K-Pop is currently having a moment—and while it’s been having its “moment” for years and years now (Gangnam Style
anyone? everyone?), the genre is steadily growing a devoted audience outside the borders of its home in South Korea. K-Pop artists have begun to expand their portion of the Western spotlight, with Korean bands like BTS winning international acclaim at awards shows like Billboard and MTV EMA. From handsome boy bands with sharp dance moves to girl groups with epic music videos, K-Pop has a little something extra for everyone. Check out this roundup of some of our favorite artists and songs, and you might just be adding some new entries to your fall playlist.
1. “DDU-DU DDU-DU” - Blackpink
Dominating the charts with each release, this four-piece girl group is one of the hottest talents in the South Korean music scene. From rapping to singing to dancing—they do it all, and more. Their latest song, “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, is an electro-pop, girl power anthem with a mind-numbingly catchy chorus that will be stuck on a loop in your brain for days. The video is certainly no let-down either, a visual extravaganza full of bedazzled tanks, embossed samurai swords, and of course, baby pink.
2. “IDOL” - BTS
Arguably the most well known K-Pop band overseas, BTS is a boy band that has been making major waves with their bright music videos and anthemic songs. Their most recent release, “IDOL,” is a proclamation of ignoring the naysayers, and also features a spitfire verse from rapper Nicki Minaj. Praised for their synchronized dancing, singing skills, and hilarious interviews, BTS is quickly becoming the global face of the genre as they continue to grow with every performance and release.
3. “BBoom BBoom” - Momoland
This nine-member girl group, which formed on a competition reality TV show, is breaking the stereotypical K-Pop sound through their signature incorporation of disco. Momoland is a multi-talented group with a bouncy and groovy sound, and with numerous members having been born in the US, they’re poised to take the nation by storm.
4. “Siren” - Sunmi
One of K-Pop’s few and far between solo artists, Sunmi is a true creative even in the midst of industry full of curated image and appearance. Consistently releasing danceable, electro-pop jams, “Siren” is absolutely no exception. Complete with a kitschy video full of wild dancing and trippy visuals, the song marks Sunmi is a star on the rise.
5. “Love Scenario” - iKON
Another group formed from a competition reality show, iKON is a 7-member boy band who has become famous for their rhythmic and hip-hop influence. Despite their harder image, “Love Scenario” is a sweet daydream of a song addressing a lover. Actively promoting throughout Asia and singing in Japanese as well, iKON's next move might just have to be the good ol’ US.