In the simplest terms, Kpop is Korean pop music.
If you’re completely new to Kpop, then let's leave it at that for the moment. The best way to understand Kpop is to start listening (and watching). You might have recognized Girls’ Generation above, but there are so many more great artists out there! Kpop is a type of music that is insanely fun and addicting. We’re going to warn you here and now, pretty soon you might have trouble listening to anything else. Still ready to move forward? Okay, let's do this!
So, Kpop is a genre?
Yes. Kpop can be defined as a specific genre with a basic set of rules. And, like any genre, there are plenty of artists who routinely break these rules but are still considered part of the fold. Pop (or, “popular” music) is a broad genre by definition, and Kpop manages to contain artists that range from ballad singers (like Davichi) to singer-songwriters (Lim Kim), adorable girl groups (A-Pink) to sexy and empowered women (G.NA), full bands (CNBLUE) to faux bands (AOA Black), flower boys (B1A4) to hip hop (LeeSSang). However, it's far more frequent to hear people use the more basic definition of Kpop: Korean artists whose music is extremely popular.
So, Kpop is region-specific?
Sort of. But it also has big plans for itself. Kpop has already spread like wildfire through much of southeast Asia (especially Japan, China, and Thailand), but it has its sights set on conquering the world. It has made some inroads into this in recent years (the internet has done wonders for Kpop), but it’s still a long way from being considered mainstream in many countries. The future, though, is looking very bright.
So, wait, what is Kpop again? Dive on in, and in no time you'll be answering that question from your friends!