These days, reaction videos are a dime a dozen, especially in K-Pop. Their format has turned into a go-to template for YouTube noobs who want to share content with people easily and efficiently without all the hassle of producing a high-end video. The process is quite simple: you sit down, decide on a video to watch, and record yourself watching it. The handful of K-Pop YouTubers that have found tremendous success through reaction videos are ones who have invested their time and resources to generate higher quality content, and it shows in their view counts, subscriber numbers, and popularity.
In K-Pop, you can find a reaction video to nearly every MV you can think of. If there’s a new BTS music video out tomorrow, you bet your ass there is going to be about a thousand reaction videos to it up on YouTube mere hours after its release.
As a YouTube consumer, these types of videos don’t particularly intrigue me. Not because they’re not enjoyable, but because of their redundancy. However, I have found one exception.
Recently, I figured out that one of the only reaction videos I purposely seek out (about twice a month, if I’m being honest) are reactions to powerhouse singer So Hyang and all her recorded performances on Korean singing shows. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m a fan of hers or that videos of her are few and far between, but I always come back to find new reactions to watch. What gets me every time is watching how much her voice generates an immense response from people, usually from disbelief, confusion or a combination of both. I won’t give away too much, but trust me when I say that the woman can sang.
What’s even more interesting to me is that a lot of these reactions are by people who either know very little about K-Pop (and Korean music in general) or have never heard about it in their lives.
Below I have gathered the three most recommended So Hyang videos by her small but mighty fanbase on YouTube and a few first-time reactions to each by YouTubers who really had no idea what they had coming.
Slight detour, but I first discovered So Hyang many years ago on YouTube. I think I was in one of my deep underrated Korean music rabbit holes when I came across her cover of “I’ll Be There” (which I can’t seem to find now) and thought to myself: “Holy shit. This woman is unbelievable.” I followed her for a while after that, but I eventually lost contact. That is until I watched this video just last year and remembered exactly why she blew me away in the first place.
Check out how these first-timers reacted.
Bridge Over Troubled Water
This is probably my personal favorite So Hyang performance. Her control and technique are honestly unreal. There’s one point in here where she sustains a high note at a very quiet level that I know cannot be easy to do. Most singers can barely belt anything in tune, so hearing a professionally trained soprano like So Hyang showcase her pipes in varying dynamics is a treat.
Lean On Me
Finally, the showstopper. Reactions to this one are as off the charts as the insane interpretation of “Lean On Me” So Hyang decided to pull off. If you haven’t watched this video before, all I have to say is wait for it.