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Spotify’s ‘For The Record’ podcast tackles global success of K-pop with Stray Kids and more

By Christian Imperio Published Sep 14, 2020 12:00 am Updated Sep 14, 2020 10:27 pm

If you have ever wondered why K-Pop has become a global phenomenon, then you might want to listen to Spotify’s For The Record.

This week, the podcast series’ latest episode focuses on the meteoric rise of K-Pop globally and on Spotify, as well as how the fandom has propelled the music genre's success to an international scale.

The latest episode features interviews with one of the most streamed K-Pop artists of all time, Stray Kids as well as Babi Dewet and Érica Imenes, a pair of Brazilian K-Pop fans who have founded K-Pop themed groups and podcast, Kpapo. The episode also includes Wonho Chung, a Korean actor, singer, and comedian who lives in the U.A.E. and has witnessed the rise of K-Pop in the Middle East, where the genre has seen massive growth.

The podcast also features Spotify’s Head of Artist Label Partnerships in Southeast Asia Kossy Ng who provided insights on the genre’s domestic origins.

In the episode, Stray Kids talked about the importance of connecting with fans and why writing and producing their own music is so important to them.

“Well ever since the start of our whole journey, we thought it’d be really, really special to really make our music, create our own music and really write your own lyrics to be a bit more truthful and to really put our hearts into our music, for our fans to take it in more well,” the group said. “So we thought that was really important because we are the ones who are performing on stage. We are the ones who are singing the song. So we thought it'd be really, really important for us to make the music as well.

“With Stray Kids and Stays, we have something a bit more deeper. It feels like we're just one big whole family. So if there's like a fan sign event where they come and just talk to us, sometimes they tell us what their struggles are, what they're going through, and all their hardships. I guess we try to really understand them and just try to make them feel better. And for that, that's one of our really important things that we have to do.”

Meanwhile, Kossy Ng also shared some insights on the unique aspects of the K-Pop fandom: “Seeing how the artists and the fans interact, the fans are pretty much a part of the artist's journey as well. Like from the beginning, watching them train and debut, how the members are chosen – I think it's a very emotional type of connection that you end up building with K-Pop artists.”

Ever since the first K-pop playlist made its debut on Spotify in 2014, listeners have streamed over 180 billion minutes of the genre and added K-Pop tracks to more than 120 million Spotify playlists. The share of K-Pop listening has even increased by more than 2,000 percent in the last six years, demonstrating its rapid growth compared to other musical genres.

(Image from Stray Kids on Spotify)