Hello, coffee lovers and avid readers! Welcome to Olive’s Corner at Olive’s Café, where you get insight on thoughts of life.
Here’s my opinion on being a fan in music: I truly do love music for so long, but I had to know my limits.
Growing up, I have always loved music, specifically music that will make me dance and sing along with the artist. I was open to listening to different genres and I would celebrate when there was a new song released. However, I would find myself repeatedly playing a song because of what it did for me whenever I listened, whether it was to memorize the lyrics or just to enjoy it again. No matter what, music is, was, and always will be my euphoria.
Since 2010, I’ve been listening to K-pop after watching Ninja Assassin and Rain (the actor) caught my attention. Although the genre has been around since 1991, it was novel for me, but I didn’t find the music in the genre strange. Instead, it was captivating enough for me to look into it even more. I enjoyed the performances, the expressive fashion, the outstanding cinematography of the music videos, and even the entertainment aspect of the genre. I never thought about the competition between the artists and the groups as my eyes were on the artists and my ears were on the songs. Aside from that, I was also aware of fan wars and the obsessive behavior that affected the idols and other fans, but it wasn’t as loud as it is now.
In between career changes, I didn’t notice the massive changes that took place until I went back to listening. There were more groups that debuted, a few of them were at the top in popularity, and I saw more people interested just when I had people call me weird for even listening to K-pop. I wanted to feel happy that it was happening, but honestly, I felt a little confused. Then, my confusion became one of my main emotions when I got more involved and deeper.
As the world was going through a life-altering event, I started to get involved into the world of fandoms. My favorite parts about being involved in a fandom is the friendships, the connection with the groups, and getting to know their music. It’s an experience where I felt I can belong, and I would always be entertained with the amount of content and conversations exchanged between fans. The more involved I was in the fandom, the deeper I got with contributing to the success of the group.
The same year I became involved with the fandom, I also got involved in fandom fights. I have never thought I would end up arguing with a few people involved, either in different fandoms or even in the same fandom, and it was over the most ridiculous things, but I should have known better. My love for the group’s music became an obsession for me to have them win in a competitive genre, even when it meant spending money that I barely had for myself and losing sleep. At first, it felt rewarding when they did finally win something, but it was costing me my mental and physical health. I even had set aside my hobbies and projects for them. It was a choice that I made because I love to see people win, but I forgot about my own priorities. However, once a promotion was finished, I made a promise to take a break from getting into more groups and their promotions and focus on myself. I didn’t know that the hiatus was going to change plans for me.
When I started to be more serious about taking care of myself, it meant making some changes and consider my love for music again. It was then I started to discover that my support for the group didn’t seem as genuine as I wanted or as I used to. I wanted to go back to how I enjoyed music and the fun of repeating a song whenever I wanted. Honestly, I had enough of the pressure when it came to being a music fan. I was tired of keeping up with the numbers, the brand reputation, and completing tasks before putting in my votes in music shows and awards.
Believe me when I tell you that I’m not leaving because the music is bad (as it is completely subjective). I’m choosing to only limit myself in listening to the genre because I want to enjoy music again and listen to other genres as well. None of this is forced, from the involvement to the resignation; it’s a choice I made for me to improve on health and judgment. There were so many changes that were happening in K-pop, and I would agree with people when they say that it’s overly saturated. I would also like to add that some of the songs are draining, and it got to the point where it’s just all about what’s cool over what’s different. A good majority of the songs have meaning in their own way, but it feels off and distorted. Finally, the most obvious is that I’m simply growing out of it, and I feel even more out of place rather than feeling accepted.
The way I see music is an art form, not a business model to gain revenue, and I feel that it’s being treated as such. I know that anyone can make it in the industry, but I do feel that the ones who do have musical talent are being overshadowed based on looks and the potential of gaining a following. I got so lost in that genre that when I finally found the light at the end of the tunnel, it was breath of fresh air and the weight on my shoulders were lifted. It seems like a lot (because it is), but I look back and making this decision is the right one for me. For anyone who wants to get into the genre, I will say to simply have fun with the music and other content, and even enjoy your time with people who also enjoy it. I would recommend avoiding fan wars and pay attention to what triggers you because a lot of people will bring up sensitive topics and start rumors just for their own pleasure. (Of course, that’s in every industry, but within this genre, it’s caused a lot of trouble.)
Remember, when it comes to enjoying an art media, it truly is subjective and however a spectator wants to get involved is their choice. Music truly does bring people together, whether anyone knows it or not, but what’s important is how much of an impact it creates to any individual.
Thank you for tuning in on Olive’s Corner at Olive’s Cafe!