Uprising K-pop stars

Uprising K-Pop: Top 10+ Groups/Solo Artists To Follow

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Published: 08/06/2018

Updated on: 02/01/2020

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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. Those I believe will go far and are very good at what they are doing. You can look at this list as my own belief of most exciting groups and their best videos, among many.

So, let’s start!

Uprising K-pop – Top 10+ List

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 is 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. Notably, 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 dull, 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!

2. Hyuna

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 miss K-pop group 4Minute because they had vast 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!

3. BLACKPINK

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 perceived 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 in colors, and you 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 to them sing.

4. EXO

Exo is a nine-member band that changed in the past. Now it 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, but they are also 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 attractive 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.

6. Sunmi

Another girl from Wonder Girls who took the right path is Lee Sun-mi or Sunmi, her artistic name. She is entirely new on my playlist, and it took me a while 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 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 genuinely shows many interests. When you give a try to her song Gashina, I strongly recommend her song, Full Moon. It explains what I’ve been saying about her personality – not quite any other, yet playful and exciting!

7. Hyoyeon

K-pop stars are rarely just singers, and the same goes for this girl. Hyoyeon is a singer, DJ, and television personality. Most of these 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 throughout their careers. Some groups are entirely 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 unique in its 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 exciting. 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 factors because their fan base is steadily growing, they are making music with stunning visuals, and they are attractive young boys who 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 genuinely 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 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 did 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 the Diabetes Association.

10. GAIN

This artist, mention in the Uprising K-pop, is worth all the love. She is relatively 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. Like 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 enjoyed the song, and I hope she makes more videos like this – not so perky and happy but severe and sensual. From every artist I mention here, I love a different thing. Even though they all seem the same, they are different in the details.

11. Mamamoo

So I have kept Mamamoo in this list of Uprising K-pop because when I see them, I feel only one word, POWER. For me, Mamamoo is a K-pop girl group that has so far shown the power in everything they did. Visuals, dance, songs, video, etc. each aspect of their performance and album exhibits power and strength. All the songs of this group are soothing, comforting, and appealing. They have an enormous public appeal, and their aura is something worth seeing when they perform.

Debuted in 2014, they were considered by some critics as one of the best K-pop debuts of 2014. Breaking the stereotypical image of K- pop girl groups, Mamamoo always comes with the different concepts and ideas in their songs. This four-member girl group has a limitless range of songs, which is entirely supported by their music videos. In recent years, Mamamoo has got appreciation in the way it deserved, and I believe it will continue further.

12. Lee Taemin

Lee Taemin, the ultimate maknae of SHINee, shines as bright as a star for his audience. Taemin debuted in his middle teen years and is still a trendy face of the industry. This has happened with the combination of many things. Like talent, luck, ranging vocals, dance, but most importantly, hard work. He is one of the most hardworking artists in the industry, and nobody could deny this fact. He is the number one idol voted by netizens who is successful both as a member of an idol group and a solo artist.

Taemin is a vocal machine, a dancing maniac, and a beauty. God knows what power he possesses that make him perform the way he does, and present us with roughness and grace together. When I saw him in MOVE, he was captivating, and again in WANT, he was enchanting. All I can say is that Taemin is the epitome of hard work in the K-pop industry.

13. Got7

Debuted in the year 2014, this seven-member boy group is another wonder-filled group in the list of Uprising K-pop. GOT7 is one of the few dominant groups in the Korean industry in which few members are from different countries. This might be the reason why GOT7 is more popular among the international audience in comparison with the domestic audience.

The members of this group are experts and well established in their parts, and they rock every song and music video together. This group consists of intense vocals, hitting rappers, and deadly dancers, and this combination is what we all crave for, right?

 

14. Twice

Girl group Twice is another honorable mention in the list of Uprising K-pop artists. Recently, they became the first K-pop girl group to conduct a multicity dome tour in Japan. Also, their first US tour was a great success. This shows that Twice is reaching new heights of popularity with each new day.

This nine-member girl group debuted in the year 2015 under JYP. They rose to instant fame with the song, ‘Cheer Up’ which released in 2016. Twice has also become the first K- pop girl to surpass 200 million views on youtube. Their colorful music videos and upbeat music is what their audience appreciate them for.

Did you like my Uprising K-pop list, or do you disagree?  I love these artists! They 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 these songs, search for other projects by these 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 favorite band make it to the Uprising K-pop list?

 

Categories K-PopFeaturedKoreanTop 10

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