On Spotify’s new “For the Record” podcast, the discussion centered on the rise of K-pop on the global stage.
The podcast episode “From Seoul to São Paulo: The Global Rise of K-Pop” delved into how K-pop has achieved popularity in the world and on Spotify, which has become a major music platform for K-pop artists and fans.
It featured interview with K-pop boy band Stray Kids, who made their comeback with the repackaged album “In Life”; Kossy Ng, Spotify’s head of Artist Label Partnerships in Southeast Asia, who provided insights on the genre’s domestic origins; Babi Dewet and Érica Imenes, a pair of Brazilian K-Pop fans who have founded K-Pop themed groups and podcast Kpapo; and Wonho Chung, a Korean actor, singer and comedian who lives in the United Arab Emirates and has witnessed the rise of K-Pop in the Middle East.
Stray Kids have been known to write and produce their own music.
“Well ever since the start of our whole journey, we thought it’d be really, really special to really make our music, create our own music and really write your own lyrics to be a bit more truthful and to really put our hearts into our music, for our fans to take it in more well,” they said.
They added, “So we thought that was really important because we are the ones who are performing on stage. We are the ones who are singing the song. So we thought it’d be really, really important for us to make the music as well.”
Stray Kids talked about the importance of their fans, the Stays, and maintaining a connection with them.
“With Stray Kids and Stays, we have something a bit more deeper. It feels like we’re just one big whole family,” the idol group said.
They said, “So if there’s like a fan sign event where they come and just talk to us, sometimes they tell us, you know, what their struggles are, what they’re going through, and, you know, all their hardships. I guess we try to really understand them and just try to make them feel better. And for that, that’s one of our really important things that we have to do.”
Spotify’s Ng noted the unique aspects of K-pop fandom, saying, “Seeing how the artists and the fans interact, the fans are pretty much a part of the artist’s journey as well. Like from the beginning, watching them train and debut, how the members are chosen – I think it’s a very emotional type of connection that you end up building with K-pop artists.”
Spotify introduced its first K-pop playlist in 2014 and since then, listeners have streamed more than 180 billion minutes of the genre and added K-pop tracks to more than 120 million Spotify playlists. The share of K-pop listening has increased by more than 2,000 percent in the last six years, showing its rapid growth compared to other music genres.