In Singapore, we are familiar with the Korean wave, which has washed over our shores since the 2000s with Korean dramas like Winter Sonata and K-pop groups like Girls Generation. But today, the K-wave is going stronger than ever, even reaching global audiences and recognition at international charts!
While a lot has changed since the early days of K-pop, the unique artistry and passion of this industry have yet to wane. Today, many people consider K-pop a genre in itself, which combines elements from EDM, hiphop, jazz, and sometimes, world music. Apart from their catchy tunes and lyrics, K-pop also attracts a lot of fans through their sleek dance moves and – of course – stunning visuals.
If you are a K-pop fan, you might already have your own favourite groups – or biases – which is the very reason why you would want to join a Korean language course in the first place! But for those of you who are a little newer to the world of K-pop, let us enlighten you with an introduction of some of the hottest groups in Korea right now!
You don’t need to know K-pop to have heard of this group. BTS is undisputedly the most well-known K-pop group in the world right now. From their formation in 2010, they have come a long way to become an internationally recognised K-pop group, with awards like 4 Billboard Music Awards, 4 American Music Awards, and 11 Guinness World Records which include the record for most Twitter engagements.
The seven-member boy group co-writes and produces most of their own songs, which revolve around genres of hip-hop, R&B and EDM. They have also had record-breaking collaborations with notable global artists like Halsey and Lauv. Indeed, if you were to talk about social influence and brand value, BTS is the top K-pop group you need to know of today.
If boy groups have BTS, the girl group represent is none other than Blackpink! The four-member girl group from YG entertainment has earned itself accolades like being the highest-charting female K-pop group on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, the music group with the highest number of Youtube subscribers, and the most followed girl group on Spotify. Forbes Korea had also proclaimed Blackpink as the most influential celebrities of Korea in 2019, and the third most influential in 2020.
Known for their dynamic, bold image in their songs and choreography, Blackpink is definitely not your typical K-pop girl group. Their hit songs like ‘Kill this Love‘ and ‘Ddu-du Ddu-du’ are also record-breaking, with the latter being the most-watched K-pop music video on Youtube in 2019.
Debuting in 2016, EXO is one of Korea’s notable groups which promote actively in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese, as they comprise South Korean as well as Chinese members. Their diverse style of music has captured the hearts of many, and led them to clinch recognition at multiple awards nationally, like five consecutive Album of the Year awards at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and two back-to-back Artist of the Year titles at the Melon Music Awards. Internationally, they have also landed on the US Billboard 200 at number 23 for their sixth album, ‘Don’t Mess Up My Tempo’.
Apart from their music, many EXO members also actively promote as solo artists in film and television, and participate in high-profile endorsement deals like for Samsung, as well as philanthropic works. On the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list, EXO had been named the most influential celebrities in 2015 and 2016, and continue to have made into the top 10 in most of the following years.
These 3 K-pop groups will have hopefully given you a quick taste of the vibrant world of K-pop. As you can see, K-pop is no longer just about the music, but also huge influences socially and economically. If you truly want to get to know more about the Korean culture and language, knowing a thing or two about K-pop is a must.
Here at Sejong Korean Language School, you can delve deeper into Korean culture and meet with like-minded Korean fans as you learn the language together. Join us for online classes to satisfy your thirst for all things Korean!