I never would have thought that their would ever come a day when my interest in K-pop
would be pretty much nil, but it has. I recall it was around '02 when I discovered my first J-pop singer, which was Utada Hikaru. She sung the now famous English version of her song Hikari called Simple and Clean, and it was played in the intro to Kingdom Hearts. My brother had bought the game from the now defunct Funcoland (I miss that place), and there was a short blurb about her in one of my his video game magazines; I think it was Game Informer or Playstation Magazine? Anyway, I downloaded her song from a music sharing site-- I can't remember which. From there, I discovered the original Japanese version called Hikari (not the PLANITb remix) and then in '03 and '04, I discovered other J-pop artists like Hamasaki Ayumi
, and Koda Kumi
'03 to '05 was the Golden Age of J-pop for me. There were so many catchy pop songs that were released during that time that I really dug, singers like Hamasaki Ayumi, BoA, and Koda Kumi were at the top of their game and dominated the Oricon charts, and it totally dominated my playlist. In fact, other than video game instrumentals, nothin' but J-pop was on my burned CD's-- this was before the MP3 player revolution. I'd have to admit, this age was also my Japanophile
era, where I made the popular "American music sucks. Japanese music is better" statements that I still see bein' typed out on the net from newly anointed asiaphiles
on Asia-pop forums, and which I mentally shake my head at because I think it's stupid.
However, in the middle of '05 I discovered IDM. J-pop still dominated my playlist, but folks like Autechre
and Junkie XL
began to creep in. When I graduated high school in '06, it was like a personal music revolution had begun. I discovered artists like Bjork, Future Sound of London, PJ Harvey, and 90's grunge bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. I was mentally kicking myself in the butt, asking myself how on earth did I not happen upon these folks til now? Looking back, when I listened to my first Bjork album, which was Homogenic, I think that was the beginning of the end of my Japanophile-ism. But I suppose when the rose colored tinted glasses of my love for anime and manga fell off was the real catalyst. I realized that, like other artistic mediums such as video games and movies, there will be a few anime titles that are good, but the rest of it is complete garbage. When I realized that, instead of putting it on a pedestal and thinking it's all great just because I enjoyed a few titles in that medium, I began to judge that particular art style to the same standard as I do others instead of not lookin' at it titles objectively. But I digress. (That is a whole other topic in itself)
To make an already long story shorter, I discovered various artists from different genre's, dug them, and sequentially left J-pop in the dust. After realizing that all of current western music doesn't entail folks like Britney Spears and Rihanna, whom I don't like, but it has folks like Janelle Monae
and Vampire Weekend, whom I do like, that old statement that I used to utter about Japanese music being better and everything else inferior was dirt garbage. In '07 I did get heavily interested in K-pop because the songs were catchy and the groups/ singers were pretty, but at the end of 2010, I lost interest in that as well.