesy and often times sexily, but still nothing too revealing. The songs are light and upbeat and fun to dance to. While the lyrics are simply the reversal of boy groups, they can still be fun and endearing. The most popular groups are Girls Generation, Miss A, Wonder Girl's, and Secret.
Solo Artists: Solo artists have a little more wiggle room than the larger groups, but they can still fall under the K-pop genre. Some produce more ballads, while others are Aegyo, some are more hip hop, and some are indie. Most solo artists are the best of the best at singing because they have to stand alone. Some of the most famous are BOA and IU.
Hip Hop Influenced:Many groups and solo acts are influence by hip hop trends, fashions, and beats. It is very apparent in the dancing and in the style of music and lyric. The videos can be crazy and out-there, but they can also be simple. Two groups that come to mind are 2NE1 and the duo T.O.P and G-Dragon. Crazy in style and good at heart, they are creating a whole new world within the charts.
While all of these styles are unique in their own way, they all encompass the K-pop passion for dancing, lively beats, and fashion. Keep exploring and find the one that's right for you.