Beyond BTS and BLACKPINK, six lesser known K-Pop bands to listen to, from Dreamcatcher to Aespa
The Korean wave has taken over India so allow us to introduce you to K-Pop bands besides global names like BTS and BLACKPINK.
Parasite, BLACKPINK, BTS, Squid Game... South Korean content is bigger than ever all across the globe. From beauty products to fashion, food to movies, TV series, and music, Korean culture is rapidly being embraced on a global scale.
Through 'Hallyu,' or the Korean wave, Korean pop is influencing cultures globally, and at the centre of it all is K-pop. Fans are hooked to the groovy music, catchy lyrics, perfect choreography, and extremely fashionable band members who underline the genre. When we talk about Korean music, we are most familiar with K-pop bands like BTS, BLACKPINK, EXO, and Red Velvet. K-Pop is perhaps the only music genre which has most effectively transcended the language barrier to conquer the West.
Recently, BTS performed in front of their fans in Los Angeles. After over two years, the septet comprising RM, Jin, Suga, Jungkook, J-Hope, Jimin, and V left the ARMY wanting more.
It has been a thrilling year for BTS, as they achieved new milestones, breaking records with Butter, Permission To Dance, and My Universe, which was a collaboration with Coldplay. They even scored a nomination at Grammy Awards 2022.
But for any K-pop newbie who does not know where to begin, here is a guide to the most famous K-pop bands, other than BTS and BLACKPINK, you should know about:
Dreamcatcher is the first all-girl K-pop group to lead Billboard’s Next Big Sound Chart in February 2021. They are known for telling ‘dystopian’ stories through impactful visuals and uniquely stylised choreography. Formerly known as the five-piece group MINX, in 2017, the band was re-debuted with seven members — JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami, and Gahyeon.
The newest phenomenon in K-pop acts is the seven-member all-girl group which made its explosive debut in February 2021 with the album TRI.BE Da Loca and released two singles 'Doom Doom Ta' and 'Loca.' TRI.BE’s members are SongSun, Kelly, JinHa, HyunBin, Jia, SoEun, and MiRe. The group was formerly known as LIONGIRLS and TRI.ANGLE. The band’s name is inspired by the words 'triangle and being.' It is pronounced as 'try-be,' and “We are perfect as we are” is their slogan.
Since their 2019 debut, the K-pop male quartet AB6IX have managed to get plenty of rising star and best new artist nods. AB6IX have done remixes with Lizzo (for her hit 'Truth Hurts') and Why Don’t We, for their song 'Fallin’ (Adrenaline),' and have recently become more involved in writing and producing their own music too. Back in April, the boys also made a cameo appearance on the TBS series Chad, starring Nasim Pedrad.
This nine-member group began spreading their charm in 2012. It is hailed as one of the best K-pop boy bands of all time. The band’s first album, XOXO, sold over a million copies upon release in 2013 — a first in Korea in 12 years. It was a runaway success, and led EXO into the Billboard World Albums chart.
Aespa debuted in late 2020. Aespa has slowly been gaining a lot of attention around the world. Their songs 'Next Level' and 'Savage' have both become hits in South Korea. Additionally, their recent album, Savage, even got to number 20 on the Billboard 200 chart. Perhaps international superstardom could be in the future for Aespa.
Pronounced as ‘idle’ or ‘idol,' (G)I-dle started with six members in 2018. Soyeon, Yuqi, Miyeon, Minnie, and Shuhua made it big with their debut track 'Latata.' The song was spotted on No 4 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales, and was No 5 on World Albums, making them the sixth all-girl K-pop band to dominate Billboard World Charts in the first go.
I-Burn, their latest mini-album, was released in January 2021 with one of the most coveted songs, 'Hwaa,' opening at No 17 spot on Billboard K-Pop 100. It went on to make (G)I-dle one of the leading all-girl groups in K-pop.
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