Kpopalypse’s help post for westerners wanting to become a k-pop

Have you ever wanted to become a k-pop, but are worried that you might not have what it takes due to your inconvenient western upbringing and very-far-away-from-Korea geographic location?  Will k-pop fans take you in as one of their own, or will you be shunned?  Well never fear, because Kpopalypse has the post for you!  Read on as Kpopalypse shares all that he knows to teach uncool westerners all about how to become a k-pop!

As k-pop’s penetration into western markets has increased, so has the amount of westerners falling in love with k-pop.  It’s only natural that some of the more musically inclined k-pop fans might want to have a shot at being a k-pop themselves – in the last decade we’ve had Chad Future, Oli London, Lana, EXP Edition, and now Kaachi (pictured above), who surely won’t be the last.  However these attempts have mostly failed to win the hearts and minds of many fickle k-pop fans who want their k-pop to be “real k-pop, damnit”, so this raises the question – how does one who is not from Korea and not a k-pop, become a k-pop most effectively and create “the real deal”?  K-pop fans are notoriously judgemental and hard to please, and have very high expectations of their k-poppers, so how can these lofty standards be reached?  After all, you wouldn’t want some wishy-washy article written about you on some website about how you are “problematic” and “not k-pop in the generally understood sense”, so how can this best be avoided?  What does it take to actually convincingly become a k-pop?

Good news!  After analysing the many patterns, trends and fluctuations in the kpoposphere, Kpopalypse is now uniquely positioned to answer this question!  I have observed that all actual k-pop artists have certain things in common.  All you need to do to be a k-pop is to follow the below instructions, and you too can become a k-pop – for real!

LEARN ENGLISH

You might think you need to brush up a little on your Korean before you debut in the k-pop scene, and maybe that wouldn’t hurt, but let’s be honest – Korean isn’t the important language anyway, because Korean language in k-pop is primarily used for the verses.  The chorus is the most important part of any pop song, and k-pop choruses usually have key phrases in English, not Korean.  The hook of your k-pop smash hit is probably going to have English words in it, so now’s the time to brush up on correct English usage and make sure that you’re getting it right. 

Lana’s no dummy, even though she’s Russian she made sure she had an English chorus in her debut song, not a Russian chorus.  Clearly, she has what it takes to be a k-pop.  I know English isn’t an easy language and learning all about English grammar can be just stress, but don’t struggle along alone and get some study partners – after all if you wanna English, every wanna English!

HAVE SOMEONE ELSE WRITE YOU A SONG

So you are a young creative artist who loves k-pop, and you want to also be a singing, dancing k-pop because you look good and have great song ideas that you can just imagine in the k-pop world, and you want to enter the k-pop industry and bring these creative visions of yours to life in all their glory?  Don’t be silly, that is not how it works.  Even the people with the most creative freedom in k-pop write about 50% of their lyrics and 10% of their music, and are smart enough to hand off the bulk of their actual music writing and image-creation to objective people in boardrooms who know what will sell nail polish and apple cider.  If you want to be taken seriously as a k-pop you need to leave the creative stuff to some faceless “content creator” somewhere and concentrate more on looking like someone that somebody somewhere could reasonably have a crush on.

LOOK LIKE SOMEONE SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE COULD REASONABLY HAVE A CRUSH ON

It’s definitely advisable to try and look like someone that somebody somewhere could reasonably have a crush on.  Obviously your exact look is impossible to calculate anyway because plastic surgery can only do so much, but you want to try and cultivate that thing where you look like you’re totally being yourself in sexily awkward ways even though you would rather be sleeping.  K-pop fans really like that because they love being lied to, you can see it in the way they follow companies who bullshit them continuously.

BULLSHIT CONTINUOUSLY

You already know the drill, you’ve seen your faves do it so often: 

How’s the tour going?  Great, we love touring, every moment is so interesting!
What’s stressful for you at the moment?  My only stress is disappointing the fans that we love so much!
Do you ever fight?  Oh no, we get along like “family”! 
What’s your favourite song on the new album?  Oh I really like all our songs, they all represent something special! 
Do you have any message for the fans?  I’m really looking forward to seeing each and every one of you!  We love our fans so much!

The sooner you get that inconvenient predilection for “truth” and “telling people how you really feel when directly asked” out of your system and start investing time into reciting bullshit, the better you will fit into the k-pop world, and the sooner you can achieve your dream of being a k-pop that everybody loves!  Speaking of people who everybody love…

GET TO KNOW HAN SEO HEE

All people who are a k-pop know Han Seo Hee.  Check her resume:

* Smoked weed with T.O.P
* Went clubbing with BTS’ V
* Hung out with KARA’s Goo Hara a whole lot
* Trained with Gfriend
* Has probably felt Monsta X Wonho’s man tiddies
* And SHINee
* And NCT
* And iKON

And the list goes on.  There is not a k-pop group of any notoriety that she has not been in contact with.  Make no mistake, she knows everybody who is anybody in k-pop, and you will want to get to know her too.  How can you be taken seriously as a k-pop if Han Seo Hee has not been in your dorm, smoking your secret marijuana stash, hugging and kissing your groupmates?  Clearly a friendship with Han Seo Hee is a one-way ticket to k-pop credibility.

PAY HOMAGE TO BLACK AMERICAN CULTURE

Every person who is a k-pop pays homage to black American culture, because black American culture is universally loved by all in the k-pop sphere, and that’s because k-poppers are culturally aware and know that all k-pop music is actually black American music.  Therefore if you can pay homage to black American culture, you can be taken more seriously by k-pop fans as a k-pop!  Here’s some simple things you can try:

* Dressing up like black Americans
* Singing black American songs (or just pretending to sing them, if you’re shy)
* Doing cool impersonations of black Americans
* Learn neat black American phrases
* Putting references to black American cultural things in your lyrics
* Posing with artifacts depicting important parts of black American history

If you’re actually a black American, you are already at the top of the cultural tree and everybody loves you so you can obviously skip this step.  Otherwise, make sure to pay homage to black American culture so you are duly respected.

PLAY THE SPORTBALL

If you are an idol you will be expected to participate in the ISAC, which is the Idol Sportball Athletics Championship.  You will need to learn how to be a sport k-pop and hit the ball with the stick to make the digit go up.  You may protest as many people who want to be a k-pop are interested in music because they do not like the sportball shape, but participation in ISAC is the harsh reality of the Korean music scene and no idol is exempt from this until they are no longer nugu (which isn’t you – yet).

BE PREPARED TO FAIL ANYWAY

As outrageous as it may seem, luck does play a heavy role in success, which means that even if you do all the right things, there is still a slim chance that you may not become a k-pop.  Mentally prepare yourself for this possibility in advance, by learning valuable real-world skills such as making coffee, filling in online webforms and how to change the receipt paper in an EFTPOS machine.  Your future boss will thank you!


That’s all for this post, hopefully it has been inspiring and has given you helpful hints on your future k-pop career!  Kpopalypse will return with more posts!

8 thoughts on “Kpopalypse’s help post for westerners wanting to become a k-pop

  1. I don’t understand why exclusively all non-korean groups/ idols feel the need to do korean (as in the language) music? Wouldn’t it help them have better prospects if they sang in English but kept rest of the idol stuff as the same? They won’t be accused of trying to be “Korean” and can reach a wider audience. Or idk do the idol stuff in the western market. You’re still an idol. It feels like a such a herculean task to promote in an ethnocentric country. I guess to each their own.

    • because they fetishize korea/korean people so just promoting as an idol in an western country wouldn’t really be enough for them. they want to have the whole experience of being bound to slave contracts, go to unfunny tv shows perform an artificially constructed personality, be confined to a 3m^2 dorm with people they can’t stand etc. not really trying to say this is “problematic”, i mean to each their own but they do make things a lot harder for themselves for the sake of bringing their “korean fantasy” to life.

    • Actually there are quite a few groups, particularly in SE Asia who are doing K-pop in their own native languages, but it looks and sounds (aside from the language) like K-pop. But they promote in their own countries to people who otherwise would listen to K-pop, instead of promoting to k-pop fans more broadly, so many (most) people are unaware of them.

      • Yeah I believe nowadays the Korean music market is one of the markets that can give you more chance to be noticed at a worldwide level after the American/British and Latin markets. If you’re not from an English-speaking or Spanish-speaking country is really difficult to be noticed in the pop music scene. Kpop has established its niche with millions of people everywhere listening to it, something that no other small country with an “uncommon” language has ever achieved so they’re basically jumping on the train

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