K-pop is taking over, and we’re basking in its glory. The music category isn’t only pop – it can contain elements of rap, pop, EDM and other genres – it’s not just about the music when it comes to K-pop – choreography, music videos, and other aspects make it a full-on culture that other countries are taking note of. Here are the top K-pop stars that need to be on your radar ASAP.
Meet Rose, Jisoo, Lisa, and Jennie Kim. These girl warriors create unbelievably catch tracks and have been doing so for the past couple of years. There are hip hop influences in their music along with pop and green-defying aspects. The Seoul group is even reportedly doing a collaboration with Lady Gaga! We’re not surprised with the voices that Jennie and Jason have on them.
2. Stray Kids
This band got their name after going through a reality television competition. After the competition, the winners became a pop group in 2018. There are currently 9 members including Bang Chan, Woojin, Lee Know, Changbin, Han, Seungmin, I.N, Felix, and Hyunjin. Their first album got to number one on the charts and Apple store, and it was history from thereon out.
These goddesses have a way more bubbly sound than girl group BLACKPINK, and they’ll keep you in a cheerful mood all day long. But don’t put them in a box – they’re known for mixing sounds and have been breaking boundaries since their group debuted five years ago in 2015. It’s hard to just stand still when a track by South Korea’s ultimate sweethearts.
Perhaps the true pioneers of K-pop, these guys are the reigning kings of K-pop, and they also happen to be fashion icons as well. The mix of talent is thanks to a blend of rappers and singers. The three rappers are J-Hope, RM, and Suga, while the vocalists are Jungkook, Jimi, V, and Jin. They blend every genre you can think of and also address self-love and mental health with epic music videos and lyrics. Jungkook’s voice is absolutely heavenly.
5. Monsta X
EDM and hip hop fans get to head nod to Monsta X, but so do pop lovers. Monsta X has layers and they won’t subscribe to one label – they have tons of die-hard fans that go by the moniker of “Monbebe.” Vocals are full of power, and so are the ruthless rap lines that they always sneak in there. Monsta X has been active since 2015 when they won the talent show “No. Mercy” and contains seven members. Once you set eyes on Shownu, I.M, Kuhyun, Wonho, Minhyuk Hyunwon and Joohoney, you’ll have #MCM inspiration for weeks.
We won’t bother listing all the members of NCT, because there’s a whopping 21 members as of now. The concept behind the popular group is that the members are unlimited and always growing – that’s inclusion if we’ve ever heard of it, but also kind of hard to keep track of. NCT, or “Neo Culture Technology” debuted in 2016 with just two members. There are different units that the band is divided into, including NCT Dream. NCT U, and NCT 127, which reps Seoul. We can’t wait to see who else this SM Entertainment signed mega-group adds to their roster.
7. Red Velvet
Red velvet isn’t just a delicious kind of cake anymore – they’re a fierce contender made up of gorgeous and talented women. Meet Yeri, Irene, Wendy, Seulgi and Joy. Each of them brings something different and unexpected to the table – a little bit of spicy seduction, a bit of sweetness, and a sprinkle of bold, all doused in a hearty amount of sparkles, because who doesn’t like sparkle? They’re one of the only K-pop groups to create the English version of their songs.
ASTRO, who is currently signed to Fantagio, has been active since 2015. The smouldering boy band is made up of Rocky, Jinjin, Eun Woo, Sanha, Moonbin, and MJ. With а sensational album like “Spring Up,” These boyish cuties have been named one of the best K-pop groups of 2016 by Billboard. This is due to their explosive single “Hide & Seek” which also happened to be their debut. People are particularly obsessed with hottie Cha Eun Woo, and when you look at him you’ll see why.
This girl group is signed to Yuehua Entertainment, and are one of the most recent bands to join the top rankers, as their debut was just in March of 2019. Their track “Dun DUN MV” is undeniably catchy – female Backstreet Boys much? Tracks like Adios MV are more hip hop inspired, showing there’s no end to the overflow possibilities. Their style is also killer and will give you fashion inspo for eternity.
Another boy band formed through a reality show, this one called WIN: Who Is Next, the victorious members included Jinu, Seungyoon, Seunghoon, Taehyun and MINO. While the members have changed (Taehyun left in 2016 for health reasons) the remaining four members have continued to slay charts and even reached #6 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. In 2014, they won Best New Artist multiple times, and their tracks “Really Really” and “Fool” also were embraced by critics and the public.