(CNN) — The previous few years have been large for South Korean pop music.
Though the nation’s music business has been going sturdy for the reason that 1990s, extra not too long ago Ok-pop has managed to make critical inroads in different elements of the world.
Ok-pop group BTS performs on the 2017 American Music Awards.
Kevin Winter/Getty Photographs North America/Getty Photographs
Conventions dedicated to Ok-pop and concert events from top-level acts have turn into commonplace overseas.
Cannot wait 5 years? Within the meantime, there are many locations for devotees to swing by in South Korea’s capital to get their Ok-pop repair. Listed below are just a few of our favorites.
SMTOWN, the establishment that makes Ok-pop what it’s at present, is a must-visit for any Ok-pop followers.
Patrick St. Michel
Fittingly, they’ve constructed themselves a large construction within the coronary heart of Seoul focused at Ok-pop superfans.
SMTOWN at COEX Artium homes quite a lot of sights centered round their roster of Ok-pop superstars (together with Women’ Technology, Exo and TVXQ amongst others). Billed as a “theme park within the metropolis,” guests can take a look at six flooring of Korean musical historical past.
The centerpiece for Ok-pop followers is the museum. It incorporates a complete archive together with well-known outfits worn by numerous Korean pop artists. Guests may take images with augmented variations of their favorites, and even see what a recording studio appears to be like like.
Elsewhere, individuals can get pleasure from quite a lot of sweets and drinks at their cafe house (full with spectacular ice cream choice) or absorb a every day present on the highest flooring. And naturally, they’ve a complete reward retailer catering to each SM fandom.
Most main Ok-pop firm headquarters are a nap to go to. The bulk are simply easy company workplaces providing little for guests, except you do not thoughts tenting out within the off-chance you will catch a glimpse of a star.
Even the areas boasting cafes are likely to have little connection to Ok-pop.
CUBE Leisure’s 20Area Cafe, nevertheless, strikes the correct steadiness and is a spotlight within the capital.
The inside is spacious and stress-free, the soundtrack made up of mellower numbers from CUBE artists akin to G(I-dle) and BtoB. They actually have a nook that includes some agency-related items.
Nevertheless it does not go overboard and capabilities as a strong cafe serving up tasty non-themed espresso drinks. It is one of the best house to bask in some Ok-pop fandom, but in addition simply chill.
Ok-Star Street honors the largest giants within the Ok-pop business.
Patrick St. Michel
Ok-Star Street incorporates a sequence of statues dedicated to Korean music superstars. Comply with the route and you will encounter bear-shaped installations honoring heavyweights akin to BTS, SHINee and Surprise Women, amongst others.
Whereas these will look unbelievable on any Instagram web page, they are not the actual draw for this attraction.
Ok-Star Street serves as a gateway to Gangnam, the middle of the Ok-pop business. Wandering across the backstreets and facet alleys dotting the trail will reveal all kinds of musical factors of curiosity, from company buildings to cafes owned (or frequented) by the performers themselves.
Use Ok-Star Street as a leaping off level for a deep dive into the neighborhood. Although, hey, snap some pics with the bears too.
Ok-Star Street will be accessed through Apgujeong Station on Subway Line 3, exit 1.
Membership I LOVE Ok-POP
Many areas in Seoul supply vacationers an opportunity to pay attention and dance to Ok-pop. Few are as full of life because the aptly named Membership I LOVE Ok-POP.
This Hongdae-based institution performs Korean pop numbers from the 1990s till at present. Given the big selection of tunes performed, it attracts a various set of punters.
Not like most golf equipment, the parents right here truly take breaks at sure factors. The DJ will step away and revelers sit all the way down to drink and revel in meals.
When the tunes begin up once more, anticipate everybody to hurry again to the ground (the one time this author went, he noticed a bunch of individuals flip over a desk when Crayon Pop got here on).
Membership I LOVE Ok-POP, 362-2 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hongdae avenue performers
To observe future Ok-pop stars in motion, head to Hongdae Road.
Patrick St. Michel
You would possibly be capable of see a Ok-pop live performance whilst you’re in Seoul. But when that is not within the playing cards, catching a avenue efficiency will be simply nearly as good.
At night time, the streets of Hongdae fill with younger individuals dancing and lip synching to Ok-pop hits. Huge crowds collect round these amateurs to observe them pull off the identical sharp choreography of bands like BLACKPINK or NCT 127.
In addition to dancers, you will additionally see rappers, singer-songwriters and all kinds of entertainers doing their factor.
Nevertheless it’s the Ok-pop re-creations that draw the largest crowds. Head right here on Friday or Saturday night time to see them out in full pressure.
To get to Hongdae Road, take the subway to Hongik College Station on Subway Line 2 and exit exit eight or 9.
Gangnam Type statue
“Heeeeeey, Horny Woman!”
Patrick St. Michel
Typically, that you must give credit score to those that set all the pieces in movement.
PSY’s 2012 tune “Gangnam Type” was Ok-pop’s first worldwide smash hit. Whereas it’s largely remembered for the horse dance connected to it, the viral sensation set the gears in movement for South Korea’s present world golden age.
Pay your respects on the statue of Gangnam Type, situated exterior the east gate of Gangnam’s Starfield COEX Mall. It is a big-sized model of PSY’s palms from the well-known video. Typically, it performs the tune. An information display subsequent to it gives the historical past of it, too.
Most of all, it is a reminder of how vital Ok-pop has turn into.
Starfield COEX Mall, 513 Yeongdong-daero, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea