The Clichés of K-POP Music

There are tons of KPOP groups and artists debuting every year, but there are only so many concepts that can be used in such a saturated industry. Unfortunately, many of these concepts are becoming increasingly overused. A lot of music and videos are beginning to look and sound the same. Only a few rare songs stand out from the bunch and truly capture my interest

Below is a list of overused concepts that I am tired of seeing:

The Cute or Aegyo Image


This concept shows off the loveable and “irresistible” side of idols. In this concept, idols commonly sing in higher pitches and emphasize the ends of their sentences. Songs may also consist of repetitive words or songs like “Ma ma ma”, “Ooh Ooh” or “La la la”.

In the music videos, idols tend to wear pastel colours and light to natural make up. Winking and eyes smiles are also prominent features of these music videos. In many cases, there may be a lead male or female love interest that the artist (or all the group members) may be pining after.

2014 1

Some groups guilty of abusing this concept include: A-Pink, G-Friend, CLC, Lovelyz, B1A4, Rainbow, Orange Caramel and Girl’s Day during their earlier days.

The Sexy Concept


This is probably the most clichéd concept in the KPOP industry. This concept has been used by both male and female artists, but is mostly common with the latter. These songs usually contain slower melodies and sultry voices. In faster songs, there is revealing and sexual choreography to emphasize the concept, make your heart race, increase your body temperature and make your pores raise.

In the videos, artists can be seen wearing revealing clothing and placed in really dark sets. There will be lots of intense gazing, lip biting and inappropriate touching of body parts. Let’s not forget the increased movement of the lower body and camera shots of breasts, legs and abs. Oh, and the body waves, how can I forget the body waves?


The list is too large to include all (or even half) of the artists that kill this concept, but some of the main ones include: Rania, Ga-in, Nine Muses, Dalmatian, Stellar, Hello Venus, SNSD, San E, Jay Park, Miss A, Lee Hyori, Sistar, G.NA, Kara, Hyuna and the list goes on and on….

The Extra-Terrestrial Concept


This concept was much more popular a few years ago, but it has not been making much of an appearance lately. However, it is still pretty much a clichéd concept and one that I am tired of seeing.

These songs may include a disjointed or repetitive electronic beat and a lot of autotune to create a futuristic sound. In the music videos, there may be a lot of silver or tin foil. The members may have strange hairstyles; wear blinding bright or shiny outfits and outrageous makeup. This concept is just an excuse for singers to be weird. Choreography in these videos almost always includes some type of robotic moves.


Groups guilty in pursuing this concept include The Wonder Girls, JJCC, Teen Top, 2NE1, 4minute, and Stellar (during their early days).

The Supernatural or Dark Concept


After the sexy concept, the dark concept is one of the most clichéd concepts in the industry. It is quite similar to the sexy concept, incorporating a lot of stringed instruments to create dramatic sounds filled with crescendos and maybe a high note here and there.

In the videos, artists wear dark clothing and make up. In some cases, they wear fake bruises, teeth and animalistic contacts to show their demonic and “supernatural” form. These videos also consist of intense stares and maybe a story-line of the artist turning evil after being heartbroken, using their powers while walking in an empty space during a random drama scene or turning into some type of creature.


In my opinion, the number one artist that is guilty of abusing this concept is VIXX. Other artists include SHINee, Big Bang, EXO, TVXQ, Queen B’Z, Boyfriend, 2PM, Junsu, Sunny Hill and more.

The Retro Theme

T-ara Roly Poly 

This concept is for the artists that want to relive in the 90’s or 80’s. These songs are mostly disco, but also branch into other genres like trot and old-school hip-hop. These songs incorporate the sounds of music from previous eras in today’s music while borrowing from outdated dance moves and incorporating it into the choreography.

Styles from the 80’s and 90’s such as Afros, high-waist pants, large sunglasses, bandanas, bell-bottom jeans, checkered or starred clothing, and shiny outfits are seen throughout these videos.


The number one K-POP group that is guilty for killing off this concept is T-ara, followed by The Wonder Girls, SNSD, Secret, Mamamoo and SPICA.

Do you know of any other artists that have actively pursued these concepts? Are there any other themes or concepts that have been overused in the K-POP industry? Tell me in the comments below!

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