Years ago, I fell in love with K-Pop–Korean Pop. The first band I ever listened to was BigBang. You see, in university a friend of mine got me obsessed with the music. It was all downhill from there. I began scouring the internet looking for new bands and new tunes to fall in love with. From BigBang, to Exo, to SHINee and B2ST, the list goes on and on.
Earlier this year, I heard about Kpop acts coming to town. I just about fainted. N’UEST I missed because, well, they were at the TKC 2015 convention – Toront’s first Kpop Con. Then there was Lunafly, Epik High and BigBang. I went to Lunafly with my fabulous niece So Trace and missed Epik High because I was away during ticket sales. But I wasn’t about to miss BigBang.
I managed to snag a ticket during presales because I’m a Live Nation member and I waited. During all that time I was freaking out. Not only was I about to see my favorite Kpop band live and in person–I mean I was going to hear T.O.P’s big voice for the first time in person! I was also going to be in a stadium full of people that weren’t like me. Let me be clear, I am a black girl – The majority of BigBang’s fans are Asian – Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Philippino and the list went on. In my head there were all sort of horrors of being the only black girl in a sea of people.
You see, I’m used to being the only minority in places. I remember when I went to the Opera for the first time I looked around at the faces and there was only me. So I’m used to the idea. But since none of my friends were going with me, I had this fear of walking through the Air Canada Centre with people staring at me and thinking “What is she doing here?” or “she totally doesn’t belong here…”
But as I made my way through the crowded stadium, I realized people didn’t even care about me. They were too busy trying to get their crap together and find their seats. And even after we were settled, people were striking up conversation with me and talking to me about BigBang’s music. There were a few of them that were stunned that I knew so much about the band. Hell, one girl was so shocked because I talked about the different colours of GD’s hair from video to video and got them all right.
You see, race wasn’t important to them. To them, I was a kindred spirit there to support a band they were in love with and we shared an amazing time together. I really need to stop freaking out about such things. The music is the most important thing and if they can see past my race and what I look like, I need to be able to as well.
And incidentally, I wasn’t the only African American female in attendance. There were plenty of others too. Two of them were sitting around me and were just as fun!