The Korean Wave (Hallyu) refers to the growing popularity of Korean Entertainment since the mid-1990s. It started with the over-the-top Korean dramas. This widespread notice of Korean culture was not just limited to these dramas; in fact, it included the acknowledgment of the language, movies, and most importantly, its pop culture (aka K-POP).
Korean Pop Culture has been the fastest growing branch of the Korean wave in the 21st century. It includes groups made of multiple members, sometimes exceeding over 20 people, or soloists. All of these idols are signed under companies who have extensive audition and training processes. They provide their fans with choreography and live vocals. It is not just the vocals and dances that are so appealing, but it’s also the cutesy soft visuals and funky fashion.
^ J-Hope Airport Fashion
It was mainly Psy’s Gangnam Style that swept the world with its catchy tune, but the stage is now held by many groups such as BTS, Twice, NCT, and Red Velvet. In fact, BTS has been the fastest growing boy band in the world. They have won the title of Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards for two consecutive years. Their music is full of allegories and hidden messages. Dedicated fans have come up with a long list of theories as a result. Every single song and album is connected to an overarching umbrella of the theme they are trying to convey. Groups like Twice, have also started to follow this type of storytelling.
BTS are also collaborators with the Unicef Campaign for ending violence. Recently, they were awarded a Korean Merit for being key influencers of the Korean Wave. This group has achieved so much in so little time that there is now a stronger push in the Korean Wave. On top of this, they have set an example of success for many rookie groups.
^ Red Velvet