January 20, 2016 LOUIS VUITTON for UNICEF #MAKEAPROMISE Vol.2 슈퍼주니어(Super Junior) YESUNG, 샤이니(SHINee) KEY & TAEMIN, EXO-K SUHO Source: SM Entertainment Official Facebook

Technically I am a K-drama fan that ended up loving K-pop by extension. I also just turned 41 in October, but that number didn’t sound as good in the title. Anyway, I used to be constantly asked why I like “that music” and “those movies.” People in the fandom are all too familiar with these questions. It’s never really bothered me, though, because I like what I like unapologetically. Although I lack concern about what others think, I admittedly have occasional worries as an older K-pop fan.

So, here’s my confession:

I haven’t really listened to any of the new groups since BTS debuted.

I’m terrible, right? How can I be a K-pop fan if I don’t even know who is in K-pop? The thing is, I still very much love and listen to all of the artists that got me into K-pop like Big Bang members, SHINee (#RIPJonghyun, #YouDidWell), Super Junior and more. I follow them on variety shows and when they have new releases, I hurry to buy. It’s just that one of the most challenging aspects for me is that K-pop is, by all accounts, marketed to a significantly younger generation. Every year when new groups debut, they get younger and younger. I love their energy and they are cutie pies, but… It’s just not for me.

Source: MACG Productions LLC

So what do I do about it? I felt worried that I was losing interest in K-pop even though I was sure that I would love it forever. Then it hit me. I haven’t stopped loving K-pop. My love has just evolved. I realized that I am drawn to K-Hip Hop and K-Indie music as well as to the music produced by first-generation idols that are still active. K-Hip Hop often has a more mature sound that is just as catchy and fun as mainstream K-pop (think Jay Park and Epik High). As for first-gen idols, not only has their music matured with age, but I can fangirl to my heart’s content without feeling like a pervert ajumma. Side note to other same/similar age fangirls and fanboys, this is a personal opinion I have about myself. It is not meant to describe anyone else. 

I mean, there is a whole other world of talented artists in Korea that I have yet to explore and get to know. I, for one, am excited about what I will find and can hardly wait to share it with you guys. I see now that it is because of my love for K-pop that I even have this opportunity.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

After almost seven years of being a fan, I realized that finding it was not by accident. It was meant to be. Since learning about K-pop, I have attended more concerts than I ever did before. So many that I honestly lost count. My passion for writing has been reignited to even greater levels and it’s even encouraged me to be a bit more adventurous. I won’t take this love for granted. I still don’t care what anyone else thinks about this unique passion of mine, but now I also won’t let my own misgivings stop me from loving this music, its artists and this fandom with my whole heart. I’m ready for what’s next.

Are you an older fan like me? What are some of the things that concern you as an older fan? Let’s discuss it in the comments below.

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