For fans that veer away from the mainstream of Korean music, the name G.Soul will hardly be unfamiliar. The now 31-year-old burst onto the scene to much fanfare with his 2015 EP Coming Home (largely due to an infamous 15 year “training” period which involved considerable time stateside), with its title track proving to be the perfect supplement to the years of anticipation. “Coming Home” perfectly meshed the soulful vocals of Ki Ji-Hyun with an electronica backbeat and underlying finger snaps, making for a refreshing twist on modern R&B. The eventual climax, a higher-tempo, more energised delivery of the chorus, firmly marked G.Soul down as a star of the future, and ensured that critics wouldn’t take him lightly.
For Dvwn, music is all about passion: "I hope I don’t lose my initial passion for music. For me, that seems to be the most important ambition of all. Instead of being influenced by money or being swayed by popularity, I want to pursue my initial passion,” the singer says when quizzed about his ambitions under the KOZ (King of Zungle) Entertainment banner. And, with recent contributions involving working on songs such as Eric Nam's "Love Yourself" and Lay's "Mapo Tofu," it's plain to see that Dvwn's passion for this art form has allowed him to be as versatile as he is talented. Borrowing from a wide array of soundscapes, the former SoundCloud artist allows himself to seamlessly weave genres together perfectly, allowing for a more modern, inclusive musical outlook.
The Rose aren’t exactly new to touring. Despite only officially debuting just over two years ago, (with another two years of prior experience busking on the streets of Busan), the foursome have toured across the globe twice, entertaining and embracing audiences everywhere from their home country of Korea to cities around the world, such as the energetic and benchmark-setting London. Throughout their short journey, the band has managed to forge a strong and passionate fanbase despite the absence of a full-length record; and with a refined and quality-assured show guaranteed whenever they step foot on stage, it’s hardly as if this passion will die-down anytime soon.
The past 12 months have been all about work for YELLA D. The versatile producer, vocalist, rapper and all-round artist is undeniably talented (just watch back his performances from the recent AOMG: Sign Here audition program), yet is still in search of that one huge break into the mainstream.
Of all the artists that seem to ooze quality nowadays, few feel quite as polished as WayV. The septet—part of the wider NCT project—burst onto the scene in January with The Vision, before following it up nearly four months later with Take Off, an EP that helped establish the group as stars. Its lead-single, the titular “Take Off,” was a high-intensity blend of trendy trap sounds and distortion (most notably the gritty-sounding guitar), and is one of the year’s best; providing a welcome reminder of the talents these seven possess.
It has been just a little over five months since WINNER last graced people’s playlists with their chart-topping EP WE. A vibrant offering that dabbled in styles across the musical spectrum, e.g the acoustic-pop anthem “AH YEAH,” or the dark electro house stylings heard in “MOLA,” it was a release that cemented WINNER as a group that always shows consistency, and proved to the world that the group have plenty of tangible star quality.