K-pop or Korean pop has become famous all over the world. The era of k-pop began in the 1990s, with the first generation of idols, and has played a huge role in the Korean Wave. These idols usually train for a long period of time under different companies to master the art of singing and dancing. Since then, k-pop has evolved, becoming something bigger than just music, experimenting with different styles and genres, and becoming a huge industry with companies like Hybe Entertainment (formerly Bighit Labels) acquiring western record labels like Ithaca Holdings. There are fans of k-pop all over the world and it continues to garner more fans and attention from the media. Here are some of the top k-pop groups you need to check out right now.
Also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan, BTS has become huge around the world and is known to have one of the biggest k-pop fanbases, called ARMY’s. The group consists of 7 members, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. They debuted under Bighit Entertainment in 2013 with their lead single ‘No More Dream’. The group recently got #1 on Billboard Hot 100 with their English single ‘Dynamite’ and Korean title track ‘Life Goes On’. The group has experimented with different sounds and genres of music like hip-hop, pop, R&B, EDM and more, giving them a discography with a huge range. Their lyricism often focuses on themes like mental health, loss, loving oneself and struggles of the youth. The group’s latest release Dynamite was released with positive vibes and love to show that we can be hopeful during these dark times due to the pandemic.
BLACKPINK is a girl group formed by YG Entertainment. The group debuted in 2016 with their songs ‘Boombayah’ and ‘Whistle’. The group consists of Rosé, Lisa, Jennie and Jisoo. Their fans are called BLINKS. They are one of the biggest girl groups in the world of k-pop with over 60 million Youtube subscribers. The girl group has become famous internationally, performing in huge festivals such as Coachella. Their music usually includes genres like EDM, hip-hop and trap.
TXT, also known as Tomorrow X Together, is a boy group formed by Bighit Entertainment. The group debuted in 2019, with their album The Dream Chapter: Star, with ‘Crown’ as the title track. The group consists of Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Kai and the group’s fans are called MOA’s. They debuted at No.25 on Billboard 200 with their EP ‘Minisode1: Blue Hour’ and has the title of ‘Rookie Grand slam’, winning 5 ROTY awards. The 4th gen boy group has become famous for its flawless discography with a wide range of sound. Their lyrics often talk about the youth and struggles of coming of age. The group’s latest release ‘We Lost The Summer’ talks about the hardships of being a teenager during the pandemic, no longer being able to experience the usual routine of a normal teen.
Red Velvet is a girl group formed by SM Entertainment. They debuted in 2014 with the digital single ‘Happiness’. The group consists of Irene, Seulgi, Joy, Wendy and Yeri ( who later joined the group in 2015). The group’s fanbase is called Reveluvs. The group is known for their unique discography which shows their two sides, ‘Red’ which is more fun, energetic and bright and ‘Velvet’, which is more sensual, calmer and darker. They have songs in different genres from pop to R&B.
ITZY is a 4th gen girl group under JYP Entertainment. The group debuted in 2019 with the song ‘Dalla Dalla’. Its members consist of Yeji, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, Lia and Yuna and their fans are called MIDZY’s. They also have been awarded the title of Rookie Grand Slam. The 4th gen girl group has shown their ability to work with both bright and dark themes through their songs like ‘Dalla Dalla’ and their latest release, ‘Mafia In The Morning’.
ENHYPEN is a seven-member boy group formed by BELIFT Lab, a joint venture between Bighit Entertainment and CJ ENM. The group was formed through the Mnet survival show I-Land and consists of the members Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo and Ni-ki. Their fans are called ENGENES. They debuted in 2020 with the title track Given-Taken. The group is the fastest group to receive a Rookie of the Year award, within 12 days of their debut. With just two mini albums, the group has already quite made some noise within the k-pop industry. Their debut song ‘Given-Taken’ talks about whether their chance to debut was ‘given' to them, as they were a group made from a fan-voted survival show, or ‘taken’ by them as they worked hard to debut.
SEVENTEEN is a 13-member boy group formed by Pledis Entertainment. The group consists of S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon and Dino and their fanbase is called CARAT. They made their entry in 2015 with the song ‘Adore U’. The group has 3 units: Rap, Vocal and Performance, which shows their ability to work with the different aspects of k-pop music.
TWICE is a girl group formed by JYP Entertainment through the survival show Sixteen. They made their debut in 2015 with their song ‘Like OOH-AHH’. The groups consist of nine members: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu. Their fans are called ONCES. They are the only girl group with the highest number of Daesangs, with 18 awards. Often called the ‘Nation’s Girl Group’ , TWICE has shown its versatility through their music with a unique discography.
EVERGLOW is a 6-member girl group formed by Yuehua Entertainment. The group consists of E:U, Mia, Sihyeon, Aisha, Onda and Yiren and their fans are called Forevers. They started out in 2019 with their title track ‘Bon Bon Chocolat’. The girl group has released songs experimenting with many genres, from sad ballads to energetic electro-pop songs.
LOONA is a 12-member girl group formed by BlockBerry Creative. Each of the members was introduced individually with their own solo songs. This project started in October 2016 with the first girl Heejin, and ended in March 2018 with the last girl Olivia Hye. The group consists of Haseul, Vivi, Heejin, Hyunjin, Yeojin, Kim Lip, Jinsoul, Choerry, Yves, Chuu, Gowon and Olivia Hye, and the group’s fans are called Orbits. Their title track ‘Hi High’ became a huge hit in 2018. The group also has 3 sub-units: Loona 1/3rd, Odd Eye Circle, and Loona yyxy. They have also experimented with different styles and genres, with each members solo album having a different sound from the others.