I can’t believe that it’s been a little over a year since I started my hardcore journey into the land of Kpop. It seems like yesterday I was asking SaraG for recommendations on what to listen to. She was very happy to oblige and she put up with my non stop stream of questions like the amazing friend that she is. You’ve probably listened to my interview with Stephanie about being a Kpop newbie and how it all started, so I’ll keep the back story brief. While I had dabbled in the land of Kpop as a Teen librarian, nothing ever stuck. I had a short list of a few groups (Viction, Pentagon, Oneus, Red Velvet, and BTS) that I occasionally listened to on road trips. They were a good starting point, but I was stuck. So, with the recommendation of Sara’s hubby, I decided to just ask her. Boy howdy.. She provided. And this time it caught me hook, line, fabulous dancing, excellent beats, and sinker!
There is a bright shiny glow of excitement when you discover new music and new groups. The back and forth messaging of “have you heard about this group” and “check out this new vid” was my 2020 lifeline. I loved waking up every morning with a ping of messages. SaraG helped me find so many new loves. Within a few months I was listening to tons of new groups, learning what a bias was, and screeching over the fashion. It awakened this little music gremlin in my soul that demanded that I feed it more. I still get a little thrill a year later when I get a morning message from my gal pals with new videos and the latest news.
At the same time, SaraG introduced me to her Denver crowd online and the gals from Chicago and North Carolina. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. They shared their favorite groups and let me ask a million questions. Once the weather in Denver got a bit warmer we decided to try a back porch socially distanced get together to listen to some favorite groups. It was quite frankly a night I will treasure. I got to meet Stephanie that night at SaraG’s and they shared hours of music videos. I went home feeling warm and fuzzy for the first time in a very long time. The next session included Alix as we navigated the waters of NCT, bad choices with Soju, and an A.C.E concert that I barely remember. I woke up the next morning with a huge hangover, a new game on my phone (with a very hungry Taemin), and feeling like I had just found friends that I hope I will have for the rest of my life. As the summer turned to fall, I got to add the lovely Liz to my friend group and we attempted a final socially distant gathering before things got crazy again. I hope I get to meet the other two friends in person soon. Then the circle will feel complete.!
It was one of the best summers I’ve had since moving to Denver. Even during a global pandemic.
Another bonus was reconnecting with a friend from back home. We never realized that we both loved Kpop. It’s been so much fun to find common loves and chat more now than we ever got to when I lived in Missouri. I can’t wait to see her again and lose our minds over Taemin videos and the constant antics of ATEEZ. I’m telling you Kpop brings people together!
They say it’s super hard to make friends as an adult, and that’s somewhat true. I’m pretty introverted by nature and I’ve never really had a good group of girl friends. I’ll be honest, I was initially terrified to meet everyone. I was scared to be the newbie with almost zero knowledge of something these ladies have loved for a very long time. I’ve been in crazy fandoms before where gatekeeping is a real deal. If you don’t know every fine detail there will be a super fan that shames you. (I’m looking at you Star Wars)
I had that little voice in the back of my head at the beginning. Turns out that voice is a jerk and a total liar. These gals have been nothing but the best. They embraced my newbie status and were determined to help me learn. When I didn’t quite jive with a group they found another. When I gushed over a group that I discovered on my own, they supported my fangirl flailing. When said group decided to part ways with their company and I was crushed.. Total love and support. Zero shaming. Gatekeeping doesn’t exist in our little world.
I originally wanted to write a post about my love of Kpop and all the groups that I have fallen for in the past year. But, I realized about halfway through, that while all those things are wonderful, the most important were the friends that I made along the way. Not only do we share an obsession with Kpop and Kdramas, but we’ve been through a garbage year together with so much love and support for each other. That is true friendship and true fandom. I’ll write the other post eventually, but for now, this one sums up all my feels.
So here’s to a year of learning Kpop. A year of new groups, finding biases, screeching over songs and videos, crying over enlistments, belly laughs, cup sleeve events, an overabundance of album purchases, back porch Kpop nights (can we do those again soon?), and the best friends that a gal could have. May the future bring us all of this and more! I heart you!
My top 40 ish favorite songs from 2020: