Connect with us

Music News

5 K-pop Bands You Must Check Out



Monsta X band image
Epic Records

K-pop has become increasingly popular outside of Asia over the last 5-10 years. Whether you want to join the craze, or just discover some sick new beats, here are 5 iconic K-pop bands you need to check out.

Ngl, I’m loving the fact that Asian staples like anime and Korean pop are becoming hugely popular across the globe. In fact, I’m pretty sure the world consists of two kinds of people: those who love K-pop, and those who will eventually.

If you’re not yet in the K-pop fan camp, now is the time. Just give yourself over. It’s gonna happen eventually anyway.

But if you’re still resisting, this list is bound to make you think twice.

Here are some incredible bands to get you into this one-of-a-kind music genre.

1. Norazo

This is one of my all-time favourite K-pop groups: specifically during the time of its original members, Jo Bin and Lee Hyuk. Although they may be less well known than some of the other big-hitters on this list, once you dip your toes into the world of Norazo, there ain’t no going back.

The pair met accidentally when they started to use the same practice room. Lee’s physique and awesome voice caught Jo’s attention (can’t blame the guy, he’s only human). He decided to trick him into joining forces by telling Lee they would sing ballads (which makes sense if you’ve ever heard Lee’s insane vocal range).

Although they later decided to create music that was different from the usual K-pop sound, they became well known for their eccentricity and comical lyrics. The pair were together from 2005 to 2017 and made songs that still give me goosebumps.

2. Girls’ Generation

Originally a nine-piece group, yeah, you heard right: nine.. Jessica left in 2014 leaving Taeyeon, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Sunny, Seohyun, Yuri and Yoona. Their signature electro-bubblegum sound is hella infectious, and their videos are addictive to watch.

They’re nicknamed “The Nation’s Girl Group”. And, although they may look like a cutesy, butter-wouldn’t-melt gang, they squabble like siblings and have had a few major bust-ups. Some that almost resulted in their performances being cancelled.

Crazily, they also all used to live together in a dorm-type arrangement. They agreed on rules to keep their household running smoothly. This included playing rock, paper, scissors to decide the order of showers, and writing their initials in their underwear to keep them separate. They also had a quirky agreement where the first to wake up had to make breakfast, and the last had to clean everything up.

Although they’re not performing as a group anymore, their music is undoubtedly a hit.

3. BTS

Even if you’re not into K-pop bands, if you haven’t heard of these guys in our list of 5 then… where the hell’ve you been for the last seven years?! Heck, even John Cena’s a fan – counting RM and J-Hope as his favs.

BTS has seven members: RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook. They produce most of their music, and have managed to become the highest-ranked Korean act on the Billboard 200.

These guys defy borders, and are one of few Korean bands to garner worldwide recognition. One of the reasons for their insane popularity is because their songs often have strong social messages. They’ve touched on everything from bullying to mental health issues.

They also love Twitter. Aside from competing between themselves to see who can get the most amount of re-tweets, they were also the first K-pop group to get their own Twitter emojis.

4. Blackpink

It’s taken just four years for BLACKPINK to become one of the biggest girl bands in the world. With members Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé and Lisa smashing records all over the place.

These girls are edgy, quirky, and have insane amounts of sass. Every song they release becomes a hit, and they’ve also collabed with the likes of Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, and Lady Gaga.

They were the first K-pop girl group to play at Coachella, and to reach 1 billion YouTube views. Now, they’re the most-subscribed-to music group on the platform, and count Jake Gyllenhaal as a fan.

Does anyone miss S Club 7’s TV shows? Just me? K. But on a related note, these guys also have their own TV show: BLACKPINK House. You can watch them go about their daily lives doing everything from laundry to cooking (it’s way cooler than that it sounds ok).

5. Monsta X

K-pop’s bad boys defo deserve a spot on your playlist.

Breaking records and hearts all over the place, their hip-hop/EDM/pop style will grab you by the eardrums and immerse you in K-pop heaven.

Unlike many K-pop groups who keep their true selves away from the media spotlight, these guys have larger-than-life personalities and they ain’t afraid to show ‘em.

Their fierce vocals and catchy tunes give them a spot on my list any day. In fact, if you don’t put “Hero” on repeat after your first ever listen, you have more willpower than John Wick.

What did you think of our list of 5 K-pop bands to check out? Are there any K-pop bands you’d have liked to see up here? Let us know your thoughts below.

Check out our Anime for newcomers article HERE.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alan Remmick

    December 8, 2020 at 8:12 am

    i love this immaculate post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Music News

9 Actors Who Are Awesome Guitarists



Jack Black guitar image
Tenacious D

There are a few actors that are partial to shredding the metaphorical axe. Some are better than others, but here are nine actors that are awesome guitarists.

1. Jack Black

Ok, let’s get one of the most obvious ones out of the way first. Being one half of Tenacious D means Jack is slick on the guitar. Yes, it’s acoustic with Tenacious D, but remember School of Rock? The musical comedy is now iconic. It features Jack as a failed musician who lands a supply teacher job after posing as his teacher friend. He certainly shows off his skills in that film. He got his big break in the Jim Carrey film Cable Guy but has been wowing us with his acting and guitar skills ever since.

2. Tim Robbins

Actor Tim Robbins was one of the main guys in one of the greatest films ever made. In my humble opinion. The Shawshank Redemption was released to critical acclaim in 1994. And along with Morgan Freeman, Robbins delivered a superb performance. In addition to his acting skills, he’s also an accomplished guitarist. In fact, he’s a songwriter and respected folk artist. His band, The Rogues Gallery Band, have played to many sold-out crowds in recent years. Check him out online, it may just surprise you.

3. Hugh Laurie

As one of Britain’s finest actors, there isn’t much that Hugh Laurie hasn’t done. He’s had a professional partnership with Stephen Fry and was part of the comedy series Blackadder. But he’s also famous for the cynical doctor House, and he does it all with aplomb. But he’s also a fantastic singer/songwriter. With two blues albums under his belt, he plays festivals all around the globe. And he has a superb voice to go with it. Not to mention his obvious ability on the guitar. He has quite the collection of guitars as well, including a Gibson Flying V. I bet you weren’t expecting that. He is also competent on piano, drums, and saxophone.

4. Ricky Gervais

The comedian behind The Office, Extras and Afterlife is also an excellent guitarist. Those of you who are fans of his David Brent character would have seen his guitar skills in the recent film. He’s done a host of tutorials on YouTube as David Brent. He also had an early brush with fame in the early 80s in a New Wave pop-duo called Seona Dancing. Releasing two singles that flopped they quickly disbanded. Although one of the tracks became huge in the Philippines. Strange how life goes!

5. Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler has a long history of combining his talents on guitar and vocals with his comedy movies. His guitar has accompanied him on many movies over the years. Even his stand-up routines had a guitar nearby. If you’re not convinced of his six-string abilities, then check out a recent jam on American talk show Conan. He shreds through the solo of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. Another one worth checking out is a jam session he did with Don Cheadle. He can certainly make both the acoustic and electric guitars sing.

6. Kevin Bacon

Another actor who featured in one of my favourite films of all time, Tremors. He’s had a glittering film career over the past few decades, including many blockbusters. But did you know that he’s in a musical duo with his brother, Michael? They have the rather unoriginal name The Bacon Brothers, but there’s nothing unoriginal about the music they make. It’s a mixture of blues, folk, and bluegrass, and it’s rather good. Not only does Kevin have a great voice, but he also has the chops on the guitar. Check out the myriad of videos that are available online of their gigs. Those boys have talent.

7. Kevin Costner

I must admit, this one was a surprise. Who knew that Robin Hood could play the guitar, and play it very well? He’s won Oscars and has made a host of blockbusting films. But since 2007, he’s fronted his own country-rock band, Kevin Costner and the Modern West. As the genre suggests, its country-influenced soft rock, but don’t let that put you off. It’s rather good. The band have released four albums so far. 2012’s ‘Famous for Killing Each Other’ even made the top fifteen of the Billboard Country charts. Their song ‘Outlaws and Legends’ shows off Kevin’s vocal and guitar abilities perfectly.

8. Johnny Depp

Now, if you were going to pick an actor who would be a guitarist in a hard rock band, it would be Johnny Depp. He certainly looks the part. And who better than to form a band with than Alice Cooper and Joe Perry? They even managed to come up with a suitably evil name – Hollywood Vampires. Unlike Keanu Reeve’s band Dogstar (who were terrible), Hollywood Vampires have released one album since their inception in 2015. They’ve even played the Grammy awards. Apparently, Depp is that good on guitar that Joe Perry asked him for some lessons. Check the video on YouTube of him soloing with Alice Cooper. He’s got the skill on the strings.

9. Steve Martin

Ok, so this one is a bit tenuous as comedy acting legend Steve Martin plays the banjo. They can still have six strings, so he makes our list. Steve’s been making comedy albums for years. He’s also won Grammy awards for his bluegrass albums and co-wrote a musical that ended up on Broadway. That’s no mean feat. Check out the videos of him playing the banjo online. He has some serious picking skills that would be worthy of any guitar.

That’s our list of nine famous actors who are excellent guitarists, did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.

Read about nine drummers who became lead singers HERE.

Continue Reading