These days, pop music from South Korea, or K-Pop, is popular in Western countries. K-Pop is made for dance and often has a strong beat. 

The freshest team is called X1. It is a group of 11 boys who survived the 4th season of the popular audition series, Produce 101. In Produce 101, 101 contestants compete for a debut, and survivors are decided not by judges, but by viewers through weekly online votes. Only Koreans can vote, even though many international fans try to hack the sever to influence the outcome. The number of votes for top members can be a million each, and X1 is the collection of the top 11 contestants. The Final episode was on July 19, 2019, and X1 debuted August 27. Their first song “Flash” has 56 million views on YouTube, and they are the hottest new K-Pop band of this year. 

For Korean girl bands, the rookie band of the year is ITZY. The five members debuted earlier this year and still have room for growth. So far, they have released only two songs: “Dalla Dalla” and “ICY.” “Dalla Dalla” translates to “Different Different” in English. The title ICY also means “I see,” and is mentioned in the lyrics. 

Another rising K-pop band is NCT 127. They debuted in 2018 and are made up of 10 boys. One member is Mark Lee, a Korean-Canadian born in Toronto. He moved to Seoul when he was in middle school to become a trainee. A popular music video of theirs is called “Simon Says.”

One of many reasons K-Pop is popular is because of the fierce competition within South Korea. There are more than a million trainees, people training under companies to debut in a band, who are working hard to become a member of more than 400 teams in the market. The three teams mentioned are up and rising K-pop bands, so they are all worthy of checking out.

Photo courtesy of Kanal 247