(Last updated September 2017)
Who am I and how did I get here?
As you can probably guess from my URL, my name is Katherine and I’m into K-pop. I’m American, but I live in Europe (specifically Paris) and I have for the last five years. I currently don’t have a job because of some visa-related issues, but I’ve always been involved in the arts. I majored in theatre in college and went to film school. I would love to be an entertainment writer or work in the publishing industry, and I set up this blog to practice my writing skills.
I’m a relatively new fan, and I discovered K-pop in the most random way. Seriously. I was scrolling Buzzfeed for quizzes, clicked the wrong link and ended up on”What Member of Got7 are you?”, and took it anyway. (I got Mark, if you were wondering) I decided to watch their music videos out of curiosity, which basically turned into jumping down the rabbit hole and never looking back.
Now I’ve watched endless videos on Youtube, I have a playlist filled with hundreds of songs, can spout information on easily 20+ groups and casually listen to WAY more. I’ve also gone to several concerts (KCON France, Monsta X, K.A.R.D.) and did a K-pop dance workshop through my local Korean Cultural Center.
This is what happens when you’re destined to have a freelance job Since I want to be a writer and I want to practice having an opinion blog, what better subject than my new favorite obsession hobby?
What do I like?
One thing I’ve learned is that every K-pop fan has their own biases and opinions. I really do try to be as neutral as I can, but of course I have my own favorites. My fickle heart constantly changes over who I like the best, though. I come back and change this page pretty much every month.
CURRENT FAVORITES (but I have many, many more):
Top 10 Boy groups: EXO, NCT 127, Wanna One, Monsta X, GOT7, BTS, NU’EST, Vixx, B.A.P., Infinite
Top 10 Girl Groups: Red Velvet, BLACKPINK, SNSD, AOA, Girl’s Day, Twice, Apink, Oh My Girl, EXID, gugudan
(Let it be known that I also love Sistar and I.O.I., but I felt like I had to remove them because they’ve disbanded)
Top 10 Male biases: Yuta (NCT), JR (NU’EST), Sehun (EXO), Taeyong (NCT), Sungwoo (Wanna One), Mark (GOT7), L (Infinite), Jin (BTS), Hyungwon (Monsta X), Junhyung (Highlight)
Top 10 Female biases: Eunji (Apink), Hani (EXID), Mina (Twice), Lisa (Black Pink), Hyoyeon (SNSD), Nayoung (Pristin), Irene (Red Velvet), Hana (gugudan), Yooa (Oh My Girl), Sowon (Gfriend)
Some Other Things About me and K-Pop:
*I’m heavily dancer-biased. You could probably figure this out if you looked at my above list. In my opinion, there is nothing more attractive that someone who’s got moves.
*Once I pick a bias, it usually doesn’t change. When I get into a group, I have a system. I watch all of the music videos and performances, and then all of the variety show appearances and reality shows. After all of that, my bias is usually set. The only time I’ve had two biases was with NCT because I constantly change between Yuta and Taeyong. That being said, my ultimate bias changes constantly.
*I haven’t joined any fandoms. At this point, I think I’m beyond being multifandom. I put together a list of groups that I follow once, and the number was over 50! I can’t even say I’m a casual listener of K-pop either, because I consume so much of it. So I don’t label myself or put myself in a particular fandom. My tastes and favorites are ever-changing, so I just call myself a hardcore K-pop fan and leave it at that.
*I like both boy groups and girl groups…but I like boy groups more. When I made my aforementioned list, I discovered I listen to more girl groups than boy groups. I was surprised, because I thought that it would be the other way around. I think that while I do listen to a lot of girl groups, it’s more casual. I tend to get way more hyped over boy groups, probably because I’m a straight woman.
*I’m an older fan, but also a newer one. I feel like I have a really weird perspective on things. To date myself, I’m about the same age as SNSD. (I’m actually like a week younger than Yoona) But because I’m pretty new to K-Pop, I tend to prefer the groups that are trending right now over the ones that are closer to my age and have been around for a while. I actually really like all groups, but I’ve noticed that the ones that debuted 2008-2011 have a different sound. I’m sure that this would be very different if I discovered K-Pop in college. So it’s a little isolating, because I feel like all of the other older fans listen to other music.
*I’m ambivalent (at best) about cute concepts. To be honest, I know this is incredibly ageist of me. I try to give everything I come across a chance, and I do like a lot of groups that push “cute” or “refreshing” concepts. If I was 18 I’d probably be way into, but I’m just not. At this point in my life, there is nothing in a cute concept that I really relate to. I might like certain songs, but it’s not what I naturally gravitate towards. I do think that there are too many cute groups out there, so I probably do have a bias. But I’d say it’s more against the trend than against the concept itself. If the market was saturated with sexy concepts or badass concepts, I would feel the same way.
*The only thing I’m picky about is the dancing (and the occasional music video). I was in middle school choir and I did some musicals in high school. That is literally the extent of my vocal training. I know very little about vocal technique, and even less about rapping or flow. To me, every song sounds good unless someone is doing something weird with their voice or it has song-within-a-song syndrome. Since I don’t speak Korean, I don’t put much importance on lyrics either. But since I danced for half my life, I will dissect choreography like a frog in a high school biology class. I also went to film school, so I’ll sometimes get picky about music videos.
Note: The featured image comes from Elaina Wahl’s “9 Struggles of Being a K-Pop Fan When You’re Not Korean” on Buzzfeed, which is amazing and so true.