K-pop fanatics Elin Mellerstedt and Johanna Stillman recently published a book about the hugely popular Korean pop music movement that exploded at the start of the 90s and culminated in “Gangnam Style” becoming the most-viewed video on Youtube. In “Loverholic robotronic – en reportagebok om K-pop, fans och Sydkorea”, Mellerstedt and Stillman profile the people who love K-pop.
They also run a blog (dancingonourown.com) and different art projects that are exhibited in Sweden and South Korea.
Why do you love K-pop?
To find K-pop was to find a place where everything we ever dreamt of took place within the same frame. An arena full of perfect idols and smart pop music, magical TV dramas and absurd variety shows, fluid gender roles, feminism, cultural clashes and technology. A colourful, dark, sparkling and complex world of its own. And a community of fans all over the world.
You’ve spend quite a bit of time in Seoul. What is the main difference between Seoul and Stockholm?
The atmosphere. Seoul is a city that never sleeps, Stockholm goes to bed quite early. Our dream city combines elements from both of them, Seoul’s craziness and Stockholm’s peace and quiet.
What is your favourite night spot?
In Stockholm, K-pop Nonstop’s club nights of course!
Any bars and restaurants that you like?
We like places that are over the top. Like bars where you can see the town from above, Och Himlen Därtill and Cloud at Scandic Hotel Victoria Tower in Kista for example. We also visit Tiki Room at S:t Eriksplan quite often.
What are your plans for the future?
We have a new dream project in mind that we hope to be able to make a reality in the near future. It includes going back to Seoul to investigate some parts that we would have liked to include in the book but choose not to because they were too complex…
What do you think about the future of Stockholm night life?
We have been so wrapped up in our book since we came back to Sweden that we haven’t had the time to really explore it deep enough. But it feels like every time we do go out we end up having a great time saying, “let’s do this again soon”.
Can the Stockholm scene learn anything from how things are done in Korea?
That feeling of having to plan your night carefully has to go away. In Seoul we enjoyed eating and drinking at places for hours and then deciding if we felt like clubbing or not later. Here you have to be out early or on a list to get in to a good club.
Tell us more about what to look forward to club wise the next few months?
We look forward to the first K-pop concert ever in the history of Scandinavia. The boy band VIXX will be playing live at Oscarsteatern on November 2.
Photo by Niklas Larsson