Hey Kpopcast listeners,
As I reflect back on K-pop in 2021, I’m surprised by how much content came out despite an enduring pandemic. It’s continued to be a fun fantasy escape in contrast to our increasingly complex and changing “real world.” Yet staying on top of everything that comes out has felt daunting given the volume and scale of the global k-pop content factory.
In editing our year-end episode, I was reminded of all the things we forgot, or couldn’t, add to recap this past year. While I’m personally pained by some honorable omissions, I’m proud of the things we’ve chosen to remember. At the Kpopcast, our present focus is to curate the best sounds and ideas in k-pop. This means that we can’t be comprehensive, but we can be a filter for what matters.
We do this in “hit replay” song recommendations, “daebak or not” reviews, and interviews/panels with interesting folks in the k-pop community. I see that mission continuing as we drink from the k-pop firehose in 2022, and to bring forward interesting perspectives and takes on the significant k-pop. We like to have our views challenged and our minds changed. It’s part of the reason why Kpopcast listeners are the best listeners – who can say constructive things about their favorite group/artist, yet still enjoy consuming multiple aspects of k-pop fandom.
We spoke with a few of you in our Slack on what your favorite episodes were from this past year. We’ve highlighted these in this issue below in case you missed them. In looking at the breadth of what K-pop provided in 2021, are you looking to make any changes as a K-pop fan in 2022? We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter or Slack.
“Love all the Hit Replays but the Lemonade episode with Benji and Rokman was a standout for me this year” – Erik
“Obviously have a soft spot for our Lemonade interview” – Chris (of CCTV) who was on the episode. 🙂
“The parasocial relationships podcast stands out to me the most!” – Christopher
“Parasocial relationships was my fave too! I learned so much. I went and found a bunch of Dr. Baudinette’s other work after that. It really helped me contextualize and understand my experience as a queer Kpop fan! (I also love hit replay episodes too but it’s hard to pick just one of them)” – Artemiss Arrows
“I love the Hit Replays! I also enjoyed the Stray Kids episode and convos on parasocial relationships and how KPop fans harm the black community. Out of all that I listed, I’ll go with how KPop can harm Black fans. I could relate to that and the conversation impacted me in a personal way.” – Deena, when pressured to pick one episode.
“BTS capitalism and McDonald’s! I also enjoyed the BTS Butter episode with Stanning BTS podcast as guests. Obviously, I love every episode equally though.” – Katie
“The episode on AI in Kpop and aespa‘s concept stood out to me. Besides having insightful interviews I liked its editing: the episode sounds like a well produced documentary.” – Michael D.