Korean pop has never shied away from variety and diversity in its concepts, ranging from cute, sexy, and dark to innumerable others. Here we count down the top seven concepts that will never go out of style!
1) The Cute Concept
Pioneered by the likes of Girl’s Generation (“Gee”) and Apink (“Mr Chu”), the cute concept is evergreen and we hope it never leaves. Some of our favorite “cute concept” music videos are TWICE‘s “Knock Knock”, Astro‘s “Breathless” and NCT Dream‘s “We Young.”
2. The School Concept
This has been a popular concept ever since the dawn of K-pop, from H.O.T to Super Junior to EXO. It is still one of the most popular concepts in K-pop as seen in these videos from PENTAGON, GFRIEND, and BTS.
3. The Fierce Concept
Everyone loves a badass, and no one does it better than K-pop. This concept goes hand-in-hand with sugary sweet concepts and has been done from everyone from BIGBANG and B.A.P to BLACKPINK. Check out some of our favorite fierce music videos below.
4. The Sexy Concept
Unapologetic and daring, the sexy concept is sure to catch some eyes. Both boy and girl groups, as well as soloists, pull this concept off flawlessly, leaving us wondering about their versatility every time. From Hyolyn to SHINee‘s Taemin to EXO, sexy is a concept that K-pop does well!
5. The Retro Concept
What better way to take a trip down memory lane than some retro music? K-pop has almost mastered this genre with artists like SHINee, Triple H, and TVXQ paying homage to bygone eras.
6. The Futuristic Concept
If one side of the coin is retro, the other side is definitely futuristic as artists created a vision of what is to come. Quite similar to the retro concept, futurism too has become a popular and sought after concept in K-pop, ranging from science fiction to cyberspace. BIGBANG has been one of those most popular influences on this concept as we see it today. Other favorites include 2NE1‘s “Come Back Home” while younger artists like AleXa continue to take on a futuristic concept in their own music.
7. The Dark Concept
A list about the various K-pop concepts cannot be complete without mentioning the dark concept. When it comes to dark concepts, almost every K-pop artist has indulged us with stunning visuals and engaging stories from the darker realm at least once. However, there are some who truly excel at it! Naming only a few would be incredibly difficult, but a few of our favorites are from Sunmi, VIXX, and Dreamcatcher.
Which of these concepts is your favorite? What other concepts would you add to the list? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1
Ishani Sarkar is a self-professed learner for life, trying to find meaning and happiness in the smallest of things. She found her safe haven within the world of Korean entertainment and she’s never letting go.
Media: As Credited