Edited by Yoon
Translated by Esther Lee
aespa and STAYC are the K-pop acts of 2020 that became huge last year. In less than a year after their debut, both groups dropped multiple hit songs and rose to fame as one of the most popular K-pop idol groups. Here, we have selected the 5 new K-pop groups to watch in the year to come.
IVE is a new girl group that Starship Entertainment has put out. The group currently has Jang Wonyong and An Yu Jin, who used to be members of IZ*ONE. IVE is the girl group that debuted under Starship Entertainment after IZ*ONE, and the new idol act drew attention for having two former members of the now-disbanded popular project group. “ELEVEN” received rave reviews for its addictive hook and its unique musical arrangement. IVE was by far the most successful of all the newly debuted rookie idol groups of 2021, as it crushed all the music charts and swept all the major music programs. Although Jang Wonyong and An Yu Jin are the ones that hold a solid fan base, the other members are playing part in raising anticipation for their future activities with their absolutely fantastic singing skills.
Kep1er is a nine-member K-pop project girl group formed through the Mnet’s talent show Girls Planet 999: The Girls Saga. They are the newest group of all the acts mentioned in this article (they debuted on January 3rd, 2022) and are currently promoting their new album. Thanks to the audition show’s global voting system, the group already has a global fanbase throwing great reviews at their new music videos and other promotional materials. They started with an already established fanbase, which is a major plus to their future quest to win the global audience’s hearts.
Billlie is a new rookie girl group that Mystic Story has been preparing for a long time. It is said that the label has worked on the team’s release for more than two years, recruiting some familiar faces like the web drama A-TEEN actress Su Hyun, Mnet’s Unpretty Rapstar star Moon Sua, and Girls Planet 999: The Girls Saga finalist Kim Su Yeon. Lee Min Soo and Kim Eana, who previously collaborated on “Six Sense (Brown Eyed Girls)” in an attempt to create a worldview that connects the past and present generations of the K-pop scene, met again to work on Billlie’s debut song. Despite the song being a little difficult to understand, the group clearly establishes their unique worldview and concept. Just like how aespa did with their metaverse idea, I look forward to seeing this new girl group with their brilliant own worldview in the future.
Following DAY6, Xdinary Heros is a six-member boy band that debuted under JYP Entertainment’s sub-label Studio J. Their debut song, “Happy Death Day,” has a title as unique as their band’s name and is about people’s double standards and hypocrisy. Among all the debut songs sung by K-Pop idols, this song has perhaps the most unusual type of message that an idol group would sing about. The genre they choose to sing and the song’s sounds are also not the ones that we would hear from a K-pop band every day. The song sounds very much like rock or metal music that is very different from the currently popular city pops or disco music. It seems like that they have established their own identity in the music market, which has been relatively homogeneous up to this point.
JUST B is a six-member boy group consisting of members from various shows like Under Nineteen, The Fan and I-LAND. Former B.A.P. member Bang Yong Guk took charge of JUST B’s production and drew people’s attention even before their release. Perhaps because of their producer’s influence, JUST B reminds us of B.A.P. in their early years. Their perfect dance moves tell how much they have practiced nailing their parts in their title track, “DAMAGE.” Their powerful concept also stands out, as if the song is fueled with rage and determination. JUST B has all of the qualities that a current K-Pop boy band needs to have, with their two albums having a stable emotional flow and clear message. An incredibly talented boy band has been born with a neatly polished performance and a great balance within their team.
Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.
Translator Esther Lee: I’ll be providing you with up-to-date, reliable Korean entertainment news. Enjoy!