K-Pop is the keyword today and the world is going crazy, in a good sense, when it comes to their artists. Uprising K-pop isn’t an official list of the most famous or currently the most successful groups/solo artists in South Korea. I assembled my own personal article of those artists who I noticed first and gave a chance. Those I believe will go far and are very good at what they are doing. You can look at this list as my own personal belief of most interesting groups and their best videos among many.
Uprising K-pop – Top 10 List
So, let’s start!
1. BTS (Bangtang Boys)
South Korea is giving a lot these days and it all got noticed with them. A seven-member South Korean boy band currently rocking the Billboard 200 charts! They started with their first album “2 COOL 4 SKOOL” in 2013, but I noticed them much, much later. You read that right, much later. With their album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1. Particularly, the song Dope which you can see below. They also like to call themselves Bulletproof Boy Scouts or Bangtan Sonyeondan.
One thing you notice when you start to observe them is that they are like chameleons. Depending on the mood of the video, atmosphere, and symbolism, they will change the color of their hair, outfit style and such. Their videos are never boring and I can say the same for their music. Give a listen to War of Hormone, MIC Drop and Not Today. Those boys know how to dance!
You may know her from the video called Gangnam Style by Psy. But I know her from the group 4Minute. Her name is Kim Hyun-ah but she is better known by the mononym HyunA. Before 4Minute, she was in Wonder Girls who rose her to fame but from the 2010s she is a solo singer.
I personally miss K-pop group 4Minute because they had a huge potential. Not all paths are the same but she took the best one. I prefer her songs Roll Deep and How’s This. but she is making her way on top even on today’s charts. The same as BTS, she likes to transform herself but one thing is always the same – her piercing eyes!
It is all about them recently. They were the second K-pop group after BTS that caught my attention and I like to look at them as a female equivalent of BTS. Although they can be compared in that way, they should be seen individually. Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa are the girls who will show you their talent and prove to the world that they have quality and that they will surpass every other male or female band from South Korea. And even other countries in the future. This video is rich with colours and you just cannot stop watching it so yes, give it a try!
Besides Boombayah, listen to Whistle, their number-one hit, and Playing with Fire. They like to mix various genres like K-pop, EDM, and Hip-hop. And let me tell you, it is interesting to listen them sing.
A nine-member band that changed in the past now is a group of boys ready to show you their thirst for success and readiness for a challenge. They are called Suho, Xiumin, Lay Baekhyun, Chen, Chunyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun. Not only are they a South Korean – Chinese boy band, they are known for their wide variety of musical styles, listening to their songs like Overdose, Monster, Lotto and many others. Even though other groups mix English with Korean, Exo will perform in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. An interesting fact here is that EXO consisted of 12 members but was separated into smaller groups EXO-K and EXO-M and later EXO-CBX after the members changed. Some of them have solo carriers like Xiumin or Baekhyun. It is a bit hard to catch that all up but I recommend you to start with their songs first.
5. Monsta X
As I go down this Uprising K-pop list, I remind myself and others that groups and solo artists mentioned here are not the best in their business or in this order as I continue to list them. They are the ones that caught my attention and after a few songs, actually made me love them. I heard the song DRAMARAMA and the beat made me listen to it until I start to hate it but the thing is, I still don’t hate it!
They entertain your sense of hearing with rhythmic beats and melodies while interesting dances entertain your eyes. Fun fact, this group was formed through the survival shows NO.Mercy in 2015 and they are slowly building their success today. The group is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Sooheon, and I.M. Besides DRAMARAMA, listen to Trespass, Hero, and Spotlight.
Another girl from Wonder Girls who took the right path is Lee Sun-mi or Sunmi, her artistic name. She is quite new on my playlist and it took me awhile to discover her. What attracted me to her wasn’t her looks but her perkiness. In her video Gashina, she is playful, perky, a child in a woman’s body and it was strange at first but now I like watching her videos. She is definitely not a typical female pop icon and I like that. She was also a part of the female group Wonder Girls, just like HyunA but left at the start of 2010 and the reason was to pursue her academic career. But, K-pop is a love you never forget.
After three years of absence, she came back as a solo artist and it seems it was a great decision she made, rocking the Billboard chart, Gaon Digital Chart, and many others. Not only does she sing, but she also plays the bass guitar so she truly shows many interests. When you give a try to her song Gashina, I strongly recommend her song, Full Moon. It shows exactly what I’ve been saying about her personality – not quite any other, yet playful and interesting!
K-pop stars are rarely just singers and the same goes for this girl. Hyoyeon is a singer, DJ and television personality. Most of this solo artists start with groups and she isn’t an exception. Her starting point was a group called Girls’ Generation which was quite successful in the early days in South Korea. Watching her videos like Mystery or Wannabe, you can spot the influences of hip-hop, jazz and Latin dance which she learned while still being a child. It seems they all have a similar career development when you start to learn more about their past.
Most of them started as a group, they earned various rewards and topped many charts over the course of their careers. Some groups are quite new so we still keep our fingers crossed that they don’t split up. But, in my personal opinion, it wouldn’t be the end of the world (unless Thanos showed up, then just panic) since some of them have great solo careers.
8. VIXX (Voice, VIsual, Value in Excelsis)
Another K-pop group on the rise and to make it into the Uprising K-pop, consists of six members. N, Leo, Ken, Ravi, Honbin, and Hyuk are the young members who were put together by Jellyfish Entertainment in 2012. You might think they are the same as the others but every K-pop artist mentioned here is special in its own way. When it comes to VIXX, they like to tell a story through their performance, music, lyrics, and choreography.
I chose their music video Fantasy because it is visually beautiful and interesting. Their movements are in sync and they are quite refreshing to watch. It is soothing and honestly, I stuck mostly to just to this song and I don’t have the proper explanation for my action. I do believe they have IT factor because their fan base is steadily growing, they are making music with stunning visuals and they are young attractive boys which will be a plus for the girls. Once, you start to explore them, you’ll realize their love for ballads, R&B, and dance. K-pop is truly an art form that consists of many genres and influences.
9. CLC (CrystaL Clear)
Yet another group formed by another organization, Cube Entertainment in 2015. I personally am not a fan of this forming kind of group. No emotional story behind it. So, CLC is on the scene for the last three years and it has seven female members, two of them added in 2016. So far, they released eight EPs, two of them are Japanese EPs. Though it is an interesting fact that they were put together as backup dancers for G.NA and not only do they sing and dance, they also model for the uniform brand Smart. This K-pop group is everywhere, doing almost anything they have a talent for.
I noticed them with their hit Hobgoblin. They made a performance video as well and they are not stopping there. Recently they released their new music video for the song Black Dress and I encourage you to watch it. Give it a try! Fun fact for this group is that when they held their third concert, they donated all the earnings from that concert. They donated the money to a Diabetes Association.
The last one I’ll mention in the Uprising K-pop isn’t the one that is worth the least. She is fairly new to my playlist and I want people to discover her. If I make one or two people start listening to her, I’ll feel like I did my part. So, who is she?
Gain, or Son Ga-in is a singer, actress, and entertainer. As almost every other solo artist, she came from a girl group Brown Eyed Girls. During her solo career, she released six EPs. When you start watching this video, you have a feeling like you saw something like this before. Typical choreography, back dancers with flashy lights and play on colors. But you keep watching because she looks different. With her bob blue hair and sensual dancing, you somehow can’t look away. But I didn’t stay for the looks. I really enjoyed the song and I hope she makes more videos like this – not so perky and happy but sensual and serious. From every artist I mention here, I love a different thing. Even though they all seem the same, they are different in the details.
Did you like my Uprising K-pop list or do you disagree? I mentioned before that this isn’t the ultimate uprising K-pop list of the most earning artists, but my own list of preference. I really like these artists! They are are all in the same genre K-pop but they couldn’t be more different when you compare them to each other. Don’t stick to this songs, search for other projects by this stars because they do have many and it was hard to list the best ones! If you enjoyed this, give a try to Billboard All Time or a movie The Handmaiden. K-pop is on the rise and expects to hear about many new rising artists quite soon. Did your favourite band make it to the Uprising K-pop list?