The next generation of Kpop

Everyone has heard of BTS, but what happened to Kpop after their giant surge in popularity? WSS staffers Eleanor Weitz ’24 and Jules Keranen ’24 discuss the impact of BTS on the fourth generation of Kpop.

Eleanor Weitz and Jules Keranen

Kpop, the expansive genre of music that’s swept the whole world, is still adapting and changing everyday. Often, fans of South Korea’s catchy songs, complicated choreography and stunning visuals categorize the different waves and trends throughout groups as generations. Generation one is from 1997-2002, generation two is 2003-2011, generation three is 2012-2017 and generation four is 2018 to the present. The specific dates are often disputed but these years are the most agreed upon.

The notable group, BTS, is a third generation group who made such a significant impact on Kpop as a whole, some might say they shaped the expectations for the fourth generation. BTS brought a lot of new components to Kpop and perfected some old ones such as meaningful and high quality music videos, intense and catchy choreography and eventually a westernized sound to their music. The fourth generation of Kpop could easily be described with these qualities because every group hopes to replicate BTS’ success in Western markets. The major burst of North American tours, English versions of Korean songs and overall Western promotion that is often attributed to the fourth generation is a clear symbol of BTS’ impact. All of this and more will be discussed on the podcast above.

If you have an interest in BTS or Kpop in general and want to learn more about fourth generation groups and songs, please listen to the podcast and the spotify playlist linked below with the fundamentals of fourth generation Kpop.