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Kpop757: Celebrating South Korean pop music in Hampton Roads

Through gatherings and events, Kpop757 is creating a space for South Korean pop music fans in Hampton Roads.

NORFOLK, Va. — You may have heard of the groups BTS and Blackpink or the song "Gangnam Style" by rapper Psy. They are all examples of South Korean pop music or K-pop. 

The music genre is growing in popularity across the world including in Hampton Roads, thanks to a local group.

"Our K-pop community is here. It's alive and it's well," said Ariel Mitchell, who helped start the group Kpop757 in 2017 and serves as an operations manager.

The group puts on at least three events per year celebrating South Korean pop music.

"We wanted to create a safe space for us to kind of enjoy," Mitchell said, "and just come together as, like, a team and just, you know, try to have a good time."

Marketing Manager Catherine Frost said K-pop's unique songs and dances are on display at their events and help portray the genre's diversity and inclusivity.

"[We are] fostering, like, a really positive community and, like, really trying to bring community together," Frost said. 

Sara Layne, also an operations manager for the group, said both longtime fans and newcomers leave their events feeling entertained and inspired. 

"A lot of parents have reached out to us, like, you know, 'My daughter, son, etc. have come to the event, and I came in not knowing anything, but... now, I'm a K-pop fan, too,'" Layne said.

Layne said Kpop757 is proud to share the K-pop culture in their corner of the world.

"For those who do not know K-pop or maybe are interested, again, [our events are] just a place to come and learn and enjoy," Layne said.

Kpop757's next event, Kpop Daebak, is happening September 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Slover Library in Norfolk.

There will be programs, activities, workshops, and more highlighting South Korean pop music culture.

The event is free and open to the public.

To learn more about Kpop757, visit the group's Carrd, Facebook, Instagram, X, and YouTube pages.

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