“Stanning” is to be a devoted fan of an artist, person, or character. Luckily for potential fans, the K-Pop world has hundreds of options on whom to stan. If you want to join the ever-growing family of K-Pop lovers, here are a few steps to get you really into an idol group!
1. Listen to their music
Although basic, this is extremely important. You can’t love a K-Pop group if you only like the “group” and not the “K-Pop”. Listening to their songs is a great way to start your budding interest, if only to keep them in your mind every time you open up a streaming service.
Start with their most recent title tracks then go on a click-the-next-recommended spree until you determine your favorites.
2. Check out their interviews
A quick three minute interview is a fast way to see if you vibe with the group and their personalities. It’s always great to start with the highest viewed interview on Youtube to get an idea of what fans love the most.
Most interviews are in a sit-down format, but shows like Idol Room and Weekly Idol have more exciting “profile” clips that are just as good.
3. Try to learn their names
Once you’ve decided that the group is worth the hours of research you’ll devote, it’s time to learn their names!
While it is not true that all Asians look alike, it’s not uncommon for even seasoned fans to get a little confused once in a while (See: EXO‘s “Miracles in December”).
Try to scroll down music videos (back to Step 1!) as fans usually put time stamps on the members for new fans to learn their names more easily.
It may be a bit hard for groups with many members such as with Seventeen, but Carats recommend memorizing starting from their unit groups (Vocal, Rap, and Performance) or ages.
4. Check out their variety shows
To help you with the previous step, clicking on a variety show or two or three is definitely the easiest way to learn a group’s names.
More established artists have their own variety shows exclusively starring themselves. EXO Showtime, BLACKPINK House, WINNER TV, MONSTA X-RAY, Super TV, etc. are just a few examples.
It’s usually best to start in order of when the shows were released. An aspiring Monbebe stan, for example, would start with Deokspatch then move on to Right Now, and finally have a galore with the three seasons of MONSTA X-RAY.
Some, like YG Entertainment artists, even have survival shows that picked the members of the group before debut (See: WIN: Who Is Next, Mix and Match, and most recently YG Treasure Box).
Other groups that were created through survival programs include 2PM, VIXX, MOMOLAND, fromis_9, TWICE, I.O.I, WANNA ONE, IZ*ONE, X1, and more. Make sure to grab a tissue before investing yourself in these types of shows!
5. Listen to their B-sides
One defining trait that separates a fan from a stan is how much they know the B-sides or sidetracks of their artist. It proves they’re not casual listeners or passers-by but people willing to support their artists in all ways.
B-sides are also a good way to connect with the group musically even beyond their famed title tracks. If they appeal to a fan, then their attachment to the group will grow naturally.
6. Be in it for the long haul
Once you’ve gotten your full knowledge of a group, be ready to be a long-term fan. Stanning is not meant for the feint-hearted.
One must be ready to accompany their chosen group through all their highs and lows, be it getting a music show win, watching a member leave, anticipating a new music video, bidding a temporary goodbye when they enlist, getting that long-awaited Daesang, or even, worst case scenario, disbandment.
A fan may leave the fandom with fond memories, but a stan will likely support the members through whatever individual activities they may have.
Through all the highs and lows, happy times and sad ones, one thing is for sure: stanning a K-Pop group is worth it.