Hello all! I’m a little behind this month because finishing up July’s topic took more time than I planned. I started out my vacation all ready to make tons of posts, but catching up on sleep kind of messed up my schedule. (^^”’) August is a rush of comebacks for K-pop and I have a lot of reactions to write, so this column might have to take a backseat to everything else that’s going on. But this time, I made sure to pick a topic that will help me go back to my “one post a week” schedule.
This month’s topic is a basic introduction to various K-pop groups. I remember when I first discovered K-pop – I was so overwhelmed by all the artists and songs that were out there, and I truly didn’t know where to start. Since none of my friends were into K-pop (or even really knew about it), I had to do a lot of searching and discovering on my own. Five years later, the industry is bigger and trendier than ever and there are even MORE artists to check out and keep track of. So since this is a column for brand new fans, I’m going to write several list articles that will give them an idea of what K-pop has to offer. I have four planned posts so far:
- The “big names” in K-pop: I don’t have a better name for it right now, but this will essentially be a beginner’s guide to some of the industry’s current popular and trendy groups. I know this could potentially get messy since we all have our favorites and our own ideas of who’s “popular” or “on top,” so I’ll be choosing the groups for this list with more objective criteria: music show wins/awards, chart results, various achievements, who I see and hear about most often on social media/living in South Korea, etc.
- Rookies to keep an eye on: Shining a spotlight on some of the newer groups who have debuted over the past couple of years.
- Groups who could use some love: K-pop has so many active groups right now, so there are always a bunch that inevitably end up slipping through the cracks. This post will focus on some groups who aren’t as talked about and/or haven’t gotten their big break. It will have to be more subjective than the other two posts since I can’t include every single group who deserves more attention, but I’ll try to be as open-minded as possible. And I hope other fans will share their picks in the comments when the post goes up!
- Soloists to know: This list will be limited to soloists who are K-pop (or what I call “K-pop adjacent”), since I don’t really listen to other genres like trot, K-indie, K-hip hop, etc. It’s probably going to end up being a mix of idols who are purely K-pop soloists and idols that have solo careers in addition to promoting with their groups.
I’ve also been debating about a post on the “industry” veterans, aka some older groups who are still actively promoting. However, I’m a little hesitant about it since I think it will come out as mostly boy groups; girl groups sadly tend not to last in the long run (darn seven year curse). And if I expanded the post to include disbanded groups, then that would make it overlap with some of the other monthly topics I have planned like “K-pop history” or “the generations of K-pop.” I haven’t decided yet, but I might just wait to cover them further on down the road to make things simpler. In any case, I wanted to clarify that I’m not intentionally focusing on just the 3rd and 4th generations. I plan to cover as many artists as possible throughout this project – from all the generations and many agencies – but I won’t be able to get to everyone right away.
I’m planning on dropping the first post for this subject this weekend! I hope you enjoy it!
NOTE: The featured image is a custom design I requested from my friend specifically for this blog and this column. Please do not alter it, repost it, or re-upload it without my permission. If you want to see the artist’s work, you can go to to her Instagram account here and/or her website here.