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K-Pop/J-Pop vs Western Music

For my individual research project, I want to look at the phenomena of J-Pop and K-Pop and try and gain a better understanding of the popular music culture. I am someone who has never personally been interested in K-Pop or J-Pop but I have been exposed to it on a regular basis. I remember the first time I listened to K-Pop was a song called Gee by Girls Generation that I’m pretty sure was something I got sent to me via Bluetooth on my Nokia, however it was sent to me as more of a joke than me actually wanting to listen to the song. However, it was super catchy and I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the song. Otherwise my next major run in with K-Pop was again with Girls Generation when somehow the song “The Boys” was shown to me somewhere which then led to me listening to the song, I actually found it pretty catchy, mainly due to the English chorus and the beat itself was pretty “western” in my opinion for its time. Obviously the song was released in two versions one English and one Korean.

Since my early experiences with K-Pop in 2009 and 2011 I didn’t really listen to it again until my younger brother started becoming obsessed with Asian culture 3 or 4 years ago, where he started to learn Chinese as a language and also began listening to K-Pop and then eventually began listening to J-pop also. This has slightly had a negative effect on me as over the last 3-4 years I have been forced to listen to all of this different K-Pop and J-Pop music around my house as he is constantly listening to it on his speakers around the house.

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For my autoethnographic digital artefact I’ve decided to film my brother and I reacting to various K-Pop and J-Pop music videos and also discussing the videos afterwards. One thing I want to focus on is the comparison between western music videos and Japanese and Korean music videos. I want to see how influences the Japanese and Korean market is by Western culture. The reason being that I have read and watched news articles about why Koreans have a desire to look more western going to such lengths as having eye surgery, which is extremely common now in Korea to look more “beautiful.” I have seen some Korean music videos in the past and they all have a similar vibe with rehearsed dance routines, bright colours, crazy outfits and usually involve groups rather than solo performers.

After doing some research its no coincidence that some of the Korean and Japanese pop music I have heard has been incorporating popular American music styles into their music such as rap, dance, techno and even heavy metal using the example of the group ‘Baby Metal.’ There has also been a lot of criticism given to Korean and Japanese music for ripping or sampling American music. A song my younger brother songs is ‘Spending all my time – Perfume’ which I have always said sounds like Wynter Gordon’s number 1 hit Dirty Talk. 

So the process of filming my digital artefact will involve me setting up a tripod in front of my computer screen pointing at my brother and I. We will then watch a few K-Pop videos and film our reactions to each. I then plan on having a short discussion at the end of each video about the Westernized or Western influences sections of the video, if there is any at all. Due to the fact I have a lot of negative feelings towards K-Pop and J-Pop due to the fact I’ve been forced to live in the room next to a die-hard intense fan of the music I will hopefully be able to view the music videos from a less biased and negative perspective in order to understand the culture surrounding the music better.

The above video is similiar in style to the video that I aim to make and then upload onto my Youtube channel. In terms of equipment I will use my Canon 60D Dslr to film and probably also for audio. I will try and use natural lighting as I don’t own or have access to other lighting equipment. I will film it at home and edit it using Final Cut Pro X. In the final product I hope to display the actual K-pop/J-pop video while My brother and I watch it and react.

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