American K-Pop Group “EXP” Are Trying to Make It Big In South Korea

Just when you thought you have seen it all this comes around, good luck guys!:

A publicity photo of EXP Edition, mostly white, all-American “K-pop” band, provided by the team’s agency IMMABB. (Yonhap)

Over the past few years, South Korean pop music, or K-pop, as a whole has grown into a legitimate cultural force to be reckoned with. And while the scene has moved and evolved at lightning pace, some also began to look back and wonder: what makes K-pop K-pop?

EXP Edition, an experimental boy band which released its debut single “Feel Like This” on Monday in South Korea, is the brain child of Kim Bora, through which she asks that exact question in a unique and interesting approach.

The four-member team, artistically speaking, seems to fit the generic K-pop mold, exuding confidence in its K-pop cred and style. The catch? Its members are mostly white and all American, as opposed to being Korean or at least of Korean descent.  [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link, but the band is part of a project from students at Columbia University’s fine arts program to see what defines K-Pop.  Interestingly they are facing criticism from people outside of Korea for appropriating Korean culture.  Didn’t South Korea appropriate pop music in the first place from western countries so why can’t four Americans make a K-pop band?



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


  1. If it’s the same as K-pop it sucks. K-pop is the absolute dregs of American pop music, all ruthlessly diluted korean versions of the backstreet boys and britney spears, but they’re just shitty gooey ballads without passable pop hooks. Why do your students like Kpop? Why do anyones? Because they’re “cute”/ “handsome”. No one listens to music here because it sounds good, they like it for an adolescent glimpse of sexy media in a country with a porn ban and weird assbackwards etiquette about showing your shoulders in public. These opportunistic dorks could fart into a microphone and they’d be successful. I wonder how Korea acts when it finds out the white adult men in matching schoolboy attire holding hands isn’t the same as it is for koreans

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