It’s my first anniversary of creating this blog! I can’t believe it’s only been a year. At almost 110 posts, I feel like I’ve been doing this blog forever. And yet, I can still remember sitting in my school’s library writing up my Gangnam Style post, back when I would cover my laptop every time someone passed by so they wouldn’t see what I was writing. What am I saying? I still do that now. In fact that’s exactly what I’m doing as I write this post.
I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again: I love blogging. Being able to actually voice my opinions about K-pop in more than a YouTube comment or a 140-character tweet is a perfect outlet.
I’ve recently gained some new followers, so I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you! If you just started following me this week or have been there since the beginning, thank you so much! It means a lot that you guys are reading this. If you’re reading this and you don’t follow me…why? Just kidding 😛 Thank you always for reading what I have to say.
So since it’s been a year, and my following has grown I want to take this post to share a little bit more about my own preferences in K-pop. When I write mv reviews, I try to be as objective as possible. Today’s post, however, will be completely filled with my biased, totally unfair opinions! Muahahahaha!
Hey, I gotta let it out sometime.
I hope you like my list and get a chance to see exactly where I stand in the K-pop world. Without further ado, here are my top 15 favorite K-pop artists! (Click on their name to watch my favorite music video by them.)
They are the first girl group I ever discovered in my journey to K-pop, and I’ve loved them ever since. Their style is just so much fun. I always LOVE their dances, and their songs have been pretty good. In a world of fake female celebrities, they are such a refreshing, loveable group of genuine girls.
My bias in f(X) is none other than the lovely Luna! Come on, she’s beautiful in her looks, her voice, and her personality. She seems like the person who just loves life and doesn’t worry about trying to get people to like her. It is precisely for this reason that I love her.
Wow, talk about a love-hate relationship. 4Minute has what I love the most about K-pop as well as what I dislike the most. When I first heard “Muzik” by 4Minute, it was love at first sight. I absolutely love every single one of their early singles. Starting with “Volume Up”, however, I have been liking their more recent songs less and less, as well as their music videos. The production quality, in terms of the quality of the songs and the actual thought put into their music videos, has just been going down and down. It’s such a shame that one of my favorite groups is suffering this downfall, but for the sake of their earlier videos (Muzik, Huh, Heart to Heart, ect.), I’m keeping them on this list.
My bias of course is Jiyoon. She is what I love about K-pop. She has an amazing voice. Like Luna, she doesn’t desperately try as much as the other members in her group to grab the attention of the audience. She doesn’t need to. She is beautiful by herself, and has a voice that it hard to match. She is different from the other members, in every positive way.
This picture is from their debut album, which is when they first caught my eye. I feel like everyone knew NU’EST as soon as they debuted, what with Ren and his abnormally feminine features. “Face” is the first debut video I have ever seen that made me think “This group definitely has talent.” Usually, debut videos are extremely generic, since they don’t want to offend anyone with being too edgy right off the bat. NU’EST, however, debuted with a music video that had an actual message, something rarely seen right at debut. It is a perfect group of five – two incredible singers, the attention-grabbing face of the group, a killer Korean rapper, and an English-speaking rapper. What else could you want in a group?
Immediately, I was drawn to the Killer Korean Rapper, JR. He is one of my favorite Korean rappers ever. He has such a unique voice, and has a rhythm in the way he raps that captivates me. Not only does he have a cool, intimidating persona in performances, but when you hear him talk normally, that adorable voice is impossible to forget. If you haven’t heard him talking, look it up. You’d never guess based on his rapping voice.
B1A4. How does one describe B1A4? They are just fun. Only a couple of their videos are of actual serious songs. Most of them are upbeat tunes with a music video where they are wearing crazy outfits, simply having fun. It’s impossible not to smile when watching one of their videos. The best part about them is that they have the vocal talent to sing a serious, beautiful song, but they choose to abandon the serious, brooding singer image and make songs and videos that they can enjoy.
My bias in B1A4 is Gongchan. Adorable, maknae Gongchan. He rarely actually sings in any of their songs, but his presence on stage and in music videos shows that he isn’t bothered by it. He always looks like he genuinely wants the audience to have a good time and enjoy their performances. And his face is just precious.
You can’t think of K-pop without thinking of Big Bang. They are just too talented to be ignored. They are, in my opinion, the most “Western” K-pop group out there, which does sometimes make me conflicted about loving them too much, but no one can deny that they are incredible performers. They have some really amazing songs and music videos. Every single video of theirs has something to appreciate.
Since G-Dragon is part of Big Bang, I’m considering all of his solo activities as part of this list. He has really impressed me over the past couple years. The meaning he puts into music videos and just the songs themselves are extraordinary. He has really made a name for himself in entertainment. Worldwide entertainment, not just K-pop.
Seungri has always been my bias in Big Bang literally until just a few months ago. I have to say, G-Dragon has really proven himself to be a contender. I always thought Seungri was the best looking out of the five, but G-Dragon’s talent and music has made him equal to Seungri in my eyes. It’s so hard to decide. I love Seungri, but I really respect G-Dragon. Take that for what it’s worth.
#10: Girls’ Generation
Girls’ Generation, aka So Nyeo Shi Dae, aka SNSD. This is one of those groups whom I love simply because I have known them so long. They are the very first group I ever encountered in K-pop, and while I may have not initially been that crazy about them, they have grown in my heart over the years. They are the sister group to Super Junior. All of their singles are super catchy, and they are just gorgeous. They are my unnies, and I always look forward to seeing their new videos.
Over the years, I have gone through so many biases in this group. Sunny, Sooyoung, Yuri, Hyoyeon, Tiffany…I’ll probably end up listing nearly all of them. If I were to just pick one, I would have to say that Taeyeon is my favorite. Her voice clearly stands out among the rest of the members. She has one of the most beautiful, contagious smiles I have ever seen, and she is just a beautiful person. From the few episodes of “Hello Baby” I’ve watched with SNSD, I can see that Taeyeon has some cute spunk to her, which just makes her all the more loveable.
Oh EXO….In a matter of months they just completely took over my YouTube searches, my mp3, and my heart. SM really knows how to pick em. The more I see of EXO, the more I love them. Just a couple of months ago, they wouldn’t even have been on this list, but through listening to their XOXO album over and over again, watching their dance performances, and watching “EXO Showtime”, I’ve completely fallen in love. They are a ridiculously talented group. The singers are just out of this world, their dances are incredible, and their personalities are oh so entertaining.
Lay…..as soon as I was able to recognize him in the group, I knew he would be my favorite. He is a dancer. His voice is like an angel. His face is flawless. He has such a humble, polite, considerate personality. He composes music. He knows a bit of English. Need I say more?
#8: Block B
The moment I heard “NalinA” I knew they were special. You just can’t find that sound anywhere else in K-pop. It brings hip hop into the pop scene flawlessly. The stage presence of this group simply blows my mind. Everything they do is entertaining. They have proven that they can not only rap and cause chaos, but also sing beautiful, heartfelt songs like “Be the Light.” Their comeback last fall totally made my year. If they had left the K-pop scene for good, it would have been a real loss.
B-Bomb is my favorite in Block B. He is the mature face in a group of fun-loving children (not an insult to the rest of the group at all!). His voice brings a little something different to the group full of different, and his dance skills bring the K-pop to their hip hop. I always find my eyes following him in their live performances.
She is the Queen of K-pop. What more can I say? She is one of the oldest currently active artists in S.M. entertainment, but her experience alone isn’t what’s impressive. She is one heck of a dancer. She sings dance songs and ballads like any other female singer, but her dance skill has yet to be matched by any other female singer. Her dances are better than even some boy groups. She puts her all into performances, and has earned respect from so many people in the K-pop world, including me.
While BoA’s performances captivate me, no one has put me in as much awe as Ailee has. Her voice. Her voice. Her voice. It’s pure, God-given talent. I can’t even put into words how impressed I am with her. Time and time again she just blows me away with her performances. Not only does she have talent, but she is so easy to relate to. She is from America, which automatically made me connect with her, and her personality and humility is so sweet and refreshing. She is also, in my opinion, one of the prettiest women out there. She’s got it all.
She has replaced Jiyoon as my ultimate female bias. I love her. She is one of the few K-pop artists I would actually love to meet.
SHINee….I think about them and just smile. They were the first group I ever really got into, and they will always have a special place in my heart. They are an amazing combination of people. Until Ailee showed up, Jonghyun was, in my opinion, the best K-pop vocalist out there. I still think he’s the best male vocalist, only to be matched by EXO’s Chen whose voice I love because it sounds so much like Jonghyun. As a group, they are incredible dancers. With their songs, they seem to just pump out one hit after another. Their most recent songs I haven’t loved like I’ve loved their earlier songs, but they were all still pretty good. The dynamic in the group is also so much fun to watch when they go on variety shows.
I have literally gone through every single member of SHINee as my favorite. It was Key until this very last promotional period, and now it’s Taemin. It was only a matter of time until Taemin became my favorite. He has really grown, more than anyone else in K-pop that I’ve seen. He started out as the timid maknae of the group, and now he projects his voice, hitting notes and taking parts in songs that no one would have imagined him doing just a few years ago. His dancing is impeccable. He is my favorite dancer in K-pop. You can tell, when he dances next to others, that he has that precision and talent that sets him apart from everyone else.
Okay, now we’re getting into fangirling territory. B.A.P is, in my opinion, the best group out there. Yes, there are groups that I like better that B.A.P, but in terms of objective talent, and their range of talents, B.A.P is the best. They have hip hop covered. They have entertaining, complex dances, that alone can convey meaning. They have vocal talent that can bring a listener to tears. They are versatile in the types of songs they can perform. On top of it all, they each appear to have nice personalities. Bang Yong Guk is seriously one of the most humble entertainers I have ever seen.
We’re also into ultimate bias territory now. Moon Jongup. That is all.
Whoever came up with the nickname “Jonguppie Guppy,” can I give you a hug? And can we please make this catch on? That is the best nickname ever.
Seriously, THE MOST UNDERRATED GROUP EVER! Every single one of U-KISS’s songs should be an instant hit. They have the sound that is so K-pop. Every song comes with a killer dance. They work their butts off, coming out with multiple music videos every year. They have gone through some member changes, but I really like the set that they’re at right now. I didn’t get into them before Kibum and Alexander left, but as soon as I started listening to them more and more, they pushed their way up my bias list.
My bias in U-KISS is one of the “new” members, AJ. I guess he’s not considered new anymore, but he wasn’t part of the original seven. I am so glad that they added him though. His looks are what got me to like him initially, and what still steals my attention time and time again, but I also really like his raps. One of the best things about him: he’s fluent in English! That always automatically makes me like someone. What’s more, he’s incredibly smart! He is currently attending Columbia University and is majoring in Psychology! (I’m also a psychology major 😀 )
They only debuted two years ago, but they are very solidly my second favorite group. They always had really good songs and music videos, but the real reason why they are so high up here is for their personalities. I watched their MTV Diary episodes, and completely fell in love with them. They are hilarious. Their group dynamic is so much fun to watch, and the chemistry between them is always brought to the stage. They are incredibly talented. I know, I’ve been saying that about almost everyone on this list, but for BTOB, it’s really extraordinary. Their company has only showed us a little bit of their potential in their music videos. Watch MTV Diary. You’ll see the vocal talent that each member has, even the rappers. Every member in the group brings something different, and put together, they are just amazing.
Now imagine all of those talents in one person. That is Minhyuk. He can rap, he can sing, he can dance, he’s funny, he does acrobatics, he can look manly and intimidating, yet he acts like a mom to the other members of the group. I don’t know how it’s possible for one person to have so many good qualities, but Minhyuk has it.
#1: Super Junior
What do I even say about them? I’ve talked about them a lot already on this blog. The way I feel about them in indescribable. I adore their music and music videos, but my love for them has surpassed that. I love them as people. I love them as a family. I love them so much that I acknowledge their mistakes, a quality of love often ignored in the K-pop fandom. I never want them to leave the entertainment scene. If you want to know exactly how Super Junior came to be so special to me, read My Journey to K-pop. If I keep going on, I’d probably just end up writing that post all over again.
My bias, and the current love of my life, is Donghae. This description won’t give him justice, but it’s the best I’ve got: He has the voice of a sweet angel, he has the sensitive heart of a boy who lost his father, he is both a lead dancer and a lead singer in the group, he composes the most precious songs, and he is illegally handsome.
Yeah, as you can probably tell, I’m an S.M. Entertainment girl. Hopefully by now you’ve figured out that I’m not one of the crazy ones.
This may seem weird, but the closer I got to number one with this list, the harder I found it to write about why I liked the group. Interesting.
There are some artists who I think are worth mentioning. These are artists who are not on my list, although I am currently very into them and they very well could end up on this list in the future: MBLAQ, VIXX, GOT7, and Eric Nam. Check them out if you haven’t. So far, they’re all really good.
So thank you again to all of my followers! Here’s to another year of K-pop On My Mind 🙂
What are your guys’ favorite groups? Any fellow ELFs or Melodys out there?