K-Pop Journalism with Sarah Han
Sarah Han is Buzzfeed’s resident K-Pop expert and journalist, and she has had the opportunity to interview many of your favorite groups. While at KCON to cover the event, Sarah sat down to speak with us and let us know a little bit more about what she does.
Q: For our readers who are getting the chance to know you for the first time, can you please give a little introduction about yourself?
A: I’m Sarah Han, I write for Buzzfeed. I do a lot of beauty and shopping content but I also cover a lot of K-Pop and K-Beauty whenever I can.
Q: How did you get into K-Pop? How long have you been a fan?
A: I moved to New York about two and a half years ago and that’s when I started. I was in a really weird place where I didn’t know what I was doing and I had an internship that was only three days a week [so] I spent a lot of time on YouTube. My friends had been obsessed with K-Pop back in the day so i was like “maybe i’ll check out some music videos.” I fell in love with Taeyang of BIGBANG, his song “Wedding Dress” got me hooked, even though it's a very sad song. So I literally went through every video ever of their appearances on youtube and when I finally exhausted that I found BTS, who is now my favorite group. I’ve interviewed them twice now. From then on the numbers started accumulating and now I just listen to all of them.
Q: What are you thoughts about KCON and how K-Pop has become such a big phenomenon within not only in North America but all over the world?
A: I think it’s incredible that where we can book Prudential and Staples Center, these huge arenas in the U.S., and get all these amazing acts to come. K-Pop is meant to be global from the management and marketing, it’s all geared toward [international appeal.] There’s so much content to go through that fandoms form and find each other in different areas of the world and they get the attention of the labels, then things like KCON happen. And the more people learn about it and it just gets bigger.
Q: Who are you most excited to see during the concert this weekend?
A: Red Velvet. I also got to interview them and they are so sweet in person. I think their music is incredible, they have their Red and Velvet concepts and I think they killed both of them as opposed to some groups that try to stick to one. That’s not always the case, they’re always trying new things. And Wanna One as well, since you can only see them for a short frame of time.
Q: What is it like working for Buzzfeed and getting the chance to talk about K-Pop through Buzzfeed?
A: Buzzfeed is so internet and social media savvy. I know there’s a fanbase on there because on Buzzfeed community, where anyone can make a post, K-Pop pops up all the time. Buzzfeed lends itself well to K-Pop because it keeps it light. It’s fun, I have the flexible to cover events like this. Since we’re pretty established [in K-Pop, groups] are interested in working with us. It doesn’t feel like work.
Q: You’ve gotten the chance to interview artists like iKON, Eric Nam, Winner and Jessica Jung; which artist or group do you hope to interview one day?
A: BIGBANG, after they get back from military service. I don’t know, as [many] as possible. [I also] really like B.A.P, because I think their songs like “Wake Me Up” are so intricate and address mental health and social issues. INFINITE, cause I think their sound throughout the years is so unique. Oh, TWICE [and] BLACKPINK! Besides KCON, there’s still more boy groups coming for solo tours and fanmeets so I need the girls.
Q: What is some advice that you would like to give K-Pop fans we are aspiring to be writers in K-Pop or being a professional in K-Pop as a whole?
A: Just make your passion known. I think it’s a little different being a K-Pop fan [and] being professional. It’s not like you can just interview whoever you want. A lot of K-Pop content now is freelance, so get your stuff out there as much as possible. That’s the best way to become a writer for K-Pop.
Q: Are there any updates, information or future plans that you would like to tell readers to look forward to in the coming future?
Q: Who was the most fun to interview?
A: Stray Kids, actually. They just debuted three months ago and they’re just little boys. [They’re] so talented and they were so energetic and I’m really looking forward to what they have in store.
Be sure to follow Sarah on social media to keep up with the exclusive interview releases from your favorite artists at KCON!