(Note: This is the fun, down-to-earth introduction of myself and Popsori. For a professional description, please go to the Professional page.)
Hey, I'm Jason and I'm a K-pop and esports journalist that worked in Seoul for seven and a half years. I teach people about K-pop in-depth, how the industry works, and the history of Korean music.
For the longest time, I wanted to teach and share my experiences to others as a foreign journalist.
I would not have even dreamed of covering K-pop events as media, meeting many K-pop stars, their managers, song producers, and label CEOs. This wasn't always possible, as I was stuck at a corporate job in California for several years, far away from Korea.
Yet, a phone call from a good friend working in Korea would change my life.
"Yo man, you should come work in Korea," my friend said. "You can teach English there and you always wanted to learn more about Korea and K-pop, right?"
My friend was right. I soon left my cushy corporate career as a software engineer.
Six months later, I found myself in Korea teaching kids. While I was teaching during the day, I worked on becoming a journalist at night, despite no connections and bad Korean speaking skills back then. I was leading a dual life, like Batman, only without the fighting, cool gadgets, or Alfred.
Through some major growing pains (grab my free e-book to find out more), I eventually was accepted as a journalist. I worked at two major Korean newspapers: Yonhap News and Korea Times.
But as much as I learned at those newspapers, the end goal was to become independent and create videos on in-depth K-pop. To explore topics that few people and media companies talked about.
Thus, I created my YouTube channel Popsori.
At first, I was afraid no one would come. I knew the K-pop fandom is dominated by gossip, reaction, and choreography-based videos. In-depth K-pop videos were still new.
But then, one of my videos went viral, more people began to visit the channel, and countless people started emailing me. I was shocked and amazed by the support.
Soon, I had a growing YouTube channel with people that wanted to become "smarter K-pop fans."
Looking back at my K-pop experiences, I've been blessed to have been invited to over 300 events as media and press in the US, Korea, and Japan. I've covered a lot in pop culture, ranging from K-pop, J-pop, esports, anime, gaming, and film events.
It's been a long journey covering K-pop, but I'm honored sharing that journey with my audience today. I've met and talked to many K-pop fans on how the K-pop industry works.
In turn, I have been blown away with the people who come to Popsori. A lot of them drop knowledge bombs on Korean music and culture on me, making me take pages of notes like I'm in college again.
But you know, I wouldn't have it any other way. K-pop, like life, is all about learning and I'm all about that.
(Photo: Kevin Woo and I posing for a picture after an interview at KCON 2019.)
If you read this far, chances are you're into learn more about K-pop. Good stuff! Whether you're a newcomer to K-pop, an old-school K-pop fan, or live and breathe this stuff, I got your back!
Here you'll learn what it's really like working in K-pop from a person that lived in that industry. My content will be no fluff, well-researched, and be both fun and educational.
I hope you learn a bit more about K-pop and join me to "become a smarter K-pop fan."
Now that we're cool with each other, here's a couple random facts about me:
- I grew up in Japan for seven years as a teenager
- I lived in Korea for seven and a half years, first as a teacher at university, then as a journalist
- I'm a huge pop culture nerd and not ashamed to say it (e.g. anime, movies, K-dramas, etc.)
- I love gaming (PC and console) and it's one of my huge passions. In fact, I have a 2nd YouTube channel called "Games N' Depth" that's all about gaming
- Learning languages and cultures is a big passion of mine
- Love to dance and do karaoke / noraebang, but my singing sounds like screeching siren (e.g. terrible.)
- I can't go a day without drinking either a Chai Tea Latte or milk tea
- I can talk about sports, psychology, business, or entrepreneurship for hours on end
We hope you learn about Korean music and Korean culture with us! For inquiries or business related matters, email us at: jangta[at]popsori.com
And be sure to sign up on my email list and grab my free e-book "The 10 most important lessons I used to breaking into the K-pop industry as media."