It looks like pop has a new name ‘”K-POP!”

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Image Source: Sompi

With the omnipresence of the internet, and with the rise of so many great pop and R&B stars and TV Talent Shows over the past 10 years – from the X Factor to Pop Idol, Rihanna to Katy Perry, The Saturdays to Neon Jungle – the floodgates have opened for many a budding new star hoping to be the next pop sensation. But one thing from the outburst of both talent and information that we can be grateful for is that it has also given us more access to international music markets. One market that is creeping, or should we say storming, into the international billboard charts is “K-POP”! For the less informed, K-pop is Korean pop music, with artists that seem to take everything we are used to seeing from Western pop, hip-hop, R&B and dance artists, and give it their very own Korean style. After listening to a few artists, one group in particular grabbed my attention so much so that I had to write a review on them for this week’s music review edition.

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Image Source: Mtv Iggy Presents

One always wondered what became of the English language when ‘bootylicious’ was officially coined, and then included in the Oxford English Dictionary. If ever the word ‘poptacular’ reaches the same prominence, then these girls will be the epitome of the term.  are a South Korean all-girl group and off the bat they are just “fierce”, and the fact that the camera adores them does not go amiss. Each member from head to toe resonates confidence, colour, flirtation and style.

CL, Bom, Dara and Minzy officially took the music industry by storm in 2009. Their career then rocketed to stardom in 2011 with their Japan debut. Their take on Korean and English in their music transports the listener to new dimensions. Fused with a little of the Japanese B-Style look, the sassiness of The Saturdays, the colourful vibe that TLC brought in their first material (‘Hat to the Back’, ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ and ‘Baby’), and the sexiness/devil-may-care reggae flair that Rihanna brings to the music scene, we then get all that is crazy, sexy, cool and phenomenal about these girls; and the fact they can sing and rap is sheer brilliance.

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Image Source: Billboard

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Images: Dara Parkph Official Site

2NE1 are a part of the YG family and YG Entertainment, who house other great Korean artists like the world’s favourite Gangnam Style artist ‘PSY’ and ‘G-Dragon’. 2014 saw the release of 2NE1’s second studio album, ‘Crush’, where we hear the girls at their best with a very edgy pop sound and lyrics that split between Korean and English throughout the album. The lead track, Come Back, opens with a very reggae pop beat and Korean lyrics, only to drop into a dance beat for the bridge, and heavy-duty hip-hop sound for the chorus end, with a mix of Korean and English within the chorus lyrics. The song is emphatically next level. Do not even get me started on the video for this song! to only then be mesmerised by the track, MTBD, a song which gives CL a chance to show off her rap skills on this solo CL song. Although this is not a hip-hop group, they definitely do the genre justice as it is incredible to hear CL’s flow in Korean on the song’s beat.

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Image Source: Manila Concert Scene

This is a girl group that has to be listened to in order to fully understand the sheer excitement, and thus we at DIFORM gracefully bow and are ‘ALL IN’ for this incredible girl group 2NE1.

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Edit & Words by: Florence Bailey