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Rise of BTS: Why is K-Pop so Popular?

DYNAMITE: the first act whose songs are not predominantly sung in English – and the first artist to win outside the west.

The phenomenon of BTS – the telling of the infamous genre of K-Pop – have beat pop queen and music idol Taylor Swift to the top-spot throne by being named best-selling artist in 2020. With Drake swiftly following Taylor making up the top three, BTS have become the first act to win who are a Korean act, but who are also not formally from the west of the globe.

With their two albums, Map of the Soul: 7 and Be, dominating the charts across the globe, they took the crown with flying colours. Despite Taylor’s emphatic accomplishments of doing the same – releasing Folklore and Evermore in the same year – BTS and the fandom that K-Pop brought, have taken the world by storm. I’m sure this is the only start of it all.

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We still love Taylor, though. In fact, you can view Taylor Swift’s Story of 2020 here:

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Fun Fact –they are also the first Korean act to perform at all four major Western award shows: BBMAs, AMAs, Grammys and VMAs; which is an impressive feat all by itself.

With many questioning the integrity of the polls, many are questioning as to why they won the top prize – especially since the songs are not predominantly sung in English at all. This shan’t come as a surprise to many, however, especially how we’ve seen the epics of PSY’s Gangstam Style come to popularity, with only the words of “sexy lady” present that is in a language we understand.

But it is not the language that is used that gets people listening. But, it’s those damn catchy hooks and trailing sing-along lyrics that end up in your head throughout the day – and that is irrespective of what language it is in. With the eclectic blend of gorgeous”boy band pop”, catchy melodic hooks, mesmerising dance choreography, the interlacing of every genre under the sun, and the mass popularity of Asian communities – – you have the domination of incredulously cheesy-but-brilliant Korean Pop. It’s the perfect mixture for music dominance in such a ripe music industry.

Which brings me to the thought for the day: have you listened to K-Pop? What are your thoughts on it – and why do you think it’s so damn popular?

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Album album concept album review Art artist CD Culture Favourites music music album music industry Vinyl

Vinyl Domination in the Industry: Are CDs Dying?

For the first time in 34 years, vinyls outsold CD annual revenues in 2020.

In what seemed like a devastating year for the music industry due to the pandemic – –

it seems that vinyls and their physical purchases were the only exception …

Of course, the shutting of retail would have obviously negatively impacted the sales of CD, but the historical year that vinyl has had, tells us how they are becoming a far more lucrative purchase – within a community that are just as willing to go the extra mile to buy some for their collection.

Of course, whether it is vinyl or CD, it is all a matter of personal choice with consumers and which format is more ideal to each listener. While vinyls are outplaying CDs as we speak, it is important to note that streaming are still – and will be for time to comethe forerunners in the industry – despite the pitiful revenues that artists incur with it.

With thanks to vinyl purchases, the overall physical music revenues did not really decline through 2020 during the pandemic, despite the restrictions in place for all things music. With the whole live music sector inactive, have vinyls allowed the industry to survive?

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Past Blogs

Discover Weekly: Your Weekly Music Round-Up

Happy Saturday, folks! I hope you have some wonderful plans in store for this yearly Summer. With plans in mind, why not take a glance at some recommended singles below? All in the wondrous form of a collective story-playlist! A collective of songs resembling those stark-naked dreams sprawled out on the beach, the radiant sunshine […]

The Wombats: “Fix Yourself, Not The World” – Album Review

After finding renowned TikTok success, The Wombats find new form in their Talking Heads-esque style of modern music – without the album being “too pandemic-y.” Reflecting modestly on the horrors of the past few years in regards to COVID-19, the trio of Matthew Murphy, Tord Øverland Knudsen, and Dan Haggis wanted to keep the bold […]

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Album Art Coffee and Music Culture Entertainment Favourites music

Sunday: Coffee and Music

There is something magical about brewing a pot of coffee, sticking your headphones on and losing yourself in the playlist amenity of relax and chill.

Whether it’s frosty, snowy or even summer-like in cool February, coffee and music is a worthy double-act that tops any listing.

Any playlist is perfect if it resembles relax, right? Louis Armstrong to Bon Iver – tantalising trumpet or sultry piano trills – it is the perfect setting and appropriate to round off the hectic week, relax on a day that you are allowed to relax on. Before you do it all over again the coming Monday.

Nothing beats a coffee-flavoured compilation of dressing gown, slippers and duvet.

With that being said, everyone has their own routines on Sunday surrounding music – so what’s yours?

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Album Art Chart Music Culture Entertainment Favourites music music industry music streaming Opinion

Let’s Talk: Have Music Charts Become Pointless?

Music Charts: Are they needed?

Back before the undisputed champions of music streaming powerhouses were evident in our music industry, we understood who reigned supreme at the top of the food chain that one week because of music charts. But as we become more complicated with more and more artists sharing the same streaming numbers in the millions, it seems it has become harder to tell who is top in the charts. And above all else, does it really matter now?

How we are consuming our music has changed. Radio plays and CD purchases no longer become important in calculating the music charts. Ever since Billboard starting taking streaming numbers and plays via the Internet into account when working out the chart spots, the shift in power changed. I don’t know if I feel this way because I’m older, but there was a certain feeling of trepidation and excitement every Sunday when they announced the Top 40 Charts for the week. Now, I barely give it a moment’s notice and it rarely pops up in any important music feed.

The Complication of MANY Charts

Usually, it is used in a passing comment within a conversation that is more important. A conversation probably about the streaming giants of Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Deezer. The more charts there is, the less it means for all us. If an artist tops the YouTube’s video charts, but barely scrapes the top 20 in Spotify’s weekly, are more or less popular who is in the number eight spot? It seems that charts have become more how popular from one site is to another, and measures the rate of consumption as opposed to measuring the popularity of music artists. The key demographic changes, and with it, the workings out of music charting.

Is it just me or are music charts pointless to view – or do they still give people an inclination into what’s popular?

I feel that people have become more self-aware and now make up their own opinions over what is “popular” or not.

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Art Culture Entertainment Leeds Festival live music music music artist music industry Music problems news Opinion Reading Festival UK festivals

Are We Planning For Music Festivals Too Soon?

I’m all for getting the industry back on track again – but is a mass summer festival the way to do it?
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After the news that both Reading and Leeds festivals are set to continue this year in August – which was undoubtedly followed by pretty much all festival days being sold out – it’s made me think, are we ready to return to our festivals or are we planning them too soon?

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Now, I know that August surpasses the date of June where all legal rulings against social distancing are scrapped, but it is especially important to not get ahead of ourselves at this time, especially when we all want to get back to normality and enjoy ourselves in the sun. I think that this drastic course of action is an aspect of greed as well as opportunity missed in the past from last year, and it has undoubtedly given hope for the people attending.

I would have certainly thought that all festival organisers, planners and the ‘committee’ themselves, would follow the same steps as their Glastonbury counterparts – both festivals are merely a month apart, after all. But I guess money talks.

Now, don’t get me wrong – part of me wants to ignore the warnings, sit back and let everyone enjoy the fun – because, by God, do we deserve it. But there is another part that is telling me otherwise – another strain and active cases still in the summer? We’re back where we started.

After all, it’s one thing to see a small live gig setting at your local pub for instance, but its another thing to pack thousands of avid music fans into fields rife with music. Rest assured, those attending will hold nothing back to receive their much-missed antidote of attending music festivals during the Summer.

Personally, there is nothing I’d want more than for us to watch live music again – and not just on our screens, either.

The question is – is now the best time to drop our guard and relax because of the vaccination or is it time to be as attentive as ever?