One of my personal resolutions for the new year is something I like to call “new year, new attitude.”
This resolution, however, did not occur to me when I was thinking about school or family or friends, but relationships. I have been in one of the longest and most complicated relationships in my life for quite some time now, with none other than the world of K-pop.
The year of 2011 brought to the forefront a lot of music that I like, as well a crap load of music I did not care for, and even some music that surprised me. But for some reason, as I took time out of my life to watch the three major music festivals, I found myself sifting through performances for my favorites rather than just sitting down and watching the whole show.
And suddenly a thought occurred to me: what am I doing? I’m a music critic, I should be watching everything! I then proceeded to think about watching absolutely everything, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. So I began to think about why.
Over the past few years, the music industry has introduced an enormous number of new groups that still crowd the pop scene to this very day. And even now, groups are still being released at rate that is hard for me to catch up with. How am I supposed to find the time to sit down with all of them and discover their music, their nuances, their quirks, find time to be a critic to all of them, and also have a social life outside of K-pop? I mean, it sounds a little harsh, yes. But let’s be real with each other–there are way too many groups out there in K-pop today to keep track of.
The sheer enormity of the number of new groups really only occurred to me as I looked over the roster from the January 6th Music Bank. A majority of the list included groups I had virtually barely even heard of, including X-5, A Pink, MYNAME, Brave Girls, AA, BoM, and Chocolat. I literally felt like I didn’t know where I was. I mean I’ve seen their names some other times before, but usually mixed in with a lot of other mainstream groups I was more familiar with, so as a matter of consequence, I just didn’t bother with those names I didn’t know. But when the greater part of a recent roster for Music Bank was comprised all these names, I couldn’t help but feel irked, and most of all lost.
Before, I wouldn’t say I was ignoring other groups, just paying more attention to groups that I liked and those that I had known. But now as I think about it, my selective behavior when it came down to watching music performances pretty much equates to the same thing as ignoring those groups I knew nothing about.
To be quite honest, I think all of us are are somewhat guilty of this. It’s hard being a K-pop fan, especially when there are one too many music groups out there that cater to nearly every demographic and every taste. They’re all out there trying catch our attention, but the most of us can really only remember and care about a small few. Do I think it’s a bad thing that we have favorites and play favorites? No, that’s very natural, especially with music. Does it make me think about all the good music that I’ve so dutifully ignored? Oh yes, all too well.
While I know that K-pop is as much as business as it is a music industry, I hate even thinking about that I’ve missed out on what could may have well been some good music, even from groups of kids I never knew before. Which is why I hope my resolution for “new year, new attitude” is enough motivation to change the way I see new K-pop groups and to start giving a damn about those groups and their music rather than just sticking entirely to the music I know. What K-pop is going to bring the the table in 2012 is hard to say, but I’ve pledged to bring a new attitude to the music it has to deliver.
That being said, how do you plan to go about your relationship with K-pop music this year?