Chhavi Sharma, Surat, Gujarat
Roughly starting from 2018, the K-pop industry saw the emergence of the fourth generation of K-Pop. Being influenced by their seniors, the fourth generation artists have not disappointed either. Instead, they have left no stone unturned to prove themselves in terms of singing, choreography and concepts. Groups like Ateez, Stray Kids, TXT, Treasure, ENHYPEN, CRAVITY and The Boyz have already climbed their way up to become one of the top boy groups of this generation. ITZY, Loona, (G)I-DLE, and Everglow are some of the top girl groups dominating this generation along with Aespa and Weeekly.
Starting with ITZY who is known as one of the most popular 4th generation K-pop artists today, had their debut in 2019 with their single album, ‘It’z Different’ with ‘Dalla Dalla’ as their song which peaked at number 1 in the World Digital Song Sales Chart. ‘Dalla Dalla’ also became the second most popular song on YouTube with Billboard’s confirmation of it surpassing 17.1 million views within 24 hours.
Similarly, Tomorrow by Together (TXT) also had their debut in 2019 with the EP: The Dream Chapter: Star, which peaked number 1 on the GAON Album Chart and Billboard World Albums Chart, becoming the highest-charting album by any rookie male K-pop group by entering US Billboard 200 at number 140.
Dubbed as “4th Generation Leaders” by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ateez, a boy group formed in 2018, became global ambassadors for Korean Culture and Tourism. A very early success for them. This shows how much impact K-pop presently has, not only in the music industry but in other fields as well. Giving such a title to a group of people in the music industry who are just into their career, shows just how much K-pop has evolved in past years.
Compared to the past generations of K-pop, the 4th generation has been a blast on a different level (inserts NEXT LEVEL by Aespa!). This generation has all the hard choreography, the aesthetics, and the dark concept seems to be a signature this time. And it’s all thanks to modern technology, the internet, and applications such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, that the fans are able to access all this in an instant. This technology has helped artists get an international platform and increase their fame even more. Due to this, artists these days sometimes get an international audience first even before the Korean audience. Artists make use of their SNS to promote themselves, gaining a fair amount of audience almost instantly.
Adding more, artists create a catchy dance challenge with each release which are usually introduced on TikTok or Instagram Reels. Furthermore, with the gain of popularity, companies such as HYBE, SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, etc., have started to unite with western/International companies which gives a great boost to rookies and upcoming artists to have a worldwide platform.
If you thought that only K-pop groups make concepts for themselves, well, not anymore! Companies like SM Entertainment have started to make a whole AI concept for their artists, like Aespa. It’s a really modern thought of using it in K-pop by making AI versions of the artists and making them sing and dance along with the real artists. Definitely feels like the new generation, doesn’t it?
Due to the success of K-pop in the past decade, many people have started to invest their time and money in the K-pop industry as well. With many new companies and idols at present, it has become a big competition to survive in this industry. Compared to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations where only 7-8 groups used to debut in a year, the 4th generation has greater competition with at least 3-4 groups having their debut almost every month.
Due to the popularity of K-pop in the present time around the world, just like western artists, K-pop artists as well are now welcomed on national and international variety-talk shows. Korean variety shows such as Knowing Brothers, M Countdown, King of Masked Singers, Amazing Saturday, etc., are especially dedicated to such artists to showcase their talent.
Whereas international shows such as The Late Late Show, Zoom, Good Morning America, etc., have also started to get into the vibe of K-pop. This, in the past, would have been a big achievement, but now, due to the hard work of the earlier 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation idols who have led the popularity of the K-pop largely, the idols from the 4th Generation can face a great amount of popularity and fame at the beginning of their careers itself. And yet with all this fame already, it is just beginning. Beginning of the new era, new faces and new records by these 4th generation artists.
Do you have a favourite 4th generation K-pop group? Tell us about them in the comments below!