As the love for K-Pop continues to grow and reach a wider, global audience, groups are seeing the inclusion of more members with diverse linguistic backgrounds now more than ever.
K-Pop boy group THE BOYZ consists of 11 members, and each has an impressive handle on the English language. Members Kevin, Eric, and Jacob are all fluent in English, having either been raised or spent time in North America during their childhood.
Since K-Pop’s first generation, songs have frequently featured English words or lines. Most international K-Pop fans have encountered at least one English line in a song that has left them scratching their head due to the verse either not being grammatically correct or not making sense.
K-Pop songs often pass through many hands in the course of their completion. K-Pop companies often use producers and songwriters from other countries, which usually means a demo version is recorded in English and then translated into Korean. Sometimes parts of the original English verses are kept in the song, but the context is lost, which can create confusing lyrics. This is just one of many scenarios, other times, the group may not be consulted for creative input in the making of a song, though K-Pop idols have become increasingly involved in creating their music.
There has long been a curiosity among some fans about the role of fluent English speakers in a K-Pop group when it comes to writing English lyrics, especially when the artist’s or group’s song has a line in English that doesn’t make sense. THE BOYZ’s Kevin helped answer why that might be while speaking with fans recently.
When speaking candidly with The B (fans of THE BOYZ), Kevin “spilled the tea” on what it’s like being an English-speaking group member but having a song where an English lyric might not make sense.
Kevin hilariously did not hold back when he shared that he gets scolded by the group’s English teacher whenever they have what he described as “gibberish” English lyrics in their songs. Confusing or nonsensical lyrics remaining in the song are not for lack of trying on Kevin’s part.
He then shared that the group debated the pronunciation of “thrill ride” for weeks, which is the name of a song released by the group last year.
He continued, “Don’t get me started on teaser sentences for whisper.”
He even asked for himself and his fellow fluent English-speaking members to be given more opportunities to be allowed input on the song’s lyrics in the future.
kevin moon i salute u for your bravery and honesty today (pls don’t get fired) pic.twitter.com/mkDmnfV8bt
— *:･ﾟ✧ (@mooneybees) October 8, 2022
Next time the question of “how did this lyric get past the fluent English-speaking member?” arises, it’s likely not for lack of trying on the artist’s part.
Check out the article below for examples of some random and funny English lyrics in K-Pop!