Let’s assume you’ve started your exploration of Kpop outside of official music videos and stumbled on a live performance of a newfound Kpop interest. You click the Youtube video and feel an immense sense of relief – for some reason there is no pre-roll advertisement.
And then the performance starts. But wait. What is that noise? No really. What the hell is that noise?
What you are hearing is the militant syncopated fan chanting reminiscent of communist cadres vocally expelling some especially repugnant village elder caught with her/his hand in the cookie jar and believe me – this shit has the sonic power equivalent of taking a good horse kick to the temple.
But wait. Are the fans going crazy? Constipated from eating a double serving of spicy rice cakes? Are they going to invade the stage and rip the performers to neat but bloody pieces because of some complicated Korean social infraction? Has “netizens” infiltrated the audience and are preparing to collectively shun the artists? Nope. The fans are expressing their adoration through a fan chant.
APINK TEACHING THEIR FANS THE FANCHANT FOR “FIVE”
Apink is one of the veteran crews of the currently active K-pop groups and here display their, for these group, not very typical relaxed attitude in a fanchat instruction. Fast forward to 1:31 to hear Eunji, the groups main vocalist and generally cool person, emulate the typical bellowing of fans. You may note the panda shaped dildos. Click here for the second installment of this series to read all about it.
Fans ruining a stellar performance of the song that cemented Gfriends success.
C’mon guys. Gfriend when performing “Rough” is surely the K-pop equivalent of Donna Tartt and the Secret history. Don’t do it. Every time Rough is abused like this a baby unicorn panda dies.
Fanchants at worst can be surprising and a little bit annoying until you get used to them. I’m guessing that you need to go to a live performance of one of your favourite Kpop groups to actually get it. Being able to actually kind of participate as a fan when at the same time showing your appreciation seems like a particularly orderly and wholesome and somewhat Asian concept.
It doesn’t really matter if the particular fanchant is great, performed by fans singing in key, structured around a call-and-response or just even the odd testosteroned bellowing of a Korean male otaku, Kpop without fanchants just wouldn’t be the same.
And much like ambient noise – if it would disappear you would most likely start missing it. What do you think about fanchants?
Do you have a favourite fanchant? Let me know in the comment section.
Read all of Strange K-pop
Strange K-pop is all about the weird and wonderful of K-pop. Always with amazement, never without love.
Read it all for instant gratification.