By BreAnna Collier | @Brelyndrop

I’ve been a fan of K-pop since I was five years of age so it’s been about 13 years in this game as I am currently 18 years old. I stan many groups – a few to name would be NCT, ATEEZ, VAV, Boyfriend, ITZY, Stray Kids, Dreamcatcher, Twice, Nu’est, and more… At first K-Pop music was just a genre of music to me like any other genre of music, I listened to anything and everything because that is how I was raised. But it was back in my middle school years when I thought of K-Pop as more than just another genre of music. By then, K-Pop had started to have much more meaning and it helped me get through a lot of trauma in my life during 2014 and 2017.

 K-Pop soon turned into a safe space for me when I couldn’t turn to anyone in my family or talk to them. I was always the mature yet youngest sibling and I didn’t want to burden my family so K-Pop was there for me, this genre of music is something that helped me when I was in a bad place or completely stressed out. So turning to K-Pop helped me quite a lot as certain songs could help improve my mood or even just watching the members in videos would bring a smile to my face.

K-Pop is an outlet for me, a stress reliever. Be it listening to music or learning the dances, it has helped me grow as a person. K-Pop has changed my life quite a lot since middle school. I was 11 when things got rough in my life and instead of acting out like most would, I turned to K-Pop instead and so, it is kind of a savior to me. The music and artists helped me during my struggles and rough times and it was always there by my side, whenever I needed help in coping. 

K-Pop songs as well have such deeper meanings once you read the lyrics and interpret them in your way, it changed my perspective. Each song has a set mood based on the beats and my favorite songs to listen to when I want to feel confident in myself is ATEEZ’s ‘Hala Hala’ andMamamoo’s ‘Hip’. When I’m in a cheery mood I like listening to WayV’s ‘Let me love you’ and NCT 127’s ‘Welcome to my Playground’. Whereas, when I’m in a nostalgic mood I listen to SHINee’s ‘Replay’ and Wonder Girls’ ‘Nobody’. When I’m in a sad mood, I mostly listen to Doyoung’s cover of ‘breathin’ by Ariana Grande because the way you can hear and feel the emotions in his voice just has me shook to the core. 

The reason why I read lyrics and watch the music video whenever available is that it can give a great sense of what the song is about. For example, my friend who is a huge TEENTOP stan, Raven got me more into them and their song ‘No more perfume on you’, which is a jam. I bop to that song every time I hear it but when I first watched the video I immediately looked up the lyrics because it was talking about cheating, hence the title. NCT U’s ‘Yestoday’ is a song that I don’t just enjoy the video for, but because of the tempo and the way Taeyong, Mark, Doyoung, and Lucas’ voices match in the song; it’s soothing to me and pulls me in each time. When I looked up the lyrics also, there was a lot to relate to, especially Lucas’ rap as it’s one of my favorites. In Mark’s rap, some of the lyrics make me understand him because I relate to “Boy didn’t know a lot, I think I’m still the same I’m still searching for my galaxy, still don’t know my screen”. The way I interpret these lines is that in the past I didn’t know much and I still don’t, I’m still looking for myself. NCT is relatable to me and they have changed the way I reflect on myself to see if I have made personal growth in time.

 In recent days I’ve been into NCT & WayV so much that I find myself jamming out to them unconsciously in my head sometimes. There’s also a lot of various content that they put out themselves and it’s amazing. Watching them have fun on vlives for birthdays, or just chilling makes me feel like I’m with them and a part of the fun. I’m a high school senior this year virtually learning and NCT & WayV have been making me laugh more in life because of their energy from performing and on JCC. One of my favorite JCC’s that I watched would be when Johnny and Mark had done flying yoga, it was just so funny the way they talked to each other and the jokes they cracked along with them trying something new to do when they have the time. Watching WayV’s cooking show with Ten, YangYang and Kun was nice and made me laugh as they had to do a girl group dance to get a hint for the food they were cooking. It’s also nice to see them do such things outside of dancing and singing.  I also love animals and seeing WayV adopt two cats and a dog to coexist with them is loving and it makes me think about how cute it is to raise animals together.  Even recently with NCT 2020, the little clips I see on Instagram from their new show make me happy because all 23 members are together and living their best lives.  

K-Pop has changed my life a whole lot in the last 13 years. It has been my best friend, a safe space, and a comfort to me. I changed a lot and have had more confidence in myself and it’s been all for the best and I laugh a lot more than I used to as well. I also learn K-Pop dances and it makes me feel better about myself and it’s a free workout to keep active during this pandemic in my own home after long days of sitting down. K-Pop is an interest I will keep in my life for a while because it means so much to me and when I look back on a time before K-Pop in my life I don’t even know where I was or what I was doing. K-Pop means that much to me and has changed my life so drastically and I don’t think it is bad at all because it makes me very happy and ready to look forward in life and not backward.

Thumbnail: Taeil @ddawnct