Mar 10, 2023
Introducing "K-pop Dreaming" from LAist Studios
I’m Vivian Yoon, writer and host of K-Pop Dreaming, the newest season of the podcast California Love from LAist Studios -- a series that blends memoir, pop culture analysis, and oral history to examine our shared sense of belonging.
I grew up in Koreatown, Los Angeles in the 90’s and 2000’s. And even though I listened to K-pop all throughout my childhood and teen years, I never told anyone that I liked the music. The reason for this is complicated, but it essentially stemmed from me not knowing how to reconcile the two halves of my identity -- the Korean and the American.
Which is why I was so surprised when K-pop suddenly became a globally-loved genre and started leading trends and influencing pop culture worldwide. I just couldn’t understand how this massive shift in the recognition and love of the music had happened. How did a genre of music that I used to only hear in my neighborhood become a full-on global sensation?
My search for the answer led me to discover Kpop’s rich and complicated history -- spanning all the way from 1930’s Korea during the Japanese occupation, to the 90’s underground hip hop scene in L.A. And surprisingly, diving into this history led me to fill in gaps in my own family history, with stories about my parents and grandparents that I had never heard before.
This is the story of K-pop’s coming of age.
Stay tuned to listen to episode 1. I hope you enjoy it!
This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/Dreaming
This episode is brought to you by your local Kia dealers. Visit kia.com to discover movement that inspires.
This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.