Glass explores K-pop in London

INTRODUCED to K-Pop in 2012 with PSY’s song Gangnam Style, my understanding of K-Pop was that it was high energy electronic music with a tongue-in-cheek edge. I now realise that the style has evolved and has little to do with my initial judgement anymore. K-Pop is becoming more and more popular every day, and on May 28 this year, the Korean group BTS took first place in the US Billboard 200, the ranking of the best-selling albums in the United States.

This musical phenomenon invites itself into the coolest nightclubs where K-Pop mixes with K-Hip Hop or K-RnB. Fast becoming a favourite on the night-club scene, Glass explores its impact on the London nightlife scene. Tonight Seoul by Night comes to the Nomad Club in Old Street, east London, an event that promises a fun insight into what K-Pop has to offer – expect a Korean mix of Western pop, Latin, hip-hop, R&B with elements of traditional Korean roots. Experimenting with different genres of music and techniques with an integration of foreign musical elements is what makes K-Pop a unique, modern and refreshing take on the music industry.

To find out more about the K-Pop phenomenon, Glass spoke to Stephan the organiser and the founder of Seoul by Night.

Seoul by night - party

Seoul by night party

What did you have in mind when you launched your first K-Pop night in London? What was your inspiration?
I thought that making a party here would be a great opportunity to allow K-Pop fans to enjoy the music all together and be able to make friends with some new people that maybe they wouldn’t expect to like K-Pop as they do – bringing people with this same interest together and dancing to the best of K-Pop and K- HipHop music in nightclubs. 


Why are K-Pop nights in London the perfect place to discover this musical genre?
I think London is the perfect place because as its one of the first place K-Pop bands come to when having a concert in Europe, its seems that the K-Pop community is big here and so more and more people are into K-Pop nowadays and with this increasing interest in K-Pop music I think that K-Pop parties are really appreciated here in London. 


Can you give three adjectives to describe K-Pop?
Multitalented: Idols are performers who can sing, dance, act. They also are entertainers and seems to have to show a whole positive image to the youth. The more different skills they have ( also sports) the better.

Colourful: I think we can use this word to describe the visual aspects of K-Pop music videos, fashion, and performances but also to describe the variety of music genre that the term “K-Pop” represents.

Innovative: A lot of new K-Pop groups and singers debut ever year. For every album, K-Pop groups come with a new concept something different. They always have to renew themselves to keep the interest of the audience and to stay on the top charts.

Seoul by Night party

How do you explain the enthusiasm for K-pop in Europe and the United States?
I think that most K-Pop music does well because they are the Asian versions of the “boy band” and “girl band” concept which is well known and popular in Europe and United States. But of course they have their own version of these bands, it’s not a copy. Their music is really entertaining; they have a lot of talent. They have really detailed choreographies that fans like to do covers of. The group represents a whole but every member has its own personality and so fans will often root for a particular member of the group; every member of the group is important and brings something to the band.


How is K-pop different from other contemporary genre?
I think that the strong visuals of K-Pop has an impact on the audience. I also think that K-Pop groups and singers are really good at mixing different types of popular music genre to make it their own, and as I said before they’re really innovative and explore a range of different music genre to create something new and fresh. Seems like K-Pop is the perfect contemporary genre mix to release catchy songs that everyone likes and can relate to. 


How do you imagine the evolution of this musical phenomenon in the next 5 years?
K-Pop has existed since the 1990s , they were first inspired by the popular American boys bands of the time. I would say since 2010,  K-Pop has begun to be more and more popular worldwide, as it was already popular in Asia since a long time. Of course they will be some times when K-Pop is more or less popular in Europe and North-South America but seeing that this year a Korean group, the well-known BTS have reached first place on the billboard, I think that K-Pop will only continue to evolve and its popularity will not die yet. 


by Nicolas Bray

Follow the links for more  information about Seoul by Night

Tonight, June 15, Seoul by Night comes to the Nomad Club, 58 Old St, London EC1V 9AJ



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