K-Poper Glossary, basic vocabulary to understand K-Pop

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There are some terms that you only get to know once you are part of the K-Pop community, we will explain their meaning to you.

K-Pop is a very complex music industry that is constantly active. With a lot of information, music releases and programs where we can see the idols, it can be difficult to adapt to this environment, but knowing a few words will make it easier to understand how the dynamics of Korean entertainment works.

K-Pop artists carry out many events as part of their careers, they are activities that allow them to develop as singers but also keep in touch with their followers, so every fan wants to follow in their footsteps so as not to miss any special moment.

However, compared to the music industry we have been familiar with all our lives, this can be novel and sometimes difficult to understand.

But don’t worry, we have prepared a list of words and terms that will help you to better know and understand how K-Pop and all idol activities work.

Keep reading and we will explain what each of these expressions refers to that you have surely heard while watching videos of your favorite idols.

Trainee: this is what people who managed to join an entertainment company and are training to make their debut as an idol are called.

Rookie – The idols or idol groups that recently debuted and are therefore only just beginning to get acquainted with the industry as a formal group.

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Comeback: used to refer to a new musical release by a group.

Showcase: after releasing a new album, groups usually hold an event with some fans to present the melodies that are part of this record material, sometimes it is also broadcast online.

Debut stage: this is the name of the first presentation that a group or idol performs in a music show.

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Comeback stage: this is the presentation that a group we already know does in a music show to present their new single on a television program.

OST: is the abbreviation for Original Soundtrack and refers to the melodies that accompany a K-Drama or a movie, idols very often participate with performances of this type.

Sub Unit: K-Pop groups do not always promote with all their members, sometimes they form smaller teams of two or more people and make up a new sub unit of the group, they adopt a new name but sometimes it is related to the name of the original group.

Debut Only: When a member of an idol group starts releasing music individually.

MV: is the way it is abbreviated ‘Music Video’, that is, music video.

Visual: the visual of the group is the member that is distinguished by its beauty.

Leader: most K-Pop groups have a leader, it is usually a member who is distinguished by his skills but also by his experience, since he can guide the group more easily.

Main dancer / main vocal: the member with the best dancing or singing skills as the case may be.

Maknae: the youngest member of the group.

Maknae Line: this is the name of the part of the group made up of the youngest members.

Hyung Line: the group members who are older.

Sunbae / sunbaenim: It is a term used to call people with more experience than you in various fields, therefore, in the K-Pop industry idols use it to refer to groups or idols who debuted before them.

Bias: is a word to refer to your favorite member of a K-Pop group.

Bias wrecker – The group member who sometimes struggles to become your bias and makes you wonder who your favorite member is.

Ultimate Bias: The idol you like the most of all K-Pop groups.


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