S is for Storytelling
One criticism K-pop, and even Western “boy bands,” get is that they don’t write their own music.
This is actually a sentiment that I can respect and even agree with. It really takes a true musician to be able to take their experiences and emotions and turn it into a musical creation.
Huge props to artists, both within and outside of K-pop, who are able to do that.
However I think K-pop artists give music a value that I have yet to really see in other music genres. They may not write their own music, but they still tell stories. Through the concept, tone of voice, and stages, K-pop stars translate a story, with a beginning and end, to their audiences.
It isn’t about a feeling, because often the songs are not actually representative of the stories or emotions of their singers, but they always tell a story.
That’s what I look for in my songs and videos when I critique them. How strong is the story they are portraying and how well is it portrayed?
K-pop was already pretty strong in the trend of having elaborate plots to their music videos, but BTS took it to a whole other these past couple of years with their story of the misfit friends. It looks like VIXX and Lovelyz are going to try tackling the trilogy concept this year, and I am very much looking forward to that.
You could criticize the songwriters in K-pop, saying that they are not being genuine because they have not actually experienced the things they write about. But that isn’t the point of a story. Sure, many writers take inspiration from their own experiences, but that isn’t the only source of meaning for stories.
Take VIXX’s Leo for example. I’m sure he has not actually experienced the different romantic situations he writes in his songs, but he writes them as stories that he is telling to an audience. THAT has value. From someone whose passion is writing stories, let me tell you. The ability to portray a story has value, whether or not the story was actually experienced.
Question of the Day:
What have been your favorite stories told in K-pop?
#NowPlaying: Ring Ding Dong by SHINee. This is the first song that I saw really telling me a story. This is one of the first K-pop songs I ever heard, back when the lyrics still sounded like gibberish to me. Despite that, I could see a story in the melody and singing style as the song progresses.
Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!