Part of what fans find so appealing about K-pop is its unique style. K-pop artists have managed to successfully blend Japanese and Western elements to create music that is both catchy and energetic. K-pop artists also often use cheerful, colorful and eye-catching music videos featuring fashionable singers.
Another element that distinguishes K-pop is its approach to choreography. Stylish yet simple movements are repeated during the chorus of a song. It has become a signature of K-pop and it has been very successful with audiences.
A high point in the growth of K-pop was reached in July 2012, when Psy released his groundbreaking single "Gangnam Style." The song first went viral on YouTube and soon took over radio stations all around the world. By the end of 2012, the song had topped music charts in more than 30 countries, including Canada, France, Korea, Italy, Germany, Russia and China. Psy's "Gangnam Style" marked a breakthrough into the international music industry and further paved the way for other Korean artists who wish to gain international recognition.
The global success of K-pop means Korea's music industry is now more competitive than ever, with over 200 different boy and girl bands currently fighting for attention. To help distinguish themselves from other Korean music groups, members of pop groups release solo singles and albums.
Similar to G-Dragon, Jessica Jung, a member of the popular group Girls' Generation, recently released her new digital single "The One Like You," a ballad written for the Korean drama series "Dating Agency: Cyrano." CL, leader of the girl group 2NE1, followed this trend by releasing her single "The Baddest Female" earlier this year. Another Big Bang member, DaeSung, officially released his first Japanese solo single "I Love You" on July 31.
This trend is different from the music industries in the U.S. and UK, where solo single releases are often a sign that a pop group is breaking up. In K-pop, solo releases allow members of large groups such as Girls' Generation and Super Junior to express their individual style, thereby helping to build the overall popularity of their group.
Despite G-Dragon's global stardom and solo success, the star said that he views Big Bang as an important part of his life. "I personally think that all the love and support I gain from around the world is from all the fans who know me through Big Bang. I am very thankful," G-Dragon noted.
G-Dragon and his fellow musicians have helped create a new era for K-pop. As anticipation for his new album grows, G-Dragon continues to shape trends in modern pop music and demonstrate that K-pop will continue to flourish around the world in the future.