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K-Pop Meets UBCO: Well Wednesday’s New Spin

December 1st, 2016

k-pop-ubco-well

Photo by David Vassiliev / The Phoenix News

On Wednesday, November 3, the Korean Student’s Association and the Chinese Scholar Student’s Association hosted a K-pop Night at the Well. There was a mixed range of students in the crowd: some were experts at the genre, some were just there to hang around with friends, and some were newbies who wanted further exploration into musically foreign terrain. While music from well known artists such as Twice, Girl’s Generation, Got7, Red Velvet, etc. was playing, students could be seen socializing and re-enacting dances from their favourite music videos.

K-pop is a relatively new but rising phenomenon in the West, and Korean artists and entertainment companies are certainly taking note of the steady rise in popularity and seeing North America as a strong market. K-pop idols are scheduling more and more tours in the USA and Canada, and many artists even have citizenship or permanent residency in North America. There are whole sites in English dedicated to entertainment news in Korea, and many fandoms have their own forums to discuss their idols. Competition is also pivotal in the K-pop industry: fans are constantly fighting online, and idols are working longer hours and harder than ever in order to please the high demands from their fans. It is not just Korean pop music that is skyrocketing in popularity here in North America; Korean beauty products and dramas are also gaining traction. Sites

such as YesAsia and YesStyle are popular go-to places for Korean or Asian products in general, even if there are high import and shipping fees that go along with it.

The atmosphere was cheery and lighthearted. Although the event was held in the middle of a busy exam season, there was a surprisingly large crowd present at the well that night. Students were socializing over drinks and discussing whatever song and artist was playing at the moment. A group of students started a dance battle to see how many iconic dance moves they knew by heart. Occasionally, there would be squeals of delight whenever someone’s favourite artist blasted from the speakers up front. Some of those who were new to the whole K-pop phenomenon were a bit confused at first, but got the hang of it pretty soon. In the end, everybody genuinely had a good time, and that is what counts.

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