Kpop Club: More than the music

Sarai Garcia

“I’m feeling lonely / Oh, I wish I’d find a lover that could hold me / Now I’m crying in my room / So skeptical of love / But still I want it more, more, more / I gave a second chance to Cupid.”

This song “Cupid” by FIFTY FIFTY is all over TikTok, but did you know that it’s a Kpop song?

The Kpop Club is known for their previous performances at the school assemblies. Teenagers that are lip syncing, dancing, and perhaps tumbling to Korean music. However, there is so much more that happens behind the scenes. To the members of the Kpop Club, it’s more than just music. The club has built a special and unique atmosphere. Friendships, confidence, and life-changing skills are all aspects people should consider when thinking about the Kpop Club.


What is Kpop?


Kpop stands for Korean pop. There are many genres and musical elements that fit under Kpop. Along with Korean pop, it can also include Korean hip-hop, electronic, rock, and R&B. What makes this type of music unique is the dancing element. Along with the music, Kpop idols and groups dance while singing, which catches the viewer’s attention.

The genre started in the 1950’s with The Kim Sisters. They achieved fame in the U.S. and appeared on the Ed Sullivan show 22 times. Although, it wasn’t until the 1990’s when the trio group Seo Taiji and Boys revolutionized Korean pop by adding western elements.

After the first generation (‘90s-00) and second generation (‘00s-’10s) groups that debuted, the third generation (‘10s-20s) Kpop group BTS immensely globalized the Kpop industry. Soon after, many groups such as BLACKPINK, TWICE, EXO, Red Velvet, SEVENTEEN, GOT7, and NCT helped the rise of Kpop worldwide.

With the fourth generation of Korean pop coming to an end, Kpop continues to become well-known across the U.S., especially at West Ottawa. The WO Kpop Club expresses their love for Kpop in and out of school.


The Kpop Club at WO


Known for their performances at school assemblies, mostly because of Sr. Tyrell Vonn’s astonishing acrobatics, the Kpop Club and the music itself has gained recognition at WO.

Jr. Lauren Gaerte and Soph. Veena Haneboutta are leaders of the Kpop Club. They both joined the club in 2022 when the club was officially created. Gaerte said, “I joined the Kpop club because I knew no one else that liked Kpop. I wanted to make new friends with the same interests as me.”

Haneboutta said, “I didn’t mean to join the club and actually stay. At first I was just going to attend for one day and then leave, but I ended up staying because of the people and it was fun.”

Current members of the Kpop Club joined to make new friends with the same music interests. “Kpop is a safe place, especially the concerts,” Gaerte said. For many, Kpop is more than just music. The Kpop fandom is a place where people feel accepted and included. Haneboutta said, “Honestly, Kpop is kind of more. It’s pop music in another language and it has a lot of content within the genre.”


More Than Just Music

“The club is really like a family. Everyone is very energetic, accepting, and including,” Gaerte said. The club’s atmosphere is welcoming and refreshing. Haneboutta said, “It’s a good atmosphere to come and meet new friends with the same interest.” Soph. Izel Pool is a member of the Kpop Club. Pool said, “I think the club is really friendly and chill. Sometimes we get a little wild, but it’s fun to hang out with everyone.” Building friendships based on the same interests can create a lifetime of memories.

Other than the music, there are many assets that the leaders and members of the Kpop Club enjoy most about the club. “What I like most about the club is the people that I’ve met. The whole environment is very supportive,” Gaerte said. Socializing and performing are Haneboutta’s favorite aspects of the club. “What I like most is practicing and meeting new people. I also enjoy getting to perform at the school assemblies. Hanging out in general is fun,” Haneboutta said.

The Kpop Club has even beneficially impacted some of the members. Gaerte said, “The club especially has definitely brought a lot more happiness in my life. We are kind of just like a tight knot group of friends. It’s a place where we just get to hang out together.” The club has raised Haneboutta’s confidence. “It made me more confident in my leadership skills. It also allowed me to be more open with the music genres I enjoy listening to and my interests,” Haneboutta said. The Kpop Club has significantly impacted Pool’s social life. Pool said, “The club definitely made me more social because before I joined, I was a little antisocial and didn’t hang out with a lot of people.” The Kpop Club is more than just korean music to the members. The club is a place that builds confidence, friendships, and life changing skills.



As the growth of Kpop continues around the world, it does the same at WO. The Kpop club has gained popularity at WO and will continue to grow because of the loving atmosphere. The Kpop Club is the embodiment of appreciating music for music and welcoming people into an environment that makes them feel like they belong.