When I started playing alto saxophone I complained about it a lot (and honestly I still do sometimes), but my mother always told me that one day it will pay off. One of the things she always says is that I should keep at it because no matter where I am in the world, there will always be someone who will admire the fact that I can play an instrument and can make music. The older I got and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she was right. All over the world people come together to listen and to make music. The newest craze that has almost taken over most of my classes is proof of that.
At my school, the newest thing is K-Pop (or Korean Pop). Though most people have never heard of it, there are a lot of devoted fans all over America. Some other types of music that a lot of my friends have brought to my attention are J-Pop/J-Rock(Japanese Pop and Rock), C-Pop (Chinese Pop), and Latin Pop. Even some people have introduced me to music from many Bollywood musicals. I’m sure there’s many others that are different from some of the things you hear on your local radio, but these are the ones that most of the students and friends of mine have been listening to.
I believe the craze first started when people started to get more interested in traveling and studying abroad and learning about different languages. I have always wanted to do something like that, and I figured the best way to learn about another culture was to start with music. It was really fun to listen to something new and different, and it was also cool to see that most of the entertainment in other countries isn’t that different from ours, just in a different language.
Though I’ve only been following the K-Pop scene for a little while, I can say that I’m becoming a pretty big fan and I’ve influenced some of my friends to check out some of my favorite artist as well. One thing that I’ve noticed is that in places like South Korea, boy bands are rather popular there. Some of my favorites would have to be 2PM, DBSK, Big Bang, SS501, and MBLAQ. There’s also some girl groups like Girls’ Generation and 2NE1 (2ne1 also happens to be a group that Perez Hilton happens to be a fan of). I found a lot of these artist and even more from searching around for videos on YouTube and other fan sites.
I’ve also heard a lot about the Annual Los Angeles Korean Festival, the four day event that not only gives people a chance to learn more about Korean culture, but also gives you a chance to check out some pretty cool performances from some K-Pop stars. The Wonder Girls were one of many of the groups that performed there last September. The Wonder Girls also toured with the Jonas Brothers and had a few of their songs played on Radio Disney after their debut in America.
The one good thing about listening to different kinds of music from all over the world is that there will always be a person somewhere that will also be in the same type of music as you. I’ve met a lot of people through listening to K-pop that have the same interest as me and made a lot of new friends as well. One of my friends also brought up that listening to Latin Pop also can help a lot with learning Spanish (a class we have to take next year to graduate). Just like when your little and the Alphabet Song helped you learn your letters, the same thing goes with other languages.
I believe that by seeing the entertainment, be it music, movies, or television shows, from other countries that it can open a door to other cultures and can teach us all many new things that we didn’t even know it existed. We can learn more positive things about a country, rather than about war and poverty when we see something other than what’s on the news. A lot of people refuse to look into anything other than what their used to listening to and seeing, but by doing this, you can miss out on a lot things that you probably would have ended up loving if you did! So like the famous quote says, “Don’t knock it until you try it!”