As a person who has just been exposed to the world of K-Pop, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. There are simple ways to know where to begin. What do you usually listen to outside of K-Pop? Do you prefer rap? Pop? Indie? Rock? Boy bands? Instrumental? Fortunately, there’s something for everyone.
Keep reading to know what artists are right for you!
Day6 has been a part of JYP Entertainment since 2015 with their first release, “EP The Day.” It peaked at No.2 on Billboard’s World Album Chart a week after its initial release. They are also the first 3rd generation group that got bands trending. The band consists of Sungjin (Leader, Main Vocalist, and Rhythm Guitarist), Jae (Face of the Group, Lead Guitarist, and Main Vocalist), Young K (Rapper, Vocalist, and Bassist), Wonpil (Keyboardist, Main Vocalist, Synthesizer, and Visual), Dowoon (Drummer, Vocalist, and the Youngest).
Their most notable feature is that they make music videos of their albums as short films. Each video comes together to tell you a story. They also have a sub-group called Even Of Day with Dowoon, Wonpil, and Young K. Their best albums are The Book Of Us: Negentropy: Chaos Swallowed Up In Love, Book Of Us: The Demon, Right Through Me, Moonrise, and Shoot Me: Youth Part 1. They are also the band that fans keep coming back to.
This girl group is a part of JYP Entertainment. They are a girl group with nine members: Chaeyoung (Main Rapper, Sub Vocalist), Dahyun (Lead Rapper, and Sub Vocalist), Jeongyeon (Lead Vocalist), Jihyo (Leader, and Main Vocalist), Mina (Main Dancer, Sub Vocalist), Momo (Main Dancer, Sub Rapper, and Sub Vocalist), Nayeon (Center, Face of the Group, Lead Vocalist, and Lead Dancer), Sana (Sub Vocalist) and Tzuyu (Lead Dancer, Sub Vocalist, Visual, and the Youngest). They are a 3rd generation K-Pop group.
They gained popularity with their debut single “Cheer Up” in 2016. It peaked at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and won “Song of the year” at the Mnet and Melon Music Awards. It was also the best-performing single of the year. 2019 was the year Twice made substantial steps to being a global K-Pop leader. Twice is different because they have cheerful tunes and a colorful style with colors for each member.
They have bold choruses and memorable dance moves, and unique titles for albums. The titles are almost always viral and only partly because they take inspiration from online trends. Their best albums are #Twice, Yes or Yes, Page Two, Summer Nights, and Tastes of Love.
GOT7 was a Korean boy group under JYP Entertainment. The group has seven members: JayB, BamBam, Jackson, Jinyoung, Mark, Youngjae (Ars), and Yugyeom. The hip-hop group debuted in 2014 with “Girls, girls, girls.” Their first album, “Got it?” was number one on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. Their dance and music videos have exciting concepts and acrobatic movements. Their members have dabbled in acting and sports. They also have one of the most solid K-Pop friendships ever seen.
The group has since departed from JYP after the contract expired and has embarked on solo careers. Their best works are Colors (Ars), Mirrors (Jackson Wang), Dye (Got7), Ribbon (BamBam), Call My Name (Got7), and Breath of Love (Got7).
The Black Skirts is a one-person band created and led by bassist/guitarist/keyboardist/singer/songwriter Jo Hyu-il aka Bryan Hyu-il Jo and Holiday Jo. He debuted in 2010 with the album 201 that won “Best Modern Rock Album” at the Korean Music Awards. His band became very popular on the Hongdae Streets. Fans have called the combination of his lyrics “straight-forward” and his music unique. He has since released Thirsty, YUMI’s Cells, Team Baby, Hollywood, and Good Luck To You, Girl Scout!
Bolbbalgan4, or BOL4, defined as “Blushing Youth,” is a solo artist under Shofar Music. BBOL4 was initially a duo with Jiyoon (Guitarist, Main Rapper, Sub Vocalist, and the Youngest) and Jiyoung (Main Vocalist). They grew up together in Yeongju, Gyeongsang, and were classmates. They always dreamed of becoming singers. Both of them competed in the 2014 Superstar K6. They officially debuted on April 22nd, 2016.
The group is called “Blushing Youth” because the duo wanted to make pure and honest music that we can only find in adolescence. Jiyoon is shy and portrays the “blushing” part, while Jiyoung acts like a child and is impulsive in her behavior, making her perfect for playing the“youth” part. As of April 2nd, 2020, Jiyoon has left the group, and Jiyoung will promote the group as a solo artist.
Their notable albums are Red Diary Page.1, Red Diary Page.2, Full Album: RED PLANET, Puberty Book I: Bom and Two Five.
BTS or Bangtan Boys are a boy group that debuted in 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment. The group has seven members: J-Hope (Main Dancer, Sub Rapper, and Sub Vocalist), Jimin (Main Dancer, and Lead Vocalist), Jin (Sub Vocalist, and Visual), Jungkook (Center, Lead Dancer, Main Vocalist, Sub Rapper, and Youngest), RM (Leader, and Main Rapper), Suga (Lead Rapper), and V (Lead Dancer, Sub Vocalist, and Visual). They co-write and produce a lot of their music.
Starting as a hip-hop group, they have evolved their music to focus on personal and social commentary like mental health, loss, coming of age, and journey towards self-care and loving oneself. Their concepts also have literature, psychology, and an alternative universe element. They have preserved a “fusion music” style. They don’t stick to a specific genre and dabble in various elements with each release.
Their most popular albums include The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Love Yourself, BE, Map of the Soul:7, and Wings.
K-Pop can be a severely overwhelming industry to understand and get into, especially as a beginner. Hopefully, this list helps narrow your search. Another great way to find new music is by joining online forums on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. The best way to enjoy good music is by sharing it! So make sure you share this post and let us know if we missed anything in the comments.
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April 26, 2022 | 6 Minutes to Read