The K-pop inspired band that challenged gender norms in Kazakhstan


They made their debut as a boy band, expecting to create music and amass fans along the way. Instead they were met with anger, protests and even threats. They perform choreographed dance routines, sing addictive tunes and have shockingly slick music videos – and no, we’re not talking about a K-pop group. This is Q-pop, or Qazaq-pop – an up and coming pop genre in Kazakhstan, which all started with one band, Ninety One. But the band has not only made a name for itself through its music. It also made a huge statement when its five androgynous looking members – complete with long hair, guyliner and makeup, burst onto the scene in the deeply conservative country – and challenged its gender norms.

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