만나서 반갑습니다: Let KPK Introduce You To…

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

BTS is pleased to meet you!

Korean popular music includes many genres – Jazz, Hip-Hop, Rock, Rhythm & Blueseven Ska and Bossa Nova. One of the reasons Kpop is so addictive and has continued its growth globally is because, despite language differences, the music seems so familiar to its listeners, particularly for non-Asian audiences. Fuhr (2015) writes, “K-pop producers strongly follow the formulaic production standards set by Western mainstream pop songs…, but they combine all the well-known elements in a way that audiences in the East and West equally seem to receive as refreshingly new but also familiar.” (pp. 238-239)

Not only do Korean producers strive to mix (and remix) Eastern and Western musical elements, they work closely with Western singer/songwriters and producers or purchase western-based music tracks for use by Korean artists (Note: purchasing tracks is a popular practice in the global music industry. Demo tracks, guide vocals, backing vocals are some terms you can search to learn more).

KPK members have noted that Kpop fans may not be familiar with why many songs sound familiar to them. This realization was crystallized when TVXQ released their strong R&B balladBefore U Go,” (2011) which includes a partial guitar riff from the Isley Brother’s songVoyage to Atlantis(1977) – many people, instead, could only reference Chris Brown’s song “Take You Down” (2008)  – which still echoes the musical composition of the aforementioned Isley Brothers song. Moreover, recognition gaps go beyond music composition to include singing styles, choreography, and song instrumentation or arrangement. Additionally, we’ve found that such oversights are glaring in academic literature, which overwhelmingly focuses on K-pop music as a political tool or economic commodity (Lee 2008, Jang & Paik 2012, and see this bibliography).

The “Let KPK Introduce You To…” blogpost series hopes to help Kpop fans discover links between what they hear in Kpop songs (or see in Kpop promotions) and the recent history of American music and popular culture – from a particular song or a musician’s vocal runs to costuming, training, dancing, or overall presentation.  The primarily audio/visual – and brief – blog posts will open with the K-pop artist song,concept, or performance and then readers will be introduced to the “why it sounds familiar” song, concept, or performance. The entry will end with brief biographical or explanatory text of the “original” artist, sound, idea, or concept. Simple right?

Part lay ethnomusicology and part historiography, the series offers a gateway for music enthusiasts to contextualize the foundation and development of Kpop music, and for critics to move beyond discussions of cultural appropriation in K-pop and toward the more likely premise of global creative collaboration.

If you’ve ever heard or seen a Kpop song, dance, styling, or presentation  and and thought “that sounds like/looks like/feels like/reminds me of…,” this series is for you! Look forward to it.


Fuhr, Michael. Globalization and popular music in South Korea: Sounding out K-pop. New York: Routledge. (2015).

Jang, Gunjoo & Won K. Paik. Korean wave as tool for Korea’s new cultural diplomacy. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2(3): 196-202. (2012).  http://file.scirp.org/Html/22229.html (16 June 2016).

Lee, Keehyeung. Mapping out the cultural politics of the “Korean Wave” in contemporary South Korea. In C.B. Huat and K. Iwabuchi (Eds.) East Asian Pop Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave. pp. 175 – 189. Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press. (2008).

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Digital Documentation: P – Z

 Company/Label Name
Company Artists
 Website Documentation (Virtual Tours)
Pledis Entertainment

  • After School (including AS Blue and AS Red)
  • Orange Caramel
  • Son Dam Bi
  • NU’EST (Formerly known as Pledis Boys)
 Polaris Entertainment

  • Kim Bum Soo
 Seo Taiji Company
S. M. Entertainment*

  • BlackBeat
  • BoA
  • Chu Ga Yeoul
  • CoCo Star
  • EXO- K/ EXO- M
  • Fly to the Sky
  • F(x)
  • Girls’ Generation/SNSD
  • Group S
  • Hee Jun
  • H.O.T.
  • K&V (Kangta & Vaness)
  • Lee Hyeon Hee
  • Kangta
  • S.E.S.
  • SHINee
  • Shinhwa
  • S.M. The Ballad
  • Song Kwang Sik
  • Super Junior (incl. SJ-M, SJ – T and SJ-Happy)
  • The Grace
  • The Grace: Dana&Sunday
  • Trax
  • TVXQ/DBSK/Tohoshinki
  • Yoo Young Jin
  • Zhang Li Yin
*S.M. Entertainment has the distinction of keeping a digital record of artists’ websites for each promotion, which offers a unique view into the evolution of the how the internet has been used as an effective tool for artist promotion and Kpop fan interactions.
** UPDATE: In 2012 (Beginning with f(x) promotion of “Electric Shock”), SM Entertainment updated active artists websites and removed these artists’ previous website promotions from the public site. Inactive artist websites (BlackBeat, Chu Ga Yeol, CoCo Star, Fly to the Sky, Group S, Hee Jun, H.O.T., ISAKNJIYEON, K&V, Lee Hyeon Hee, S.E.S.  and Shinhwa) were completely removed.
 SHINHWA Company

 Source Music

  • 8Eight
  • Kan Miyoun
  • Lee Hyun
Star Empire Entertainment

  • Jewelry
  • Nine Muses
  • Park Jung A
  • Poppin’ Hyun Joon
  • Seo In Young (Elly)
  • V.O.S.
  • ZE:A
 Starkim Entertainment

  • LEDApple
 Starship Entertainment

  • Boyfriend
  • Lee Hyon Ji
  • K. Will
 Startrack Entertainment

  • Allysse
Storms Company

  • Kang Ye Sol
  • Kim Jung Eun
  • Kim Ming Jun
  • Kim Tae Hyong
  • Song Seung Heon
 T.O.P Media

  • Andy
  • Teen Top
  • 100%
 Tour Tainment  http://screencast-o-matic.com/channels/clnqY3VKt
TS Entertainment

  • Bang & Zelo
  • Bang Yong Guk
  • B.A.P
  • Secret
  • Son Heon Soo
  • Untouchable
 WM Entertainment

  • An Jin Kyoung
  • B1A4
  • H-Eugene
 Wellmade STARM  http://screencast-o-matic.com/channels/clfXoNVSy
 Woollim Entertainment

  • Baby Soul
  • Infinite
  • Jisun
  • Nell
  • Tasty (Tasty 2wins)
  Xing Entertainment

  • Choi Ji Eun
  • Hwang Du Hwan
  • Kim Dong Geun
  • Kim Won Hee
  • Kim Wan Cheol
  • Kim Han Sol
  • Nam Chin Hyon
  • Park Soo Ji
  • Xing
 YG Entertainment

  • 1TYM
  • 2NE1
  • Big Bang
  • Gummy
  • Jinusean
  • Masta Wu
  • Perry
  • Psy
  • Se7en
  • Yanggoon
  YMC Entertainment

  • Ailee
 Yedang Entertainment

  • Ali
  • Cha Ji Yeon
  • Chi Chi
  • Guckkasten
  • Im Jae Bom
  • Jo Kwan Woo
  • Rania
  • Yang Soo Kyung
 Yejeon Media

Digital Documentation: L – O

 Company/Label Name
Company Artists
 Website Documentation (Virtual Tours)
 LOEN Entertainment

  • IU
  • RUN
  • Sunny Hill
  • Zia
 Logi Entertainment
 Nega Network

  • Brown Eyed Girls
  • Eun-Sun
  • Han-Young
  • May Doni
  • Sprinkler
  • Sunny Hill
  • Yoari
 New Planet Entertainment

  • A-PRINCE (Formerly known as TAKEN)
 Nextar Entertainment

  • Kim Greem
  • Suki

  • U-KISS
 Open World Entertainment

  • JinJun
  • Horam
  • X-5 (X-Five)
  • Ko Joo Won
  • Shin Ji Soo

Digital Documentation: E – K

 Company/Label Name
Company Artists
 Website Documentation (Virtual Tours)
EMIMusic (Japanese music dist.)

  • SHINee
Enterarts Global

  • New F.O. (New Five Order)
 FNC Music*

  • AOA (Ace of Angels)
  • Juniel
  • Oh Won Bin
  • Song Se Hyun

*A subsidiary of Core Contents Media (an MNet Company).

* See also, Core Contents Media

 Fluxus Music

  • Annyeongbada
  • Alex
  • Clazziquai Project
  • Handsome People
  • Ibadi
  • Kim Hyo Heon
  • Loveholics
  • Urban Zakara
  • W
  • W&Whale
  • Winterplay
  • Yi Song Yol
 Golden Goose Entertainent

  • A-Peace
  • A-Peace Gem
  • A-Peace Jade
  • A-Peace Lapis
  • A-Peace Onyx
Good Entertainment

  • Battle
  • Charlie Park
  • Eddie
  • Lee Ye Rin
  • Lyn
  • Shinhwa
  • SunMin
  GPBASIC Entertainment

  • Kim Shin Ill
 H2 Media

 Ha Eun Entertainment

  • Sunny Days
 Jellyfish Entertainment

  • Brian Joo
  • Hwang Project
  • Park Hyo Shin
  • Seo In Guk
  • Sung Ki Kyung
J. Tune Entertainment

  • Rain (Bi)

*See also, JYP

  Jungle Entertainment

  • Baby T
  • Bizzy
  • Drunken Tiger
  • LeeSSang
  • Paloalto
  • Teby
 JYP Entertainment*

  • 2PM
  • G-Soul
  • JJ Project
  • Joo
  • Kim So Young
  • SAN-E
  • Wondergirls

* See also, Big Hit Entertainment
* See also, AQ Entertainment

KeyEast Entertainment

  • Bae Yong Joon
  • Hwan Hee
  • Kim Hyun Joong
  • Ju Ji Hoon
 KingKong Entertainment

  • Kim Bum
  • Kim Sun A
  • Park Min Young
  • Sung Yu Ri
  • Song Min Jeon
  • Yoo Yeon Seok
  • Lee Kwang Soo
  • Lee Jin
  • Lee Chung Ah
  • Ji Il Joo
  • Han Chae A

Digital Documentation: # – D

 Company/Label Name
Company Artists
 Website Documentation (Virtual Tours)

  • A PINK
  • Huh gak
Alpha Entertainment

  • Skarf
 AQ Entertainment*

  • Miss A

*See also, Big Hit Entertainment
*See also, JYP Entertainment

 Avex Trax (Japanese music distr.)

  • After School
  • f(x)
  • TVXQ/DBSK/Tohoshinki
 B2M Entertainment

  • Heo Young Saeng
  • Kim Kyu Jong
  • Lee Hyori
  • Spica
 Big Hit Entertainment*

  • 2AM
  • 8Eight
  • Jeong Jin Woon
  • Homme
  • Lee Hyun
  • Lim Jung Hee
  • David Oh

*See also, AQ Entertainment
*See also, JYP Entertainment

 Brand New Stardom

  • Block B
  • Jeongseulgi
  • EVoL
 Brave Entertainment

  • Brave Girls
  • Electro Boyz
 CJ Corporation

  • CE E&M
  • CJ Entertainment
 CJeS Entertainment

  • JYJ
  • Park Yu Hwan
  • Song Ji Hyo
 Core Contents Media*

  • 5Dolls
  • Black Pearl
  • Co-Ed School
  • Davichi
  • Ha Seok Jin
  • Hong Jin Young
  • Hwang Jung Eum
  • Kim Jong Wook
  • Lee Hae In
  • No Min Woo
  • Shannon Williams
  • Supernova
  • T-ARA
  • Yangpa
* The main entertainment management label of Mnet Media.
* See also, FNC Music.
 Cube Entertainment

  • 4Minute
  • AJ
  • BTOB
  • G.NA
  • The Trouble Maker (JS & Hyuna)
 Dino Entertainment

  • Clinah
 Dream Tea Entertainment

  • Girl’s Day
  • Jevice
  • Once

  • Haru
  • Rania
DSP Media

  • DSP Boyz
  • Rainbow
  • KARA