Welcome To Let's Talk K-Pop
A weekly love letter to K-Pop written by fangirl Jenna Guillaume, and edited by the team at Junkee.
Hello, my name is Jenna Guillaume and I am a professional fangirl.
If you want to get technical, I’m a journalist (and it’s certainly what I say if Proper People ask me what I do for a living). But really, my career is all about being a fan. I get to explore my favourite things; going deep and getting nerdy about what makes them great and what it all MEANS and how it makes me feel.
If you follow me on social media, or have read any of my work in the last few years, you will know that one of my favourite things in the world is K-Pop (with a special shout-out to BTS, my ult group forever). Which is why I am so, so excited to be sitting here writing an introduction to Let’s Talk K-Pop, my very own dedicated space for all things K-Pop.
Few media outlets in Australia (or anywhere, really) create space for K-Pop, let alone in a way that takes it seriously or treats it with care. Some of the biggest musical acts in the world right now are from South Korea, and yet far too often what little coverage there is of them can be summed up by “look at what those crazy kids are into”, or worse, “the dark side of K-Pop”. This newsletter, produced in collaboration with Junkee, will hopefully be one small part in remedying that.
Some people might see being a fan as a journalistic weakness, but I think it’s a strength. Aside from pointing out the fact that people would never question whether, say, sports reporters are fans of a particular code or team they’re covering, I’d also say being a fan gives me a deeper passion, knowledge, and sensitivity in my work.
Falling into fandom is a lot like falling in love. There’s something that catches your eye (for me, it was V’s infamous tongue flick in the ‘Boy With Luv’ music video) so you want to learn more, then suddenly it’s two weeks later and your every waking (and, frankly, sleeping) thought is consumed entirely by That Thing. It’s all you want to talk about. All you want to do. You can’t remember what your life was like before it.
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Over time, your all-encompassing infatuation settles down to a more steady and calm affection, although that initial spark still flares up from time to time (like, when you get the gift of new music, or your bias gets a haircut).
But the thing about being a fan is it’s so much bigger and better than your own individual love. It opens up your world and connects you with people you’d never have met otherwise — people who might just become your best friends for life. It teaches you things; about culture, about life, and about yourself. Most of all, it’s really, really fun.
Suga of BTS once described being a fan as “living with love”. I’d like to think of this newsletter as my weekly love letter — to K-Pop, to its artists, and to my fellow fans.
In it, you can expect not just my musings but also reviews and (if labels return my emails — hi guys!) interviews, plus updates on the latest releases and other K-Pop fandom things.
Oh, and I know I’ve mentioned BTS a few times but don’t worry, this newsletter won’t only be about them. It’s for everyone in K-Pop fandom. Because even if we don’t all stan the same groups, we’re all living…