Every 12 months, Ok-pop sees increasingly acts becoming a member of the trade, making their debuts with brand-new music and identities. Like in years previous, 2018 — a 12 months that has seen unprecedented quantities of Korean music on the Billboard charts — the debut scene was filled with rising expertise.
Along with the re-debut of many established acts — like Girls’ Generation, Oh!GG and Yubin, previously of Wonder Girls — the previous 12 months have seen many new names gaining traction with their model of Ok-pop.
Here are a number of the most promising ones that you need to regulate.
10. Kim Dong Han
One of the various new acts to got here out of Mnet’s Produce competitors collection, Kim competed within the 2017 season of the present and was a part of the momentary boy band JBJ till April this 12 months. Since then, he’s garnered a fervent following, because of his clean dance tracks and charismatic performances, setting himself up as a soloist to maintain watching in years to come back.
As a lot as they sing about love, Ok-pop idols hardly ever are upfront about their private lives, and discussions relating to sexuality are all however taboo. But soloist Holland is an outlier who’s hoping to vary that as the primary out and proud homosexual Ok-pop idol. An unbiased artist, he’s discovered an area for himself releasing optimistic pop songs about free love and has constructed up a devoted following via his music and movies that provide an alternative choice to the overwhelming heteronormative slant sometimes seen in affiliation with Ok-pop.
eight. The Boyz
Technically The Boyz debuted on the finish of final 12 months, on Dec. 6, however arriving so late on the scene of 2017, it didn’t actually really feel like they had been something however brand-new rookies in 2018. With 12 members, together with a number of who rose to reputation forward of their debut via tv present appearances, the group’s explored funky and tropical pop sounds via 4 singles this 12 months and quickly gained a devoted following for his or her constantly stellar performances.
An alt R&B songstress, KATIE (Katie Kim) rose to reputation in South Korea in 2015 as a actuality competitors present winner however was quiet over the previous few years whereas prepping for her profession, often showing on works from different artists. It wasn’t till 2018 when she returned along with her lush, English-language debut single “Remember,” charming via its golden-hued music video and the potential to transcend stereotypes sometimes related to younger stars within the Ok-pop trade.
This eight-member boy band, whose title stands for “A Teenager Z,” drew in audiences from their first moments with the discharge of their Treasure EP.1 : All to Zero EP on the finish of October. They debuted on the World Albums chart dated Nov. three with the album, fronted by the impactful twin singles “Treasure” and “Pirate King.” Though brief, All to Zero showcased ATEEZ's power, mesmerizing vocals and a way of fierceness that set the groundwork for extra to come back.
After being shaped via the tv present Idol School final 12 months and releasing the only “Glass Shoes” in collaboration with it, fromis_9 launched their first EP To.Heart on the finish of January and spent the remainder of this 12 months beguiling audiences with a trio of vivacious singles: "To Heart," "DKDK," and "Love Bomb." The first two launched the nonet via candy bubblegum pop, however it was with the discharge of the third in October that fromis_9 actually arrived as certainly one of this 12 months’s most promising acts as they ignited the Ok-pop scene with pleasure over their quirky electro-pop sound.
Like I.O.I and Wanna One earlier than them, this 12 months’s Produce group IZ*ONE made an immense affect with their debut single, “La Vie En Rose,” upon its launch in October. A lady group that includes each Korean and Japanese members, the 12 ladies had been handpicked by audiences in Korea and didn’t disappoint with their first single, which dramatically confirmed off their candy and highly effective sides via a melody that blended atmospheric synths, lilting strings and boisterous beat drops. The elegant music video for it turned the most-viewed K-pop debut video of all time on YouTube as audiences all over the world grew within the act, and the only debuted at No. 6 on the World Digital Song Sales chart dated Nov. 10.
Finally, everybody can stan Loona now that the highly-anticipated group debuted as an entire this 12 months after a prolonged rollout course of that noticed every of the act’s members have her personal time to shine amid a bevy of solo and sub-unit releases since mid-2016. This 12 months was busy between unit yyxy collaborating with Grimes on “Love4eva” and the group lastly releasing their first EP, [+ +]. After introducing them as an entire for the primary time with their energetic “favOriTe,” Loona’s formal first single, “Hi High,” introduced the dozen showcasing a way of energetic, atmospheric cheer that set the tone for what’s to come back from them sooner or later.
2. Stray Kids
First launched final 12 months via a actuality present of the identical title, JYP Entertainment’s latest boy band, Stray Kids, has constantly confirmed off their rambunctious facet all year long, throughout which they launched 4 albums. 2018 began off with January’s Mixtape, which featured songs created via their Stray Kids present, and continued at full velocity because the act launched their trio of I’m EPs –– I Am NOT,I Am WHO and I Am YOU. With every launch, the nine-member act additional launched the world to their exuberant model of introspective hip-pop, which is essentially crafted by members of the group and ceaselessly options lyrics exploring youth id.
Immediately after they arrived on the scene with the moombahton-inspired dance observe “Latata” in May, Cube Entertainment’s newest lady group, (G)I-dle — silent “g” — turned certainly one of this 12 months’s greatest breakout successes within the Ok-pop world as they captivated audiences with their fiercely addicting dance tracks and mesmerizing performances. With rapper-songwriter Soyeon driving the act’s sound, the six-member lady group rose to fame quickly. Their follow-up single “Hann” noticed comparable success and debuted at No. 2 on the World Digital Song Sales chart dated Aug. 24.
Throughout the remainder of 2018, they’ve quickly grown their following, and South Korea’s Gaon chart just lately confirmed that they’d one of many 100 greatest digital hits of the 12 months within the nation. But (G)I-dle’s success in 2018 hasn’t been restricted to the Ok-pop scene: Soyeon and Miyeon joined Jaira Burns and Madison Beer in voicing digital lady group Ok/DA for the League of Legends single “Pop/Star” in November, which went on to turn into a viral hit.
At a time when Ok-pop lady teams are more and more leaning into “lady crush” ideas, (G)I-dle has come to symbolize not solely the pattern but additionally the potential for this technology of self-producing feminine groups within the Korean music trade. With an entire profession forward of them, they’re positively essentially the most thrilling new Ok-pop act to concentrate to as we head into the brand new 12 months.