Boy bands have always been a big craze ever since with the likes of Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, The Jonas Brothers, and One Direction. You could never go wrong with a boy band.
The latest craze now is adding up Korean to the boy bands, and you’ll have Korean boy bands.
What is Korean boy band?
They are a group of boys that is formed by a Korean agency. But not because they’re formed by a Korean agency, means that they’re all Korean. Korean groups can actually be made up of different nationalities like Japanese and Chinese. The whole world has been on a Korean craze these past few years. And it doesn’t even stop with Korean boy bands. There are also Korean girl groups and Korean dramas or K-Dramas. If you’re reading this right now, you may be someone who is following this latest craze or trying to follow in with this Korean wave. Don’t you worry about that, this article will help you know more about Korean boy bands and some facts that will make you want to listen to them.
Korean boy bands have become a big trend since 2017. Korean groups are known for singing and dancing heavy choreography at the same time. Ever since then, Korean agencies have never stopped in producing new boy bands every now and then. You’ll be left behind by how fast the list of boy bands keeps increasing.
Luckily for you, we made this article so that you’ll get to know more about the top 10 most popular Korean boy groups today.
Bang! Tan! 안녕하세요, Bangtan Sonyeondan-입니다 / Hello We Are BTS!
BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as Bangtan Boys is a Korean boy band formed in 2010 by Big Hit Entertainment. The seven-member group made their first debut on June 12, 2013 with their song “No More Dream”.
For a debut song, ‘No More Dream’ strikes the difference and authenticity of BTS that distinguishes them from their contemporary groups as they tackle a sensitive topic in a conservative South Korea. The song speaks of rebellion, a need to break away from society’s restrictions. It’s a self-penned song with a strong hip hop beat, reminiscent of 90s rap songs wrapped in contemporary style.
Their name comes from the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan which means ‘Bulletproof Boy Scouts’ but with their recent venture to the West BTS is now more known as ‘Beyond The Scene’. They have seven members (by age): Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM or Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and maknae (youngest) Jungkook. All of their members are Korean led by rapper RM who was the first to be scouted in the group. Alongside him on the rap line are Suga and J-Hope while Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook compose the vocal line.
This group has already released nine studio albums (one of which was reissued under a different title), four compilation albums and six extended plays. They have also collaborated with different Western artists in some of their releases.
They co-write, produce, and compose their own songs. Their music style is fusion style that is mostly hip hop because of Suga and RM’s influence. They have a lot of sure fire hits such as DNA, Fake Love, Mic Drop, IDOL, ON, Black Swan, and their latest title track Life Goes On. Their fans are called ARMY. BTS is a group that I’m sure will fit everyone’s taste in music.
BTS: Life Goes On
We Are One! 안녕하세요, EXO-입니다.
EXO is a Korean boy band created in 2011 by one of the top and biggest agencies in South Korea, SM Entertainment. They made their first debut on April 8, 2012 with their hit single Mama but their rise to fame is largely credited to their 2013 title track Growl from the repackaged edition of their first studio album.
It is considered their breakthrough single which peaked at peaked at #2 on Gaon Digital Charts, as well as #3 on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 and World Digital Songs charts. It was named by Billboard USA as the best K-pop song of 2013 and was performed during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang along with ‘Power’ released in 2017. It also bagged the 2013 Song of the Year at the Melon Music Awards.
The band’s name EXO was taken from the word exoplanet which is a planet outside the solar system. This group is made up of two subunits because SM wanted a group that can promote their songs in China and Korea simultaneously. They specifically chose members that are Korean and Chinese. EXO Main is made up of 13 members: 9 that are still active and 3 members that already left.
The first one is EXO-K or EXO-Korean with members Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun. The other one is EXO-M or EXO-Mandarin with members Xiumin, Chen, Lay, Kris, Luhan, and Tao. Their 4 Chinese members are Lay, Kris, Luhan, and Tao. Ever since Tao, Kris and Luhan left the group, the two sub units usually were performing as one as EXO Main. Suho is the leader of the original EXO-K and now the leader of the EXO Main. Kris was the leader of EXO-M when he was still a member of the group.
This group already has 6 Korean (and Mandarin) studio albums and 1 Japanese album. EXO are considered to be a vocal powerhouse for many people in the K-Pop Industry. They are known to be “Kings of K-Pop” and “Nation’s Pick.” Their music is very diverse in terms of style and they are highly praised to be mixing up different styles in one. They have a lot of popular songs such as Tempo, Growl, Koko Bop, The Eve, Call Me Baby, and their latest release Obsession. Their fans are called EXO-Ls.
Come And Get It! 안녕하세요, GOT7-입니다.
GOT7 is a Korean boy band created by JYP Entertainment (also one of the top agencies in South Korea alongside SM and JYP and the recently emerging Big Hit Labels) after six years with 2PM debuting in 2008. This boy group made their debut in January 2014 with their debut single “Girls, Girls, Girls.”
Like EXO, GOT7’s debut track did not make much of an impact for them as a group but it certainly served to identify the unique style of this group infusing martial arts and b-boy in their performances. What attracted a lot of fans into the group was their comeback track ‘Just Right’ with its catchy melody, memorable chorus, and an even more memorable colorful and cute music video. This song talks about loving oneself no matter what with its intro lyrics saying, “It’s pretty without having to change anything 아무것도 바꿀 필요 없이 예쁘다고, It’s perfect as it is now 지금 그 모습 그대로 완벽하다고”
Their name is inspired from the best-selling first generation group g.o.d. where JYP (the agency’s president) was supposed to debut as a six-member group called Got6. They used the number 7 as a representation of the number of members and luck.
They currently have seven members (by age): Mark, Jackson, JB, Jinyoung (formerly known as Junior), Youngjae, Bambam, and Yugyeom. Not all of their members are Korean. They have a mix of Chinese (Jackson), Thai (Bambam) and Korean. JB is the group’s leader. This group already has 5 albums. They are described to be a hip hop group that incorporates martial arts tricking and b-boying displays in their performances. Some of their hits are If you do, Eclipse, Just Right, A, Lullaby, and their latest release Last Piece. Their fans are called iGot7 or AhGaSe in Korean.
GOT7: Last Piece
Who! 안녕하세요, Monsta X-입니다.
MONSTA X is a South Korean boy band formed back in 2014. The group is a result of the survival reality show launched by Starship Entertainment and MNet called No Mercy. They made their official debut on May 14, 2015 with the song Trespass.
Trespass was produced by Rhymer, South Korean rapper and producer, which was described as a “strong and edgy track that reflects Monsta X’s unique character”. This group has often been compared to BTS’ strong hip hop vibes during their early years in the industry. Nevertheless, MONSTA X is a group that has its own charm which captured the hearts of many fans.
Their name Monsta X has two meanings. First is the literal meaning of “monsters conquering the K-Pop scene.” The other meaning is “My Star.” This is the meaning because Mon is French for my while X symbolizes something that exists that is still unknown.
Monsta X currently has 6 members: Sohn Hyun Woo (Shownu), Lee Min Hyuk (Minhyuk), Yoo Ki Hyun (Kihyun), Chae Hyung Won (Hyungwon), Lee Joo Heon (Joohoney), and Im Chang Kyun (I.M.). They used to be a group with 7 members but due to controversies, Wonho left the group on October 31, 2019. Shownu is the group’s Leader. Monsta X has already released 3 Korean albums, 2 Japanese albums and 1 English album. Some of their popular songs are Find you, Follow, Who Do U Love?, Play It Cool and Special. Their latest release is ‘Love Killa’ released last November as the lead single of their third studio album Fatal Love. Their fans are called Monbebe.
Monsta X: Love Killa
Say The Name! 안녕하세요, Seventeen-입니다.
SEVENTEEN or SVT is a South Korean boy band created by Pledis Entertainment in 2013 which has recently merged with Big Hit Entertainment alongside Source Music (label of popular Korean girl group, GFriend). They appeared in a show called Seventeen TV and Seventeen Project: Big Debut Plan prior to their debut. They made their official debut on May 26, 2015 in a one-hour live showcase televised by MBC. This group has 13 members: S. Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon, and Dino.
Their official debut track is titled ‘Adore U/아낀다; Akkinda’ which has been dubbed as a bright and refreshing energy distinguished apart from other boy groups who debuted with strong title tracks. The song is fun with a “melodic pop number, a catchy guitar riff, groovy basslines and bright, and soulful vocals”. Their popularity shot up with their comeback track ‘Mansae’ released a year later. This track is very much like Adore U musically but it also allowed larger creativity allowance for the boys. The music video which featured each member in a hopelessly in love situation with a tsundere girl has captured many fans with its refreshing aesthetics and dynamic choreography.
They have 3 sub-units with their own area of specialization: Hip-Hop unit, Vocal unit, and Performance unit. Their leader is S. Coups and he’s also the Hip-Hop Team Leader with members Wonwoo, Mingyu, and Vernon. Hoshi is the Performance Team Leader with members Jun, The8, and Dino while Woozi is the Leader for the Vocal Team with members Jeonghan, Joshua, Seungkwan, and DK.
Seventeen is popular as self-producing idols with Woozi at the helm – composing and producing their songs with rap contributions from the Hip Hop unit and Hoshi who is in-charge of the group’s choreography. The group has already released three studio albums. They are known for mixing up their style with a bit of R&B, EDM, synthpop, and hip-hop. Some of their big hits are Oh My!, Hit, Home, Thanks, and Very Nice. Their latest release Left & Right still gives us the bright and enthusiastic debut feel with an upbeat song that tells you that sometimes it’s okay to not be doing your best. Their fans are called Carats.
Seventeen: Left & Right
안녕하세요! We Are Super-M.
SuperM is a South Korean boy band formed by SM Entertainment and Capitol Music Group in 2019. They made their first official debut with their self-titled EP and hit single “Jopping” on October 4, 2019.
Jopping is a combination of the words jumping and popping which features heavy electro-pop influences with references to brit-pop sounds. It is a fusion of pop-rock, R&B, and hip-hop genres suited to the talented members of the group. They first performed the song on a showcase at the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles then made their American TV Debut at the Ellen DeGeneres show.
The group is made up of 7 members from four different boy bands of SM Entertainment. The M in their name stands for Matrix and Master because each member is already an established star in their respective groups.
They are also described as “The Avengers of K-Pop.” It has been explained that each Avenger has their own group but Iron Man, Thor and Captain America had their own movies but together, they have an even greater synergy. The members are Taemin from Shinee, Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, Ten and Lucas from WayV, and Taeyong and Mark from NCT 127. This group has 1 EP with 7 top charting songs that debuted at number 1 on the Billboards 200 albums chart. Their style is dance pop and hip-hop. They are yet to think of a fan base name.
NCT is a Korean group created by SM Entertainment in 2016. Their name stands for Hallyu localization project called Neo Culture Technology, a term used to describe the group’s concept. NCT has a total of 21 members divided into four different sub-units based in various cities worldwide.
The first sub-unit is NCT U (NCT United) which debuted on April 4, 2016. This unit has 6 members: Taeil, Taeyong, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun, and Mark. They released two singles called The 7th Sense and Without You.
NCT U: BOSS
The second sub-unit is NCT 127 (127 is Seoul’s longitude coordinate) which made their debut on July 1, 2016. They had 7 members: Taeil, Taeyoung, Yuta, Jaehyun, Winwin, Mark, and Haechan. They released songs like Fire Truck and Once Again.
The third subunit is called NCT Dream that debuted on August 18, 2016. This unit also had 7 members: Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung. Their debut single called Chewing Gum was a big hit.
NCT DREAM: RIDIN’
In January 2018, SM Entertainment announced NCT 2018, a project that involves all 18 members and added 3 new members which are Kun, Lucas, and Jungwoo. They released their first full length album on March 14, 2018 titled NCT 2018 Empathy.
The latest sub-unit WayV was announced on December 31, 2018. They are a unit based in China and have 7 members: Kun, Winwin, Ten, Lucas, Hendery, Xiaojun, and Yangyang. They officially made their debut on January 17, 2019 with a Chinese version of NCT 127’s “Regular.” All NCT fans are called NCTzen.
WayV: Turn Back Time
Wanna be your star! 안녕하세요, Astro-입니다.
ASTRO is a Korean boy band formed by the agency Fantagio in 2016. They were a part of Fantagio iTeen, a rookie development program that aired in 2015. They made their official debut on February 23, 2016 with their hit single “Hide & Seek.”
Hide & Seek is an upbeat pop song which features a strong bass line and a fun melody. Its music video shows a sharp choreography, bright vibe, and colorful alternate reality in contrast to the mellow aesthetics of the female protagonist. According to many, the music video reflects ASTRO’s feelings towards their fans, bridging the gap between them as the logo connects between the two realities.
This group has six members: Jinjin, Sanha, Eunwoo, MJ, Moon Bin, and Rocky. The group’s Leader is Jinjin. ASTRO already has 1 studio album and 10 extended plays.
They are known for their R&B style mixed with electro pop and synthpop. They have a lot of hits such as Breathless, Baby, Always You, Should Have Held Onto You (Again), and Knock. Their fans are called Aroha which means “Astro hearts all fans.”
Guess Who’s Back. 안녕하세요, Winner-입니다.
WINNER is a Korean boy band formed by YG Entertainment in 2013. The members participated in the MNET survival program WIN: Who Is Next. This is also where they got their group name. The group made their debut on August 17, 2014 with their studio album 2014 SS. The Korea Herald called them “Monster Rookies.” Winner has 4 members: Mino, Seunghoon, Jinwoo, and Seungyoon (the group’s leader).
They officially debuted with the song “Empty” which speaks of a sad love story. While the song may not be as groundbreaking as other debut tracks, its vocals are heavenly which compensates as a statement.
They used to have 5 members but Taehyun left the group due to his mental health and well-being. The group has already released 3 albums to date. They are well known for their funky and playful style of music. They’ve created a lot of hits such as Hold, Soso, Ah Yeah, Really Really. and Fool. Their latest release entitled Remember was released last April. Their fans are called “Inner Circle” which means the core or heart of the group, an exclusive circle.
WINNER: Really Really
Step Out. 안녕하세요, Stay Kids-입니다.
Stray Kids or SKZ is a Korean boy band that was put together in 2017 by JYP Entertainment on a reality show with the same name as the group. They made their official debut on March 25, 2018 with their hit debut single “District 9” from its album, I Am NOT.
District 9 is a hard punch debut track musically reflected in the music video. Unlike other debut tracks, this one is rap-dominated with a quick hit to the chorus instead of the usual buildup. The vocals are also equally strong displaying the well-roundedness of the group. The song talks about rebellion and rejection of conformity with a combination of electric guitar against the synth creating a punk rock vibe.
This group has eight members, Lee Know, Han, I.N., Felix, Bang Chan (the group;s leader), Hyunjin, Seungmin, and Changbin. They used to have nine members but Woojin left because of undisclosed personal problems back in October 2019. They are known for their hip-hop and electronica style. They only have one album to date but they have a lot of extended plays. They also have hit songs such as Hellevator, Beware, District 9, Grow Up, God’s Menu, and their latest release Back Door. Their fans are called STAY from the context “Where Stray Kids STAY.”