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Both K-Pop and J-Pop have their ups and downs just like music from any other country. Canada has the incredible vocals of Celine Dion but also has Justin Bieber and no matter how much Canada wants to give him as a gift to us, we appreciate the offer but humbly decline.

J-Pop music is from Japan, namely Pop music but is often referenced as any kind of music from Japan due to the pop icons whom drive the industry. The same is for K-Pop where it's music from Korea but what's the difference besides language and cultural references? That really depends upon the band in question but J-Pop tends to focus mostly with the cute appeal with more focus on the face whereas K-Pop tries to be sexy and have more emphasis on legs.



Sometimes both J-Pop and K-Pop have idols whom are capable of performing in both languages such as BoA whom is one of the most popular J-Pop and K-Pop idol. Both cultures have adopted a lot from American pop music during the past decade which is both good and bad depending on which generation of music you prefer. Some such as myself prefer J-Pop from the 2000-2010 decade whereas younger millenials tend to prefer newer more Americanized music.



All-Girl Groups and Boy Bands
This editorial would not be worth mentioning without all-girl groups and boy bands. They are the leading drivers in this industry not just because they perform at an outrageous amount of concerts but they also appear on Japanese TV every single day. Virtually everywhere you look, you'll see these often times excessively large groups and you don't even need to try hard. Turn on the TV and there will be a few people from AKB48 on a daytime variety show. These people are more or less considered idols rather than mere musicians and this is allegedly true in Korea as well. If you think the Bieber fever was big a few years ago, wait until you see the cult following of the all-girl / boy-bands, it's crazy big!

All-girl groups tend to revolve around a brand for instance Morning Musume or AKB48 are brands and the idols are the "product" of said brands. When they get "too old" they graduate and new younger girls replace them while the old ones either move on with their lives or continue to perform in a different generation. The rotation continues and doesn't seem to have lost momentum. (My apologizes by using the word "product of the brand" but it's essentially what they are to the label company)

J-Rock / K-Rock vs J-Pop / K-Pop
If there's evidence of J-Rock being even more popular today than it was ten years ago it's the success of One OK Rock, a band who's been heavily influenced by Linkin Park and generates a lot of international fans, so much so that they sell out at every event. Koreans also have their lineup of amazing K-Rock bands but unlike Pop, the rock groups in this industry aren't as prominently featured in variety shows and interviews due to the different demographics who listens to them.



Japanese have Vocaloids
If you love synthesized music and robotic voices, Japan has the Vocaloids and to an extent Perfume (they are real but they abuse autotune). Koreans also have adopted the Vocaloids for themselves and have characters such as Uni and SeeU but the main interest in the Vocaloids remains Japanese.



The Winner between Japanese and Koreans?
The real winner is the fans because both Japanese and Korean music is fantastic! You would be hard pressed to find anyone whom would be too proud to listen to only Japanese music. Both offer a unique variety of bands, songs, and exciting pop idols which usually differ greatly from their western counterparts despite its modern influences. If you haven't started listening to both J-Pop and K-Pop, this is the perfect time to begin your journey. While browsing Jappleng and discovering new things and new friends, why not find a J-Pop or K-Pop playlist on YouTube and listen to it while you're at it? It sets the mood and it feels really good.

What are your favorite J-Pop and K-Pop bands? Please list them in the comments below!

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