Sunday, July 14, 2019

The K-pop Uncle

If you haven't figured out by now, let me repeat, I do crazy amounts of business trips. This naturally means I live in crazy number of hotel rooms. Now like every other business traveler, I have  a routine that I follow.

For example, the moment I enter the hotel room, I put all menus, notepads, pens, advertisements, letters etc in a drawer and keep them away till I checkout. I hate clutter. The best hotels are minimalists and do not provide any of this crap. Then I empty my bag and hang up all my clothes. I like to have the false sense of getting "settled".

Anyway, this blog post ain't about that. It's about my new found understanding of East Asian Music. Yeah, one of my morning routines in hotel rooms involves searching for a Music channel on the TV and playing it while I am getting ready for work. Typically, it is either MTV or Channel V. I grew up with MTV. It was "the" music channel for my generation to get to hear the latest music. However, these days I find it more of a reality TV channel and less of a music channel. Maybe because whenever I switch it on, some reality show is going on, and lately I hardly ever have heard music on it.

Channel V still seems to play a bit of music. Anyway for some reason the morning hours (07:00 - 08:00) in most time-zones in Asia seems to have East Asian Music playing. For the ignorant me, East Asian Music mainly consists of these 3 types (don't chide me for inaccuracy and/or ignorance)

K-pop (Korean)
J-pop (Japanese)
C-pop/ Mando-pop/ Canto-pop (Chinese mainly Mandarin or Cantonese)

Of course I don't understand any of the languages. If I try hard enough (sometimes) I can just figure out the language based on their accent/ tones. However almost every music video consists of extremely good looking and overly athletic bunch of girls or guys dancing around and crooning about (what I believe) is - heartache or love (depending on if they are smiling or crying). Being an uncle, of-course I think music when I was growing up was much better. But well that's not the point, every generation thinks so.

Naturally, the curious me, read quite extensively about this East-Asian music phenomenon (strictly for education purposes only). It looks like it's a crazy competitive industry (at-least in Korea) and people compete fiercely and sign away their lives to get those coveted K-pop contracts.

Now just to get you ignorant souls introduced to K-pop, let me show-off my knowledge here. As of now, I know (I can't recognize the band members yet) the following bands:

  • BTS
  • Blackpink
  • Twice
  • Girls Generation
  • Super Junior

Anyway, a blog written by me, about K-pop can't be complete unless I show you guys a video of Conan doing his trademark string dance and pretending to be a K-pop artist. So here it is:

Unfortunately, I can't name any big J-pop or C-pop bands yet. I am working on it. So next time when you meet me, if I happen to be humming a K-pop number, give me an A for trying (to blend in and be cool and young).

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