Korean pop has been on the rise in the last couple of years, gaining praise for its colourful music videos, catchy melodies, and striking choreographies. Most of the world is aware of BTS, the Kpop boy group that’s been taking the world by storm. While they are incredibly talented and deserve all their praise, there are a multitude of other equally talented Kpop artists that deserve to be recognized as well. I started listening to Kpop around 2016, and my playlists have been constantly expanding since then. I thought I would introduce you to some of my favourite Kpop songs (some old and some new) that’ll get you in a dancing mood!
Peek-A-Boo (2017) – Red Velvet: I would sing this song in the car so often that my friends would get annoyed. Red Velvet is a girl group with five members that debuted in 2014 under SM Entertainment, and they are arguably one of the biggest Kpop girl groups of the past decade. While they are typically known for their signature bubblegum pop aesthetic, this song has a uniquely sublime melody. The chorus is insanely catchy and always has me dancing in my seat. If you decide to give “Peek-A-Boo” a listen, some other Red Velvet songs you might enjoy are “Russian Roulette,” “Bad Boy,” and “Zimzalabim.”
Ready for Love (2021) – Seventeen: This band is, by far, my favourite Kpop artist. Seventeen is a boy group with thirteen (yes, you read that right: 13) members that debuted in 2015 under Pledis Entertainment. They are well-known for being a self-producing group, meaning they play a significant role in creating all the music and choreography they release. This song is one of their latest tracks, and this group never disappoints. “Ready to Love” has a sort of early 2000s pop vibe that gets the speakers in any room bumping. Not to mention, the choreography is out of this world. If you take my recommendation and listen to “Ready to Love,” some other Seventeen songs you’re gartuneeted to love are “Left & Right,” “Don’t Wanna Cry,” and “Clap.”
Sherlock (2013) – SHINee: It’s almost unbelievable how much of a bop this song is. SHINee is a boy band that debuted in 2008 with five members under SM Entertainment, and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say they helped make the industry what it is today. They were the first group to put immense focus on creating and mastering complex choreography, now a staple for the majority of Kpop bands. SHINee were the inspirations for countless rookie idols to pursue music, so we have them to thank for most of our favorite upcoming Kpop artists. Tragically one of their members, Kim Jonghyun, took his own life in 2017, shedding light on how stressful and damaging the industry can be. The band will always have their legacy, and if you share that love for the song “Sherlock,” be sure to listen to others like “Lucifer,” “Ring Ding Dong,” and “Married to the Music.”
Wannabe (2020) – Itzy: This band is the youngest one on my list, having debuted in 2019 with four members under JYP Entertainment. The girl group is known for their high energy and positive songs, and this one is no exception. “Wannabe” has an upbeat rhythm that openly invites listeners to tap their feet and nod their heads along to the beat. Not to mention the song gave birth to the iconic shoulder dance (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, do yourself a favour and look it up, you won’t regret it). The message of their music is simple: self-love. So if you decide to follow their mission of self-love, make sure to add the songs “Dalla Dalla,” “Icy,” and “Not Shy” to your playlists.
Dance the Night Away (2018) – Twice: As the title states, you will want to dance the night away to this song. Twice is a girl group with nine members that debuted in 2015 under JYP Entertainment, well-known for capturing the hearts of audiences with their ultra girly concepts. This song has a classic summer vibe to it, perfect for a casual beach day or park date. “Dance the Night Away” came out in the height of Twice’s popularity, and the song proves why they’re so loved. If you find this song flowing through your headphones, consider listening to some other Twice songs like “What is Love,” “I Can’t Stop Me,” and “Alcohol-Free.”