BLACKPINK Headlining Coachella Is A MOMENT For K-Pop In Mainstream Music

BLACKPINK Headlining Coachella Is A MOMENT For K-Pop In Mainstream Music

Finally, some Asian representation.


I was born and bred with K-Pop (Korean Pop Music). I was a die-hard fan, I admit, I've lost touch but I had so much love for TVXQ and BI-Rain (where did he disappear to?). I did cover dances of the "Wonder Girls" and I even tried to audition for JYP. Yes, I know me. I wanted to become a K-Pop singer/dancer. It's everyone's dream in Thailand. However, since moving to American, I stopped following K-pop because there wasn't that much of a scene for it.

Oh, how wrong I was...

K-Pop has a HUGE following in America, thanks to the renowned Korean boyband BTS.

Oh yes, look at all those pretty faces.

They can sing, dance and are overall likable. What's to hate?

Their fans call themselves the "Army" and there is a large following in the U.S. as well. Having approximately 17.8 million followers on Twitter and over 300 million views on youtube; K-pop is on the move.

Now it's BLACKPINK's turn.

Blackpink is a Korean girl group consisting of four artist Isoo, Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé. You might have heard there hit song "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" (link). If not, here's a refresher:


I could be biased because I love BLACKPINK. My girl, Lisa is a Thai girl who auditioned into the group and now is the rapper for the group( You go girl!).

With over 500 million views, there earned their spot in the Coachella lineup 2019 alongside other amazing and well-known artists; Janelle Monae, Childish Gambino, Arianna Grande etc.

This is a huge moment for K-Pop artist because, sure, they have had international tours for the fanbase all around the globe but have NEVER been featured in an event as large as COACHELLA.

The Asian community is on a winning streak of moments; Sandra Oh, being the first Asian host of the Golden Globes and winning Best Actress in Drama TV Series, Crazy Rich Asians representing an all Asian cast in Hollywood and nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. BTS winning Top 2018's Social Artist Billboards Music Awards, and many other accomplishments.

After many years of being marginalized, finally, Asian representation and accomplishments are being acknowledged into today's society. There's only going up from here.

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Yes, I Spend My Money On Concerts

Because concerts feel like home to me.

I don't remember exactly how I old I was when I went to my first concert, but I do remember the feeling that came with it.

The first two concerts I ever went to were Bryan Adams (in second grade, maybe?) and Billy Joel in third grade. I remember Billy Joel was playing up in Albany and my mom let my brother and I skip one day of school so we could go up and see him together.

I grew up loving songs, and eventually concerts, by Bryan Adams, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi and so many others so I remember the surreal feeling when I finally saw them live.

I also remember falling in love with the Jonas Brothers (please reunite, thanks), One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Jake Miller, Olly Murs, Rixton and probably about a thousand others.

I could listen to those albums on repeat forever, but nothing will ever compare to the atmosphere of a live concert.

Before you've even gone inside the venue, you're surrounded by people who all share a common love for the artist you're there for. No matter where you come from, you're there for the same thing: to enjoy the music.

I have made lifelong friends as we wait for doors to open or anxiously fidget in our seats waiting for the lights to dim.

Then there's that moment. The second when you feel like your heart could burst as the lights shut off and everyone joins in a joint scream.

That's the moment I live for.

That's what makes me feel at home.

There is nothing like watching a performer as they take the crowds in; as they listen to the crowd sing every lyric back to them. It's a feeling of togetherness.

There's that moment when that song starts and every person in the crowd turns their flashlight on and lights the Arena up like a Christmas tree.

I'm often questioned about why I'm willing to spend so much money to go to one concert for one night and then it's over.

The truth is, those memories are some of my greatest and most treasured.

I saw Olly Murs perform in New York City to a few hundred people a few years ago. Then in March, I watched him perform to a sold-out crowd at the O2 arena in London. Three nights in a row.

I've grown up with these artists. I've watched them go from the tiny back of the house stages to performing in front of thousands of people and sold out arenas.

When you keep up with and follow an artist for so long, they start to feel like friends. I'm able to watch as they grow along with their music and feel an overwhelming sense of pride.

It doesn't matter to me if I'm at a dive bar watching one of my favorite people perform or at Madison Square Garden in front of thousands.

The live music, the people around you and the memories you take away are worth everything.

As fall concert season rolls around, I can't wait to be surrounded by people who share the same love for concerts as I do. I can't wait to stay out too late even though I have class the next day because these are the nights and the memories that I will never forget.

A concert might be only one night (unless you can get to more than one show on tour, of course) but that feeling of escape can't be replaced.

For those few hours, you're in a whole different world. Your worries and stresses don't matter because, for that little while, all your focus is on the artist in front of you. And it's truly an irreplaceable experience.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Boniello

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A Gap Year Was Just What I Needed

Taking a year off between high school and college was the best thing I could have done for so many reasons.


Everyone around me was buzzing with excitement about their acceptances to their dream university and I didn't feel the same. I was accepted to every school I applied to, but none of them felt right. At my high school, if you didn't go to college, you would have been deemed a failure and that is not what I wanted my reputation to be. When the day came, I sat down at a computer to accept my admission to a college. I was in a panic mode, and I knew that's not what I wanted. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I had no idea if that was where I wanted to be, so I exited the website and came up with a plan.

After graduation, I boarded a flight to Denver, Colorado. I was alone on a plane going 1,000 miles west to a place I've never been. In a short amount of time, I knew I had made the right decision.

I spent eight months in the Rocky Mountains learning how to do the "adult thing." I worked 40+ hours a week in freezing temperatures and a ton of snow, making ten dollars an hour. In a resort town, ten dollars is not a lot of money. I lived on Wonder bread and eggs, I cooked on my hotplate on the top of my mini fridge. I was shown what it's like to work for the things I want, and it taught me to appreciate everything I've always been handed so easily, and that was something I really needed.

Throughout my adventure, I met so many different people in all different stages of life. I think that's the most important aspect of my entire trip. By working and living with people young and old, I learned different skills, living habits, and ways of life which I am forever grateful for. These people had shown me more about life in eight months than I had learned in my entire life, and without this experience, I would have never been introduced to half of the things I was introduced to.

I hiked 14,000-foot mountains, watched the X-Games in Aspen, attended endless concerts, and became a better snowboarder by having the chance to do it every day. Without my friends and taking this leap, I would have been sitting in a classroom wondering what I could have been doing instead. Because of taking time off, I am now back in class, able to focus on my work and doing better than I ever have before.

The most important part of my gap year was finding myself. I proved to myself that I am strong and independent, and I can achieve any goal I set as long as I work hard and have fun along the way. Before I left, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be. Upon my return home, I realized I needed to go to college to receive a higher education to better myself. Having a full-time job and being out in the real world helped me to narrow down what I really want to be and what I want to achieve for myself. I learned how to truly live and that there is no set path I need to take because this is my own life to create.

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