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Stream and mountains

K-pop beyond BTS and Blackpink

Camila De La Cruz

K-pop has gone global over the recent years with Korean artists such as BTS and Blackpink debuting on the Hot 100 Billboard. But there’s so much more to this genre of music. Conversely to the usual pop, K-pop also encompasses a variety of different genres. You can find almost anything from rock to indie in K-pop. Do you enjoy rap? Almost all K-pop groups will have a rapper as an official position. K-pop caters to a wide variety of music listeners. Do you enjoy band ensembles and musical groups? Are you looking for a new group to obsess over after the tragic One Direction split? Well, there are many K-pop groups to listen to, with many members to fill your room with. Or is a group with too many members too much? And you prefer solo artists? K-pop still has your back.

With so many groups and music to explore, where do we start?

I’ve gathered a few fan favorites which I have put together into a playlist.

Popular Korean soloist IU returned with a stunning album in 2021. The title track “Lilac” was nothing short. With an eye-catching music video and sweet melody, this quickly became one of her most popular songs in her 14-year career.

Dreamcatcher is known for their captivating rock sound that fans can’t get enough of. “Odd Eye” is a widespread favorite and gives a great introduction to Dreamcatcher. If rock is the genre for you or you enjoyed this song, then I would definitely recommend other Dreamcatcher songs such as “Because”, “Boca”, “Scream”, “Goodnight”, “You and I” and many others. I would also recommend K-pop bands like Day6 which also never disappoints fans.

Unlike other K-pop groups, Day6 acts as a normal band who play instruments instead of dancing, but this also means that members are more involved with the songwriting process, and this is definitely seen in “Shoot me”. To add to the music, the lyrics also reflect on the importance of words can have on others, with the phrase “words hurt like a bullet” at the end of the music video.

Seventeen and its 13 members (yes, 13) returned with their album Semicolon last year and its title track “Home;run” which was even performed on the Late Late Show with James Corden. Written by some of the members, this song is an upbeat song inspired by the iconic 1920s and 30s swing and is a unique song to add to your playlist.

Composed by the hip-hop trio 3racha, if you’re a fan of hip-hop then you’d Backdoor by Stray Kids. The addictive bass at the start and the electronic sound in the chorus will get you hooked every time. Stray Kids has been exploding in popularity in Australia, probably due to two Aussie members Chan and Felix. Stray Kids also had a new album Oddinary that came out on the 18th of March that once again blew fans away.

This one is for anyone who wants to relax to a cute, sweet song. After School has all the bright colors you’d expect from a K-pop music video. ‘After School’ was the breakthrough for Weeekly, gaining them many fans and popularity. The K-pop world is now obsessed with After School.

A simple but mesmerizing hip hop song by a soloist. The lyrics and music video perfectly describe an introvert at a social party. The piano part at the start may sound familiar as it has gained popularity on social media apps like TikTok.

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