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COLUMN: K-pop is the answer to your stay-at-home boredom


South Korean K-Pop boys group Monsta X attends a photo call for the Fact Music Awards on April 24, 2019, at Incheon Namdong Gym in Incheon, South Korea. Tribune News Service and Tribune News Service

K-pop. Korean pop. It can sometimes be confused with kid’s pop (no offense Kidz Bop), killer pop or any other word that starts with the letter K. If you’re caught up on the music industry, you’ve heard of K-pop, or popular K-pop groups BTS and Blackpink. Within the last year, K-pop artists have appeared on American television programs such as Ellen, Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

K-pop has only entered the mainstream American music scene in the past few years.As a fan of K-pop artists for the past 7 years, I have had the opportunity to see this East to West cultural exchange unfold.

K-pop artists offer more content than albums and music videos. Online concerts, reality shows, livestreams and more have all been produced for fans to watch voraciously. This seemingly endless content is even more appealing in the time of COVID-19, so I have compiled a list of some K-pop activities you can try to forget about the outside world.

If you like Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Try watching a K-pop group reality show. One of the most popular options is Run BTS! which consists of 100 30-minute episodes. The show centers around the seven members of BTS competing against each other and completing various challenges. These creative episodes are sure to be laughter-inducing. Many other groups have also participated in shows similar to this, and most are available for free online with subtitles. Run BTS! and various other reality shows and livestreams can be streamed on the V LIVE app, a platform similar to Twitch.

If you like The Voice or American Idol

Try watching a K-pop competition show. One popular series is Produce 101, where K-pop trainees compete to capture the hearts of viewers who vote to decide who will be in the final group that will make a debut. While the Produce 101 series has recently been surrounded by a controversy of vote manipulation, it is still a show that allows viewers to form an emotional bond with contestants. Other competition shows like Masked Singer (which originated in Korea) and Queendom, an all-female competition, are sure to keep your attention for hours.

If you like to dance

Invest some time in learning a K-pop dance. Dances range in their levels of difficulty, and are a great opportunity to exercise while being cooped up inside.They also encompass a wide variety of dance styles, from contemporary to hip-hop. The YouTube channel Ellen and Brian, features K-pop dance covers and in-depth dance tutorials for popular K-pop songs.

If you like watching concerts

Many K-pop artists are livestreaming concerts for fans who are stuck at home. On April 17 and 18 beginning each day at 11 p.m. Eastern time, BTS is livestreaming eight of their previous concerts on the YouTube channel BANGTANTV for fans to watch for free. Korean music shows are also still allowing artists to perform, without an audience, and most of these performances are available on YouTube.

Don’t be surprised if you watch one of these videos , and then five hours later you end up wondering where the time has gone and when you can go see these incredible artists in concert in person. 

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