‘California Love’ is all about ‘K-Pop Dreaming:’ Journey through the genre with Vivian Yoon

Society & Culture March 3, 2023
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Listen to ‘California Love’

In the 1990s, K-Pop took South Korea by storm and started to draw fans worldwide. One fan, raised in Koreatown, Los Angeles, is this podcast’s host and writer, Vivian Yoon. Growing up, this music forever impacted her life as she shared in the second season of “California Love: K-Pop Dreaming.”

Yoon details this groundbreaking genre’s history. Travel from the 1930s occupied Korea to tiny hip-hop clubs in 1980s Seoul, 1992’s LA Uprising, and K-Pop’s banner moments today. Along the way, Yoon will explore her own identity and coming-of-age story as a second-generation immigrant. She’ll dive into her hometown’s history and learn more about her family’s backstory.

Stream “California Love” from the beginning each season. Last season, Walter Thompson-Hernández went home to L.A. and observed the city’s changes since his youth. Tupac and Dr. Dre’s song “California Love” inspired Thompson-Hernández’s eight-episode journey as he shared his own love letter to L.A. on the podcast.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Yoon was a teen listening to emo music and loving American pop culture. Yoon publicly hid her love for K-Pop music, yet treasured it at home. In episode one, hear how K-Pop music allowed Yoon to link her hometown to K-Pop’s roots.

Yoon curated the ultimate mixtape with her fave K-Pop tunes from the 1990s and 2000s. Every song captures a specific point from her life – these selections are also massive K-Pop hits. The track list brings listeners through the genre’s earliest moments, growth, evolution, and international reach from Korea to L.A.

In future episodes, Yoon will chat with about K-Pop’s signature melodic sound, interview the first Korean-American group to rock the Korean music industry, and speak with her grandma about the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Fans of the genre and shows like “Kpopcast” or “The Kommentary Podcast” might also enjoy “California Love.” Tune in weekly for new episodes of LAist Studios’ “California Love” over the next few weeks wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Listen to ‘California Love’

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