About two months ago, I started to get really into K-Pop and created a list of five other bands you should check out if you love BTS. When I first got into K-Pop, BTS was solely my favorite and while I did listen to a few other K-Pop groups, BTS was like the love of my life. But now I've expanded past BTS and branched out towards the other awesome K-Pop groups there are out there (BTS is still the love of my life though). Venturing into new K-Pop groups can be tricky, because unlike BTS, a lot of really awesome K-Pop groups just haven't been able to make it overseas and into America. It can take a while to go through all the amazing artists and groups, and I always love finding a new group or solo artist. So here are five more K-Pop groups that are widely popular in South Korea and has captured both my heart and ears.
Winner debuted in 2013 as a five-member group that had formed through the 2013 reality survival program WIN: Who is Next, where they competed as a team against other trainees from YG Entertainment for a chance to debut as the first YG boy group in eight years, since the debut of Big Bang. The name Winner was given to them after they came through as the winner, simple as that. The members of the group are Jinwoo, Mino, Seunghoon, Seungyoon, and Taehyun.
In 2015, Taehyun left the group to pursue his solo career and since then, Winner has been a four-member group. In 2017, they released their new album, which included one of my favorite songs, "Really Really". The song did really well and actually debuted at No. 3 on Billboard World Digital Song Sales, marking the group's best position to date and was also chosen as one of the songs on Apple Music's “Best of the Week” list. The music video was shot in LA and is entirely in black and white and features a flash mob of several diverse women. The music video was directed by Dave Meyers, who has previously directed music videos of American artists like Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, and Maroon 5. Winner is now currently on their 4th Japan Concert Tour.
2. Big Bang
Big Bang is a group that all K-Pop lovers are a fan of. Big Bang is made up of five members and they are G-Dragon, Daesung, Seungri, Taeyang, and T.O.P. They've been around since 2006 and is considered the Kings of K-Pop. In 2016, they made their ten-year anniversary and 2017 was the last year they were all together. Due to South Korea's mandatory military service requirement, T.O.P. was the first to enlist for his two-year service in February. The remaining members went on with their tours and promotions, but they have stopped making new songs due to their disbandment. Big Bang was the first Korean mainstream hip-hop idols, and in 2016 ranked second on Time magazine's polls for Most Influential People in the World. Like many other K-Pop groups today, Big Bang's song typically fused pop music with rap, R&B, hip-hop, with their music videos consisting of high production value and great choreography.
K.A.R.D is a co-ed group that consists of B.M, Jiwoo, J.seph , and Somin. The group is fairly new. They debuted their first single "Oh NaNa" in 2016, which featured Heo Young-ji, a member of a K-Pop girl group called KARA. The music video for their song "Hola Hola" was shot in Las Vegas and Los Angelos. On February 16, 2017, they released their single "Don't Recall" and then in March, they released an English version of the song. The song is about rejecting an ex-lover who walked away first and is trying to making a reapprance. The song is a total bop and you can barely tell it's not by American artists, and of course, the choreo is absolute fire. The group has won the Rookie Award and Hottest Rookie Award for the Asia Artist Awards and CJ E&M America Awards, respectively.
SEVENTEEN is a group made up of not seventeen, but thirteen members who are divided into three sub-units, each with a different area of specialization — a 'Hip-Hop Unit', a 'Vocal Unit', and a 'Performance Unit'. The members are Dino, DK, Hoshi, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Mingyu, S.Coups, Seungkwan, The8, Vernon, Wonwoo, and Woozi. Musically, the group debuted in 2015, but prior to that, they had their own TV show where the trainees were introduced and shown practicing for performances; the show had multiple seasons and some of the seasons ended with their concerts. The group has won a total of 21 awards for their performance and music, and has been nominated for 63 awards.
5. Red Velvet
Red Velvet is a five-member girl group who debuted in 2014. The group consists of Irene, Joy, Seulgi, Wendy, and Yeri, who was later added a year after their debut. Besides singing, the girls have also appeared on a lot of TV shows and variety shows as actresses and hosts. Red Velvet started a unique dual concept that not a lot of other South Korean girl groups were doing. Their "red" side consists of bright and bubbly pop songs, while their "velvet" side is more mature and elegant and predominantly consists of R&B and ballad genres. The concept affects both their images and their songs, but both sides aren't limited to those genres.