Have you ever wondered how different Japanese pop music to Korean is?
Well, it is easy to mistake one for the other, especially when discovering playlists with new songs.
Of course, both are Asian pop music that can easily reach the international market.
However, even when some similarities are present, some differences are pretty noticeable.
From their local and international influence, marketing strategy, fashion, and public image, Japanese bands, and Korean idols groups are two interesting music genres that play an essential role in the whole global music industry.
In this article, we'll cover the Japanese pop and South Korean pop backgrounds, the j-pop and k-pop main differences, and finally, their influence on western audiences.
What Do J-pop and K-pop Mean?
J-pop refers to Japanese pop music, whereas K-pop refers to Korean pop music.
J-Pop Music Background
J-pop is a musical genre that emerged in the 1960s.
Some of the first J-pop artists were Japanese versions of The Beatles.
Similar to what happened with the British Invasion, these bands became very popular in their home country.
The 70s were also relevant for the genre since it was then when electronic music started being used by some artists like Yellow Magic Orchestra.
This band would lay the foundations for future electronic music in Japan and other countries.
As time passed, new subgenres emerged from J-Pop, and even today, this type of music is still evolving.
The Japanese music scene really started to grow exponentially during the 1990s, thanks to bands such as Mr. Children and B'z.
They produced band-oriented music, which led them to receive platinum sales after platinum sales.
In fact, it was only in the late '90s when dance-oriented idols like Namie Amuro rose to prominence, making her the best-selling girl J-pop singer.
Her huge popularity led girl group acts and J-pop boy bands like Arashi and SMAP to create a buzz with their names, establishing a solid Japanese fan base.
At the dawn of the 21st century, Japanese pop music trends incorporated folk, techno, and hip-hop elements into their musical style.
Some bands even produced music by sampling voiceovers from anime shows by using a voice synthesizer.
During this time, Harajuku-inspired models and idol groups like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and AKB48 dominated the modern j-pop industry.
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