New to K-pop? 12 songs to get you started!
K-Pop and its dazzling artists, beautiful music videos, and brilliant music have become one of the top music genres around the globe. With millions of fans streaming music videos and many K-Pop stars promoting internationally, this genre has become incredibly influential in international music. Groups like BTS and Blackpink have helped spread the K-Wave and K-Pop to a massive worldwide audience.
With many groups, concepts, and genres, it can be tricky for new fans to know where to start. So here are 12 K-Pop songs to get you started…
(Disclaimer: there are hundreds of different genres, artists, styles, and types of music in K-Pop, this list includes the most recognizable Pop style music from the genre.)
BTS’s first English song, “Dynamite,” was one of the most successful songs to be released in 2020. A retro-inspired pop track, BTS uplifted millions of listeners when they needed it most.
Since it was released, the song has broken records, hit No.1 on Billboard Hot 100 list, and was the first K-Pop song to be performed at the Grammy Awards in 2021.
With the positive effect this song had on millions of listeners, “Dynamite” is one of the most iconic and brilliant K-Pop songs in the genre.
“Hit you with that DDU-DU-DDU-DU.” This pop song by Blackpink is arguably the most recognizable girl group song ever released. A girl crush hit, this song became iconic thanks to its memorable chorus and viral point choreography.
Since 2018, Blackpink has skyrocketed to stardom, becoming the world-conquering group they are today!
Uplifting and catchy, “Feel Special” is an unmissable hit from TWICE! The title song to their “FANCY YOU” (2019) album, this chart-topping song encouraged self-love and confidence. “Feel Special” has become iconic for its message, choreography, and catchy melody.
A 2019 anthem, BTS and Halsey’s collaboration “Boy with Luv” is nothing short of iconic. This song is a fun love song and the title song from their “Map of the Soul: Persona” (2019) album. With neat raps, addictive choruses, and supported with Halsey’s vocals, this song is timeless!
Since its release in 2019, “Boy with Luv” has become one of the most recognizable K-Pop songs of all time. Unapologetically upbeat, BTS brought a catchy melody to millions of ARMYs with this hit song.
TXT’s debut song “CROWN” is an excellent self-empowerment song about accepting your faults and loving yourself. This song includes beautiful lyrics, jaw-dropping choreography, and a catchy hook. Following their debut, TXT (which stands for Tomorrow x Together) and their debut song have become one of the most beloved groups to debut in the last few years.
This next song is a throwback from 2017. Seventeen’s pop track “Clap” is one of the most popular K-Pop songs from this incredibly successful group.
“Clap” is a catchy song with a memorable hook, and although it has been a while since the song was released, it continues to be a favorite K-Pop song of the last decade. Other hits by Seventeen include “HIT,” “Left and Right,” and most recently, “HOME;RUN.”
Infectious choreographies, sweet vocals, and an iconic chorus, TWICE’s “FANCY” became a fan favorite in 2019. “FANCY” is just one of the many viral hits to come from this nine-member group, whose other songs include “TT” and “Cheer Up,” as well as their most recent chart-topping tracks, “More & More” and “I Can’t Stop Me.”
An iconic summer song, Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor” is one of the most recognizable pop songs from this leading girl group. With a catchy hook and bouncy beat, this song is like eating watermelon on a hot day! Some of Red Velvet’s other hits include “Psycho,” “Ice Cream Cake,” and “Bad Boy.”
Marching band, beautiful lyrics, and a strong beat, BTS’s “ON” is a fantastic song! Released in 2020, “ON” is the perfect soundtrack to encourage you to live your best life. With amazingly intricate choreography, neat raps, and stunning vocals, “ON” demonstrates BTS’s skill and talent they have for performing. This song is one of the two title songs (along with “Black Swan”) from their incredibly successful album “Map of the Soul: 7.”
Are you looking for a song that will get stuck in your head for the next month? Released in 2018, iKON’s “Love Scenario” is one of the most played songs of the last decade. With a ridiculously catchy chorus and memorable lyrics, “Love Scenario” is a break-up song that brings a smile to listeners’ faces. In addition to this song, iKON has released many other hits including, “I’m Okay,” “KILLING ME,” and “Dive.”
Stray Kids have released an impressive amount of chart-topping hits since their debut in 2018. However, “God’s Menu” is arguably one of the most successful songs ever released by this group. With a memorable chorus and a unique choreography, this song became one of the most successful songs of 2020. Other popular Stray Kids include “MIROH,” “Back Door,” and “Side Effects.”
“How You Like That” perfectly encompasses the passion and skill that Blackpink brings to their work! This self-empowerment anthem broke records and got millions of views overnight! With a self-empowering message and exceptional choreography, Blackpink shook the world with this upbeat track. Other Blackpink hits include “BOOMBAYAH,” “AS IF IT’S YOUR LAST,” and “Kill This Love.”
Other notable songs include: “Love Shot” (EXO), “IDOL” (BTS), “Dalla Dalla” (ITZY), “Kick” (NCT 127), “Gee” (Girl’s Generation) among many others.