Have you ever wanted to start listening to K-pop but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re hearing more and more about and just aren’t sure what it really is. For starters, K-pop, short for Korean pop, is widely popular in South Korea but has been gaining a lot of international attention over the past few years. Songs range from high energy hyped up tracks with tons of fast paced danced moves, to slow soft ballads and everything in between. Here’s a list of seven songs to get you started in your journey to K-pop.

1. BTS-Dope

Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) is a group of seven guys that combine smooth vocals, killer raps, and dance moves that make your head spin trying to keep up with. “Dope” is a high energy track guaranteed to make you want to dance, or at least nod your head. With of 63 million views, it’s no wonder BTS has been gaining international attention

2.Big Bang-Bang Bang Bang

Big Bang is a group of five that has been in the game for nearly ten years and is one of the biggest names in K-pop! “Bang Bang Bang” is a dance pop track with hints of trap music mixed in. The song was the best selling single in South Korea in 2015, and compliments the unique vocals of T.O.P. and G-Dragon. Big Bang certainly knows how to put on a live performance.

 

3. EXO-Call Me Baby

EXO is another top name in the K-pop industry. They feature 9 boys with extraordinary dancing. EXO’s dancing and vocals are always on point which shows greatly in their concerts. “Call Me Baby” is a bit more pop centered than the previous two songs, but still gives you the feeling of wanting to dance along. With so many members, EXO certainly has a wide variety of vocals to enjoy.

4. Monsta X-Hero

This song is addictive. Monsta X is a hip hop/pop group of seven who truly move as one unit. While they’re fairly new to the scene of only being around for a year, they’re gaining popularity, not only in South Korea, but also overseas as well. “Hero” brings a lot of elements to one song. Dance pop, hip hop with unique rap vocals, and even a little bit of an electric sound to it.

5. GOT7-Fly

Maybe the hip hop part of K-pop isn’t quite for you. No worries, GOT7 is here for you. GOT7 is a pop group of seven who are well rounded at pretty much every aspect. They have a range of incredible vocals, mesmerizing dances, catchy beats, and even acrobatic stunts in some live performances and music videos. “Fly” is dance-y and another tune you might just find stuck in your head.

 

6.Red Velvet-Dumb Dumb

So what do you do when you’re tired of the dizzying fast paced dances? Or maybe boy groups just aren’t your thing? Girl groups! Red Velvet is a group of five girls with fun, bouncy music. Like most of Red Velvet’s music, ‘Dumb Dumb’ is catchy! It has fun dance moves and engaging vocals to keep you hooked the entire time.

 

While this isn’t even a toe dip in to K-pop, these are six songs I find that are a great introduction. These groups are all different and unique, and bring their own special something to the table. You’ll soon find that K-pop is NOTHING like American pop, or even European pop music. If you enjoyed these, I encourage you to look up more songs and videos from the artists you enjoyed, or even dig around for other artist that weren’t mentioned here. (And trust me, there’s PLENTY of them) Whether you prefer something dance-y, a bit more technical, or even hip hop, there’s something for you!

Story By: Sarah Weaver