What Makes K-Pop Unique?

What Makes K-Pop Unique?


(upbeat music) – When “Gangnam Style”
went viral back in 2012, ♪ Oppa Gangnam style ♪ (upbeat music) the world got a glimpse of
the flashy, heavily produced and entertaining nature of K-pop. Since then, we’ve seen a
lot, such as witnessing K-pop group BTS continuously
breaking records since 2017 (sings in a foreign language) Blackpink being the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella ♪ Blackpink ♪ and SuperM being the second
K-pop group to reach number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. (upbeat music) With all of that, there’s
no doubt that K-pop has become a global phenomenon. While K-pop songs seemed like
standard flashy pop songs, they’re actually a lot more complex. So what makes K-pop different? (techno music) K-pop songs feature genre
twists, mood changes, and unexpected musical turns. Most of them have at least
three songs built into one. This started back in 1992 when one of the earliest K-pop
groups, Seo Taiji and Boys, experimented by combining
heavy metal, jazz and ballad genres in one song. (“I Know” This helped reshape and
modernize South Korea’s contemporary music scene. One of the most popular
examples of genre switching is Girls Generation’s 2013
release, “I Got a Boy.” (“I Got a Boy”) – My name’s David Amber. I’m a music producer and songwriter and I’ve done a lot of
work in the K-pop world. ♪ Shaker, shaker (singing
in a foreign language) ♪ ♪ La, la love bomb ♪ ♪ Mystery ♪ – Could you break down
some of the elements that you see are crucial in K-pop? – From a, like a writing
perspective, I mean track-wise, there’s just generally
a lot more going on. – Hm. – Traditionally, there’s more sections. There’s more interesting chord
colors that are being used. There’s a lot of people in the groups, you can be like nine, 10, 11, 12, people, so there has to be a
lot of different parts. Those are some of the things
that are just standard when we write songs in the genre. – K-pop also changes things
up by using chord progressions influenced by jazz and classical music which feature thicker, more
harmonically dense chords. In a typical recent pop
song, the chord progressions resolve neatly, like in Rihanna’s “Stay.” One, two, six, four, two, six. Four, two, five. But K-pop progressions often
create harmonic instability by using suspensions. This creates tension. A suspension is when we
have an unstable chord, such as this sus4 chord
and we resolve downwards. Apply that to the chords
to “Stay,” for example, (piano music) it might sounds like that. K-pop’s progressions also
use secondary dominance, also know as applied chords, as part of their chord structure. Just like how each key has a five chord, or a dominant chord, each
of the diatonic chords within the key have their own five chords. So for example, if
we’re going from C major to A minor, one to six, we may insert in between those
two chords the five of six, which is E major in this case and it’ll sound like this. (gentle piano music) An example of secondary
dominance and jazz harmonies used in K-pop is in Red
Velvet’s “One of These Nights.” (“One of These Nights”) Suspensions and secondary
dominant chords help add complexity to K-pop melodies. This allows them to convey
the emotions and story of the song to listeners who
may not understand the lyrics. K-pop melodies also do this
by using modal mixture, which is when chords are
borrowed from the parallel key. Here we have C major and C natural minor,
its parallel minor key. As you can hear, there
are some differences. C major goes one, two,
three, four, five six, seven, whereas C natural minor
goes one, two, flat three, four, five, flat six, flat seven. When we go from C major
and instead of going to the major four, F major,
we’re going to F minor, which is borrowed from
the parallel minor key. It sounds like this. (piano chords) And that’s what Day6 does
in their song “Cover.” (upbeat electric piano music) (“Cover”) What about lyrics because it’s in Korean? – Most of the time we’ll
write the song in English. – In English, okay. – Yeah, and once the label decides that they wanna cut the song, then a lot of times what
happens is they’ll give the song to a bunch of different Korean lyricists. – And you’re dealing with a
set of lyrics that takes you from point A to point B but
you’re having to accommodate multiple singers with
different characteristics. I would imagine that’s very challenging. – We do, we demo these songs – Okay. – and we try to make them sound as close to what we imagine the finished song would sound like with
the groups singing on it, so really, that comes down to top-liners that I work with or if
we hire a demo singer. So they know this is the
guy with the high range. This rapper’s got a deep,
husky tone, so like, you know, like, – That is so cool. – It is cool. – They get into character, basically. – They get into character,
yeah, yeah, yeah. – That is so cool. Another common musical technique
in K-pop is key changes. Just like Disney soundtracks and musicals, the K-pop industry loves its modulations. Mamamoo’s funky upbeat
song, “You’re the Best,” is in the key of F major for its verses, and then changes to
the key of A flat major at the chorus. (“You’re the Best”) Another way K-pop songs
add color to their melodies is by utilizing chromaticism. Chromaticism refers to notes
that are a semi-tone above or below their adjacent diatonic pitches. Here’s a plain C major scale. (piano music) And now with the chromatic
pitches in between the diatonic pitches added. (piano music) And you hear this type of
chromaticism in melodies, maybe something like this. (piano music) will sound like this. (piano music) And you can hear it in
this song’s catchy hook, which makes the song
sound bright and playful. (“Fun”) The use of the Phrygian mode
in pop music has increased in popularity and K-pop is no exception. In fact, the Phrygian
mode is currently one of the most commonly used modes in K-pop. The main characteristic
of the Phrygian mode is the half step between the
first and second degrees, which creates a Middle Eastern,
edgy, badass type of vibe. (“Mic Drop”) The major variant of the Phrygian mode, known as Phrygian dominant, appears most often in K-pop songs. (“Boombayah”) (“Love Cherry”) (“Windy Day”) K-pop also rarely sticks
to the typical pop form of intro, verse, pre-chorus,
chorus, first pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, chorus, and outro. Sometimes it’s difficult to
know what section is what. In Red Velvet’s “Zimzalabim,”
what is used as a pre-chorus in the beginning, ♪ Nah, nah, nah, nah, ha, zimzalabim ♪ is later used as a post-chorus. ♪ Zim, zim, zim, nah, nah,
nah, nah, nah, hey, na ♪ Do you think over the last
few years, K-pop has really influenced Western pop
or the other way around? – I think that you know
Western pop generally, the music and the image is
aimed a little bit older and it leaves this
opening for maybe like a One Direction used to be. So K-pop, I think, does that
better than any other genre. So I think in that way, it’s really influenced worldwide culture. – I can recognize certain
sonic elements of K-pop but the specifics of it, not quite. So if you have any suggestion for me to, you know, hey include this, and you’ll be, you’ll be closer. – There’s a lot more going on, melodically and also trackwise. – What about the types of
sounds that I should use? – It can be anything, but
I’d just say that like, there’s never a moment where
there’s not anything happening. – Okay, always engaging. – Yeah, more is more in K-pop. – Okay. More is more, okay. What’s so fun about K-pop is
that on the surface level, something may seem quite
mainstream and typical, but if you look closer
at specific elements, there’s so much more to be seen and heard. K-pop is written so that listeners will be consistently entertained by the changing styles
or unexpected pop form and now that we’ve gone over what makes K-pop music sound like K-pop, I’m going to create my own original instrumental track using some of K-pop’s musical elements. (upbeat keyboard music)

Halsey – You should be sad (Lyrics)

Halsey – You should be sad (Lyrics)


You should be You should be You should be You should be sad You should be You should be sad I feel so sad there’s something in it for you ‘Cause you can’t love nothing unless I’m so glad I never ever had a baby with you of you with money, drugs, and cars And you can’t fill the hole inside ‘Cause you’re not half the man you think that you are Hey Hey Hey Hey ‘Bout who you are And I had no warning about who you are I tried to help you, it just made you mad Oh, I feel so sorry, I feel so sad Just glad I made it out without breaking down And I had no warning about who you are I tried to help you, it just made you mad Oh, I feel so sorry, I feel so sad there’s something in it for you ‘Cause you can’t love nothing unless I’m so glad I never ever had a baby with you of you with money, drugs, and cars And you can’t fill the hole inside But you’re not half the man you think that you are And then put back all his parts Take a broken man right in my hands I really meant well from the start Let me start this off by saying (By saying) ‘Cause, no, I’ve had enough of them Won’t see your alligator tears That you would never ever touch me again And then ran so fucking far I’m just glad I made it out without breaking down And I had no warning about who you are I tried to help you, it just made you mad Oh, I feel so sorry, I feel so sad there’s something in it for you ‘Cause you can’t love nothing unless I’m so glad I never ever had a baby with you of you with money, drugs, and cars And you can’t fill the hole inside No, you’re not half the man you think that you are And then I’ll be on my way Gonna jot it down and then get it out So there’s some things I gotta say Know nobody else will tell you I gotta get it off my chest (My chest) I wanna start this out and say

SIAMÉS “Summer Nights” [Official Animated Music Video]

SIAMÉS “Summer Nights” [Official Animated Music Video]


TELL HER WHEN IT RAINS I DON’T FEEL IT TELL HER I’M TO BLAME DIDN’T SEE IT WINTER’S SNOWS DON’T HIDE MY WOES
I CAN’T LIE TO YOU I TRIED TO WARN HER
THAT SOMETIMES WE FALL IN THE DARK IT’S SUMMERTIME SINGING AL GREEN IN YOUR CAR HEADING TO A PARTY & THE NIGHT AIR FEELS ALIVE JUST SITTING HERE I’M WAITING, OH YEAH AND HE’S NOT BY MY SIDE, FEELING DAZED AND I CAN’T GET HIM OUT STUCK IN YESTERDAY HE DON’T KNOW IT, I RARELY SHOWED IT
I CAN’T LIE TO YOU I TRIED TO WARN HIM
THAT SOMETIMES WE FALL IN THE DARK IT’S SUMMERTIME SINGING AL GREEN IN YOUR CAR HEADING TO A PARTY & THE NIGHT AIR FEELS ALIVE BUT IN MY LIFE I NEVER MEANT TO CAUSE NO HARM NEVER HURT NOBODY JUST WANNA TAKE THIS CHANCE TO FLY ON THIS SUMMER NIGHT BUT IN MY LIFE I NEVER MEANT TO CAUSE NO HARM NEVER HURT NOBODY JUST WANNA TAKE THIS CHANCE TO FLY…

Oh Wonder – Happy (Lyrics)

Oh Wonder – Happy (Lyrics)


to see you with somebody new Oh I, never thought I’d be happy With somebody else, cause now you’re more yourself to see you do the things we do never thought I’d be happy to see you with somebody new never thought I’d be happy to see you with somebody new Oh I, never thought I’d be happy With somebody else, cause now you’re more yourself never thought I’d be happy I never thought I’d be happy Dancing with another, It’s better like that it’s clear we’re good without each other Wide awake and dreaming, I wanted you back So many nights of barely sleeping to see you with somebody new Oh I, never thought I’d be happy With somebody else, cause now you’re more yourself to see you do the things we do never thought I’d be happy to see you with somebody new I never thought I’d be happy I guess that’s how I know I’ve finally let you go Should hurt, somehow it don’t You’re holding someone close But it’s good to see you loved, let’s call it even I used to wish you would never find the one Just to get you out my mind for an evening Spent all my weekends pretending I was fine Never thought I’d be happy Never thought I’d be happy to see you with somebody new Oh I, never thought I’d be happy With somebody else, cause now you’re more yourself to see you do the things we do never thought I’d be happy to see you with somebody new I never thought I’d be happy I guess that’s how I know I’ve finally let you go Should hurt, somehow it don’t You’re holding someone close And I wonder how you’ve been without it It’s been a year since you gave me back my love But there’s something kinda nice about it I didn’t think that I’d see you here tonight

Discrete, Sistek – Typo (Lyrics) ft. Tudor, Voss

Discrete, Sistek – Typo (Lyrics) ft. Tudor, Voss


I hit the backspace, Still want you back babe Still want you back babe I hit the backspace, still want you back babe Don’t wanna read it, I can’t delete it I hit the backspace, don’t want you back babe You’re like the typo, I can’t rewrite so I hit the backspace, Still want you back babe I hit the backspace, don’t want you back babe Don’t wanna read it, I can’t delete it I hit the backspace, don’t want you back babe You’re like the typo, I can’t rewrite so Oh my god Don’t wanna fight, Baby I’m sick of chaos All day all night, You call and I can’t take it Hate that I lied, But this time I had to face it I had to walk to keep us on the good side Our highs and lows, like a fine line Was pretty hard, but I’ll be alright Crossing you out, Out of my life I hit the backspace, Still want you back babe I hit the backspace, Still want you back babe Don’t wanna read it, I can’t delete it I hit the backspace, Still want you back babe You’re like the typo, I can’t rewrite so Oh my god I wanna fight, Maybe I love the chaos All day and night, your touch there’s no replacement I hate your lies, But I love the way you say them I’m fighting lows that only you can put right You’re just like my pills, you keep me high You’re what I need, that’s what I don’t like F**K it come back, Into my life

The Black Eyed Peas – Shut Up (Official Music Video)

The Black Eyed Peas – Shut Up (Official Music Video)


INSTAGRAM SONG (Music Video)– Fun video by La La Life

INSTAGRAM SONG (Music Video)– Fun video by La La Life


My life was boring My hobbies sucked Collecting stamps And going to the park to feed the ducks Then, one day an application appeared On my phone Now, I sit like a mighty king on a social media throne Gram… Oh, instagram… You make my life seem much more interesting In real life I am so out of shape And I don’t work out But when I am on Instagram I’ve got perfect abs and a lovely butt I look so tired and I often smell bad You can’t smell people through your phone And it makes me glad! On instagram I am not who I really am I am Dating models with my hair looking totally glam I’m Swimming with dolphins And I’m holding a dolphin’s hand But in real life I’m just a boring man Gram… Oh, instagram… You make my life seem much more interesting In real life, I am sorting my books alphabetically But on the Internet, I am hanging out with celebrities I am with Jay-z, singing hip-hop Cause I’m good at the Photoshop Scoring a goal, playing football with that famous athlete… Michael Jordan On instagram I am not who I really am I am Eating caviar that’s been rolled in expensive ham I am Playing tennis and I’m winning the Grand Slam! But in real life I’m just a boring man May be I should come clean Let all the people know What you put on the Internet is really just a show What I put on Instagram Isn’t who I am Can I stop it? No! No, I love looking cool, don’t I? On instagram I am not who I really am I am living on the moon now Playing drums in an alien band I’m Saving the universe from a mutated monster clam But in real life I’m just a boring man Anyone for a game of chess?