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.
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.
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.
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.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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