What are SNSD fans called Music Kpop

K-pop music phenomenon : The crazy world of Seoul pop

Big bang? Got7? Exo? In Berlin these names trigger shrugs, in Seoul hormone surges. This is the name of the most successful boy bands of the K-Pop wave, Pop from Korea, which has been celebrating phenomenal success across Asia with catchy songs for 15 years.

What began as a copy of American boy bands has developed into its own youth movement in Korea, Japan, Thailand, China, Malaysia, India, and Vietnam. It is probably the biggest upheaval in the global music market in the past ten years - and the first to pass the West almost completely by.

If there's one city that represents the rise of K-pop, it's Seoul. The three K-pop giants, the entertainment companies SM, YG and JYP, are based in the capital of South Korea. Together they generated sales of almost $ 500 million in 2015. Thanks to them, the domestic music market is the eighth largest in the world (Germany ranked third), ten years ago it was still ranked 33rd.

Hologram concerts for fans

The first bands were invented in the twelve million metropolis in the early 1990s, almost all K-pop stars live here - and this is where fans make the pilgrimage to be close to their idols. Like the Lotte shopping center at the Design Plaza.

The seven guys from Got7 appear on the ninth floor. Well, they aren't really, holograms of them are projected onto a big screen, lifelike 3D images that pretend to be communicating with the audience, singing and dancing for them and winking at them.

Almost like shuffling your hair

Despite the simulation, May and Nam start screeching as if the boy band were in person. The two 19-year-old girls come from Pattaya in Thailand and are backpacking Korea. They wriggle in their seats, stretch their hands towards the screen, sing along loudly as the slender boys with their blond or reddish hair whirl around in front of them.

In the end, the students seem so relaxed, as if every member of the band had personally ruffled their hairstyle. The girls have never attended a Got7 concert, the tickets are too expensive, but they saved 30 euros for their band's hologram show.

Soft Power K-Pop

K-Pop has become a brand for the economically emerging country - like Samsung for smartphones and Hyundai for cars. The government has long since recognized this. It promotes music with taxpayers' money, and the Ministry of Culture has its own department for perfect mass-produced goods. President Park Geun Hye likes to be photographed with the boy band Exo, currently the most influential celebrities in the country according to Forbes Korea.

Music unites people across borders and is more successful than some diplomacy. The relationship between the former war enemies Japan and Korea has been more relaxed since bands like Big Bang have become megastars in the island nation. On the border with North Korea, border guards not only play propaganda messages over loudspeakers in the communist country, but also K-pop. Defectors tell how popular the officially banned music is in the north.

Karl Lagerfeld and G-Dragon

8 p.m., Thursday evening, the world's most successful boy band now appears as a hologram in front of 20 spectators in Lotte. And that for the third time that day. Big Bang have sold 79 million records, their British competitor One Direction only 70 million. The five young men sing their hit "Fantastic Baby", an electro hymn produced in Korean with rap sprinkles and occasional bits of English like "Dance dance dance dance".

Singer G-Dragon dances in a gold-embroidered uniform jacket that he may have received from Karl Lagerfeld. The designer regularly invites the pop star to the Chanel fashion shows in Paris. Rapper T.O.P. yells “Boom-shakalaka”, and the Japanese ladies in row one look spellbound at the screen in front of them.

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