North Korean Pop Music

As you know, I often bash on about people being complacent about music- we have so much choice, it’s hard not to get fickle, but upon hearing about how tightly the government control popular music in North Korea courtesy of the Breakfasters on RRR FM this morning.  I realised just how lucky we are to be allowed to listen or not listen to whatever type of music we like whenever we like.
According to Wikipedia the number of government endorsed pop singers is limited to literally a handful and are ‘usually performed by a young female singer with an electric ensemble, percussionist and accompanying singers and dancers’  Listening to South Korean music is considered a crime- I don’t even think Bieber fans as misguided as they may be,  should be tortured and jailed for a musical preference.

These sanctioned ‘Pop’ acts produce songs with titles such as:

“Our Life Is Precisely a Song”,

“We Shall Hold Bayonets More Firmly”,

“The Joy of Bumper Harvest Overflows Amidst the Song of Mechanisation”

“The Dear General Uses Distance-Shrinking Magic”

“Excellent Horse-like Lady”

“She is a Discharged Soldier”

Does that leave you wondering what North Korean Pop sounds like?
Me too…


An interesting story on a North Korean Jazz Pianist Kim Cheol-woon who was forced to flee his native home to pursue his art can be found HERE and is a very interesting read.

Next time you are flicking radio channels and thinking there’s nothing to listen to, just spare a thought for a nation who only has a choice of 6 or 7 groups.


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