News / Interviews

Profile Of A K-Pop Fan: Jessica Cardillo Of Pennsylvania's Love For BTS Inspires Her To Connect With Other Mature K-Pop Fans

By Tamar Herman | November 06, 2015 10:50 AM EST

NAME: Jessica Cardillo

AGE: 31

HOME: Philadelphia, PA

CURRENTLY: Baking and decorating cakes.

INTRO TO K-POP: "YouTube randomly got me into K-pop actually. I was bored at work one day on break so I pulled up the YouTube trending music playlist and saw the thumbnail for "Fantastic Baby" by Big Bang. I just stared at who I would later learn to be G-Dragon in his Beetlejuice suit and long red hair thinking, "well, you've most likely seen stranger things on the Internet" and pushed play. Needless to say it was pretty mind blowing. I was hooked from there, going through the recommended list below the video and finding this huge world that I never knew existed."

THE DIFFERENCE: "K-pop for me embodies a type of energy and happiness that came with the iconic boy groups of the past. It's not often that you find such large groupings of talent and style that are fully choreographed and constantly available for fans. K-pop has achieved that. Between music video teasers, full music videos, interviews, dance tutorials, weekly stage shows with interactive voting and variety shows, fans are able to be fully engaged and interactive. It's almost like being a part of your Idol's everyday life. I don't ever remember being that involved with celebrities... and I've always been a fangirl of sorts."

"I usually describe it as "the music of the future" to my non K-pop friends. I try to match up the styles of music that they like to something I think they can relate to. In a way I find that K-pop has more substance, which is largely in part to the fact that I don't know the full translation of lyrics. It forces you to listen to the tone and feeling of a song and connect with it before knowing what the message is. "

CULTURAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS: "Mostly I find people are baffled that I listen to so much music that's all in a language I don't speak. There is a big defense up with people who just "can't stand hearing something if I don't know what it means." Once I show them a group or give them a few facts they are further baffled by the immense size and dedication of fandoms. They just cannot comprehend how millions of people are following an industry so far away that they never knew existed."

ON BEING A NOONA FAN: "I've been developing a fan community with a few friends to bring together the older generation of [K-pop] fans. We call ourselves Noona [trans. older sister] Nation. There are so many fan sites run by teens but not so much for us adults. We're hoping to bridge that gap."

FAVORITE GROUP: BTS

WHY BTS: "I stumbled upon them as they debuted and have watched them grow and mature as both people and musicians. They have a range of style from hard hitting rap to smooth and soul soothing. Their lyrics are deep and thoughtful, even though they are aimed for a younger school aged demographic the messages and sentiments transcend generational gaps. Whatever type of mood I'm in there is a song I can turn to, from wallowing in my feels or needing a pick-me-up. Also, they're a bunch of crazy boys that love showing their candid antics through short hilarious video clips and live streams."

FAVORITE SONG: "Rise of Bangtan"

FAVORITE SOLO ARTIST: G.Soul

WHY G.SOUL: "He has amazing vocals, I love the tone of his songs. His first album has a very Michael Jackson soulful feel to me."

FAVORITE SONG: "Excuse"

If you'd like to be featured in the "Profile Of A K-pop Fan" column, send an email with a recent photo of yourself to fan@kpopstarz.com. Please include the subject header "Fan."

Tagged :  BTS, G-Soul, jessica cardillo, Profile of a K-Pop Fan

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