We all danced to the tunes of “Gangam style” in 2012. We cannot deny the fact that PSY’s Gangam style was a major breakthrough for K-pop artists. Today, there are several stars influencing pop culture all around the world. This increased our curiosity about the K-pop world and we explored it a little more.
What is K-pop culture?
Korean pop is usually known as K-pop, an immense name for the musical genre produced within South Korea’s well-known music composing factories. It is one of the most outstanding genres all over the world, promoting an ostensibly never-ending stream of new talent and assembling trillions of fans on social media on a daily basis.
Even though K-pop is an industry worth around $5 billion, you might not know as much about its culture. As a matter of fact, the K-pop band BTS is one of the most outstanding bands, which sold more than Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish—who are some of the big names in the music industry.
As they’re growing bigger by the second so we have classified the most standout groups that presently claim the highest popularity. Their captivating beats and the perfected music videos that accompany them are accomplishments of choreography well worth watching and something not to be missed. From the social media excitement for BTS to the sleek dancing of Twice, here are the 15 K-pop artists and K-pop bands who you should definitely get familiar with,
15 K-pop Artists and Bands
- Miss A
- Monsta X
- Red Velvet
- The black skirts
- Baek Yerin
- Se So Neon
BTS, the seven-member K-pop band formerly used to stand for Bangtan Sonyeondan, but now exemplifies the phrase Beyond the Scene. It is one of music’s largest social media experiences, holding a global fanbase known as “Army” with more than 17 million Twitter followers who routinely get updates on globally trending topics related to BTS.
BTS music videos are extravagantly produced with high concept as they showcase each of the 7 boys in fashion-forward looks and their brilliant dancing skills. Music with a melodic backbone leaning towards hip-hop is what describes BTS. Their charm is embedded in their upbeat onstage intensity and their extraordinary personalities.
Twice, the all-girls K-pop band a squad of nine women from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan noticed on a reality show have made a mark with their gleaming take on bubblegum pop, produced on four EPs in just around three years together. Each of the nine singers claims her persona in the crew. They also have a fantastic skill to spark everything whether it is a viral trend or a political controversy. Their exceptionally produced and choreographed music videos have struck a chord and the most famous “TT” topped BTS’ accomplishment of becoming the quickest K-pop music video to hit 10 million views on YouTube.
iKON is a seven-member South Korean k-pop band with reality TV roots. They were formed in 2015 by YG entertainment. They were first introduced in WIN: Who is Next as “Team B”, the reality survival show, which included all present boys except Chan. After that, Team B went on to appear on another reality survival show in 2014 called Mix & Match, which established the final seven-boys line-up of iKON: Bobby, Jay, Song, B.I, Ju-ne, DK, and Chan.
Presently causing waves on the Korean charts, Seventeen, a 13-member boy group have the manpower to focus on three different units hip-hop, vocals, and performance. It began in 2013 when each of the 13 members was introduced on a streaming show. In 2015, they made their official debut and managed to instantly rise to the top of K-pop artists.
Earlier, EXO was playing the game of divide and conquer. The 12-member boy band that made their debut in 2012 was divided into two segments, half of which concentrated on performing in Mainland China, and the other half in Korea. At times EXO imitates a hip-hop sound, complete with rap respites and sometimes they could be vibing over an EDM lite synthy beat. Their music style is quite flexible but is certainly working, as it’s been eight years since they level with BTS for popularity.
5. Miss A
The four-member Chinese and K-pop band was set up by JYP Entertainment targeting the Chinese. In 2010, they released their first single “Bad Girl Good Girl” which was full of enthusiastic dance moves. Even their second song “Breathe”, did great and topped the charts. The crew’s leader Suzy also starred in Gu Family Book and Dream High.
Recognized as one of this generation’s well-known K-pop acts, every song released by BlackPink is a hit. It is a task to listen to their song and restrict it from getting stuck in your head. For years they’ve made history in the music charts with their energetic songs and fascinating choreography. Once you start embracing Lisa, Jennie Kim, Jisoo, and Rosé into your life, it’s not easy to let them go.
7. Monsta X
With some EDM, hip-hop, and pop on the plate, every Monsta X song you’ll listen to is a different universe you’ll want to dive into. Layers of passionate vocals meet a zealous rap line in every song. Winning hearts all over the place and topping several music charts, these bad boys absolutely deserve a spot in this list of famous K-pop artists.
You can try to explore replies to any given viral K-pop tweet and you’ll definitely see this band’s enthusiastic fans preaching ‘STAN LOONA’, their tried and true battlecry. The 12-member team has worked hard and unquestionably earned this undying support. Their tracks ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Hi High’ are not to be missed. They’ve got classic K-Pop with superb innovative visuals to match.
10. Red Velvet
The five-member all-girls band, Red Velvet is popular for making both R&B and pop-inspired jams, differing from most of their fellows. Their sleek soul sound balanced by dance-ready tunes has captivated a mainly female fanbase and shows a smart choice to appeal to diversified genre audiences. They’ve also worked with popular producers, for instance-The Stereotypes. They were also behind the Bruno Mars blockbuster “That’s What I Like” which achieved the Grammy
Oohyo launched EP Girl sense, her debut in 2014, and has now been in the K-pop market scene for a good year and has soared to mainstream fame. Her first album included tracks she wrote during her high-school years. She was also nominated as the best new K-pop artist at the Korean music awards. Her latest single, ‘Butter Chicken’ was released in 2019.
12. The black skirts
Black skirts consist of just one man, Jo Hyu-il. He exemplifies what the streets of Hongdae sound like on a classic weekend night. With its minimalistic yet varied sounds, it’s difficult to accept that the band is a one-man army, with Jo playing everyone’s role, songwriter, lead singer, guitarist bassist, and keyboardist.
People feel Black Skirts’ aesthetic merges the tones of Vampire Weekend and Andrew Bird. To depict the above statement, there’s possibly no better song than “Sangsu station”. You’ll have your head popping to the low-key reggae-influenced song is not a very long time.
13. Baek Yerin
You may remember Baek Yerin as one-half of a duo known as 15&. They debuted in 2012 and were operating for a few years before they went on an undetermined interval. Since then, Baek has separated from JYP Entertainment, her long-time agency, and started launching music through Blue Vinyl, her independent record label.
Baek’s impressive and clear voice reminds everyone of Corinne Bailey Rae. Baek’s voice is always the focal point of her tracks, which turn out to be soothing and melodious. The popular song “Popo”, reminds us of stepping down a tree-lined street on an elegant spring morning, Tranquility at its finest.
14. Se So Neon
Se So Neon, which means “New Youngsters” in English is a South Korean pop-rock band composed in Seoul in 2017. The band consists of 3 members, U-su, Hyunjun, and Hwang So-Yoon. In 2018, at the Korean Music Awards, they won the awards for Best Song and Rookie of the year.
It’s been a few years that Se So Neon has been on the music circuit. Still, they’ve already reaped mainstream applause, performing for shows such as “YooHeChuk’s Sketchbook” and have even recorded a song for ‘The Return’, The Korean drama. Their latest song released in 2020, Non-adaption is not to be missed.
BOL4 was formerly a female duo group formed of vocalists Ahn Ji-young and Woo Ji-Yoon. The latter has left the group due to concerns regarding her career. BOL4 is well-known for the music that usually expresses the sentiments of youth, especially love. Their debut album, Red Ickle was launched in 2016 and their first solo concert was Red Plant in 2016.
Korean pop music is captivating, fun, and filled with energy and enthusiasm so if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you even waiting for? With that funky colorful aesthetic, trend-deciding fashion, flawless techno beats, and wonderfully choreographed videos, K-pop artists are going global and it has now become a worldwide phenomenon.