These 5 Korean solo artists and bands are shaking up the K-pop status quo

These 5 Korean solo artists and bands are shaking up the K-pop status quo

New wave

Editor: Aravin Sandran

Image: Getty Images

Korean musicians are ascending to world domination, with BTS making history recently by being the first K-pop act to address the UN — here are 5 male solo singers and bands leading the charge in 2018



Known for: Popularly referred to as the first openly gay K-pop star, Holland does not shy away from honestly depicting his homosexuality through his music. The music video for his recent single, I'm Not Afraid, includes a steamy make-out sesh with a stud.

Vibe: Korea-meets-Troye Sivan

Hottest song: His wildly popular debut song Neverland garnered over one million views — currently standing at a staggering 10 million views — within 20 seconds of its release.

Keith Ape
These 5 Korean solo artists and bands are shaking up the K-pop status quo (фото 1)

Known for: Keith Ape exploded onto the scene with his breakout single It G Ma in 2015, controversially sampling Atlanta's OG Maco's U Guessed It

Vibe: Grillz, getting drunk on cheap rice wine and trashing hotel rooms with the wild sounds of hip-hop and trap

Hottest song: While Ape hasn't been able to replicate the success of It G Ma, his collab list continues to grow with Stateside rappers such as Ski Mask the Slump God and A$AP Ferg.

Lee Taemin


Known for: Famous for the being the best dancer and youngest member of the boy band SHINee, Taemin's newfound solo career is now taking off.

Vibe: Justin Bieber jumps on the gender-bender bandwagon with fluid androgynous moves and oh-so-sexy smoky eye make-up.

Hottest song: Wet hair, wet abs and 23 million wet undies all over the world — need we say more about Move?



Known for: This sizeable 18-member group is quickly making its name in the industry since landing on the scene last year. The group is sub-divided into NCT U, NCT 127 and NCT Dream.

Vibe: Backstreet Boys with better skin, better clothes and better moves

Hottest song: Rated as one of the best K-pop songs of 2017, Limitless personifies all the elements of a chart-topping boyband tune: choreographed ensemble dance sets, colour-coordinated designer clothing and ear-friendly pop hooks.

Rad Museum


Known for: Rad Museum was previously known as Camper, a member of the underground hip-hop crew, Club Eskimo.

Vibe: He aims to be so genre-defying that the name Rad Museum is in reference to the various styles of art that are found in a museum to imply that he does not want to limit himself to one form of artistic expression.

Hottest song: Though Dancing in the Rain might be his most popular hit, on this rare occasion, listen to his album Scene in its entirety as each song's mood was inspired by scenes from his everyday life such as standing on a balcony in Paris on a rainy morning or working up the courage to speak to a woman in a cafe.