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What is Korean Pop? Who are the best acts you need to listen to?

What is Korean Pop? Well, sure it’s just Korea’s popular music, yet it’s much more than that. An industry captivating the world, Korean Pop or K-pop now contains a multitude of genres from rap to electronic. The multibillion dollar industry presents some of the country’s most talented singers & dancers in groups that attract fans across the globe.

If you’re a human with access to a television or the internet, then you already know BTS. If you somehow haven’t heard a track by South Korea’s most popular pop group, then listen to “MIC Drop” before coming back to this article. Now, we’re sure you’ve already heard about BTS & BlackPink, that’s why the groups we’re going to introduce will instead be some of the best in Korean Pop that you need to discover ASAP.


This Korean pop boy group has taken the world by storm. Many K-pop fans even speculate that ATEEZ will soon become the next BTS in terms of international fame. ATEEZ’s discography ranges from hip-hop & trap to EDM. This group is sure to help anyone through their cardio workout. We recommend listening to their tracks “HALA HALA” and “The Leaders”.  


From one of Korean pop’s largest entertainment companies JYP, ITZY is an energetic & playful girl group filled with songs encouraging listeners to break social norms and impulsively cutting their hair in a nightclub bathroom (according to the music video for “Wannabe”). If you want to dive into the colorful & pop-filled world of ITZY, try listening to “In the Morning” and “Not Shy”.

Stray Kids

Another group from JYP Entertainment, Stray Kids is an eight-member boy group with rappers talented enough to take down some of America’s top performers. The group’s song “Back Door” made TIME magazine’s list of ten best songs of 2020. We promise “God’s Menu” and “Double Knot” will keep you going through the toughest HIIT workout.


Loona is a Korean pop girl group that has gained a massive following in the U.S. The girls’ party anthems & LGTB positivity have set the group apart from the rest. Undeniably adorable & perfectly synchronized, this twelve-member group also releases their own solo songs. For peak LGBT vibes, watch the music video for Chuu’s “Heart Attack”. If you want to get the party started, bump up the group’s hit track “Why Not?”

Monsta X

The name speaks for itself. This EDM & trap band has a wild stage presence and a plethora of muscle mass to intimidate just about anyone. Any Korean pop fan knows that Monsta X is the best group to drink pre-workout and lift weights to. Hit the gym with songs like “Shoot Out” and “Gambler”.


What is Korean pop without one of the industry’s most beloved groups? Seventeen has an extensive following of die-hard fans ready to drop everything whenever a new track is released. This synth-pop, R&B, and hip-hop group can really do it all. 

With some of Korea’s best dancers, singers, and rappers, Seventeen is a must-see for anyone new to the world of K-pop. For heartwarming lyrics, listen to their song “Home”. For jaw-dropping choreography watch the music video for “Fear”.


Of course, we save the largest for last. With twenty-three members and four sub-units, NCT has conquered the world with their diverse genres, flawless vocalists, and dance moves so fast you’re going to have to hit rewind. This Korean pop group enlists performers from all around the world including Japan, China, Thailand, Canada, and the United States. 

To witness something truly unique, we recommend seeing NCT’s mind-bending performance of “Black on Black”. You’re also going to want to add NCT U’s addictive “Make a Wish” to your party playlist. Another hypnotic track from the sub-unit is their debut song, “The 7th Sense”.

What do you think about K-pop’s international takeover? What K-pop group did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Monsta X is sooo goood. They’re from a smaller agency so their growth is 100% organic which speaks to their talent because they’re an international group. I’m so excited for their 2nd English album on Friday

    September 7, 2021
  • Monsta X is soooooooo lit! Discography is amazing! Seriously don’t know why more people don’t know about them.

    September 7, 2021
  • Monsta X brought me back to KPOP & they have the best english album. This says it all

    September 7, 2021
  • Thank you for the inclusion of ATEEZ. ATEEZ are headed for global super stardom but I hesitate to tweet this article when the term the next BTS is used. Though no offense is meant, kpop twitt love to use that term to hate on Ateez when as Atiny, we don’t say they’re the next anything other than Ateez. Ateez literally started from the bottom with a small label yet are often listed with the Big 4 groups for achievments. We’re beyond proud of their talent paving their path to success. They haven’t even been on U.S. shows like some other kpop yet were the 5th most tweeted artists in the U.S. for 2020. To be in the thoughts of so many when they haven’t had the access was amazing. Ateez are known as performance kings but they have the most infectious humor and personalities. Those will also make them likable in the west when they get exposure.

    September 25, 2021

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