Why is kpop not popular in Africa

K-Pop: Korea's rubber duck music conquers the world market

Vienna - An old theory of pop says that you are old as soon as you have the feeling that the music currently popular with young people is too loud. In times when these young people only listen to music from the tin cans of their pocket phones, the volume is such a thing. With the current K-Pop music, which has been enjoying great and great popularity among teenagers for some time, unfortunately one has to say one thing.

You have heard and seen a lot in your life, including hearing loss at metal, hardcore, punk and industrial concerts, crying children at David Hasselhoff's or a lot of music-loving older men with men's handbags at the Spice Girls or Take That. With K-Pop as a synonym for Korean Pop, however, a certain music-historical end point has now been reached that definitely has to be taken personally.

What can be heard is not loud, it screams, squeaks and squeaks in bright colors at a moderate volume. As with so many other branches of industry in Asia, it is the same with K-Pop and its first superheroes Seo Taiji and Boys or Big Bang in the 1990s up to today's predominantly male superstars such as Super Junior, who now fill sports stadiums around the world. BTS (Bangtan Boys) or GOT7 like that: These are all largely perfected adaptations of western popular styles with a bit of local flavor.

After years of smaller attempts, K-Pop is now to be established broadly in Europe. The guys from GOT7 perform on Thursday in the Berlin Velodrom, for example, and the tickets were gone within a few minutes. For BTS, who will perform on October 16 and 17 in the much larger Berlin Mercedes-Benz Arena in front of 17,000 visitors each with an average of 120 euros, there would have been the chance to purchase tickets online last Friday. The concerts were sold out within a few seconds, the server collapsed.

BTS are currently with their program Love yourself The band celebrates enormous success on a world tour, especially in North and South America. As I said, Europe is still somewhat of a developing country, although BTS 'sound carrier sales are now estimated at over 100 million units worldwide. The current single Fake love was posted on Youtube in mid-May and has now recorded over 130 million clicks.

As you can see, Korean pop music also celebrates off the beaten track Gangnam style of the entertainer Psy from Seoul in 2012, with meanwhile a record three billion hits, a triumphal march that is no longer necessarily expected of western pop music of this magnitude. Specifically, the specifications of the classic boy band and girl group pop flow with ballad sentiment, a little love affliction in a plastic flower arrangement, hearty but strictly innocent party bangs and a little hip-hop badness.

Strictly androgynous and not too sexy

Voices of culture criticism in Korea have always criticized the fact that K-Pop acts simply adopt English words and expressions that have been torn from their original context for their Korean texts in a completely unreflective manner. The result is a lyrical ballaballa and artistic mantsch. Second point of criticism: The same goes for Japanese pop.

The sound of the old archenemy, occupier and exploiter of the Koreans, not exactly known for a critical cultural distance from the West, has only been allowed to be imported into South Korea since 1999. The Japanese K-Pop variant, for example with the girls' band AKB48 Group with its several ensembles that are on the stage at the same time on tours and in their own theater in Tokyo and with over 120 members, has become a Beatlemania-esque mass phenomenon .

China, India and even North Korea are now jumping on this train, which is dictatorially led by a few Korean agencies. The girl acts must not come across as too sexy, the image of the boys is strictly androgynous and interchangeable according to the specifications of Asian manga comics. After all, there is not only resignations in the genre because of sexual misconduct before marriage, homosexuality that is frowned upon by the public and therefore kept secret, but also an unbelievable pressure that sometimes leads to depression and suicides.

The management plans the public life of their badly paid stars, often only paid with a fixed monthly wage, who are essentially only allowed to sing like circus horses and dance beautifully, right down to the last detail. The last detail is often called total collapse. It wasn't until December 2017 that Korean pop star Jonghyun committed suicide at the age of 27. (Christian Schachinger, 7.6.2018)