Seoul Train: Riding the K-pop wave in KC

Every Wednesday night, live from Kansas City, Kansas, three somewhat unlikely K-pop aficionados blast the airwaves with the upbeat, colorful music.

Airing on 90.1 FM KKFI and known as Hallyu Wednesday, the programing is made up of two alternating K-pop radio shows—“Rhythm and Seoul” and “Eastify”—that share the same Wednesday 7 to 9 p.m. time slot. Even though hosts Trish Doherty, Meighan Peifer and Emma Fotovich are all squarely past their teens and K-pop’s key demographic, they are passionate about the upbeat dance music.

“It’s very positive,” says Doherty, whose interest in K-pop grew when she started listening to it with her children. “It’s about loving yourself,” she says, adding that Western popular music doesn’t often have positive messages.

Hallyu means “Korean wave” and refers to the phenomenal reach of Korean culture that began in the 1990s. The K-pop music genre and K-dramas are credited with creating the “wave” that spread across the globe.

Doherty and Peifer host “Rhythm and Seoul,” airing on the first and third Wednesday. They say they are bringing the “heart of Seoul to the heart of Kansas City” through vibrant K-pop songs.

Fotovich, who became a fan of anime and interested in Asian culture in her teens, helms “Eastify,” which airs  the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Fotovich’s show is a bit more eclectic and is an “East Asian show that focuses on bringing all genres of music right to your radio. This show is where you hear all the greatest hits and unknown bops from Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures.”

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