K-pop companies introduce rookie groups at such a ferocious rate each year that numerous idols are vying for the spotlight at any one time, with the ultimate ambition of becoming A-listers. This heated competition means that talented performers can sometimes slip under the radar, so without further ado here are my personal choices for the top five underrated rookie songs.
Dawg’loo – “Oh”
Dawg’loo is a four member male vocal group who debuted in January 2015, under Danal Entertainment. Not much is currently known about them, except that they have all recorded solo songs and members RuBic and Hyun Jun previously performed with 2Track and DDABAND, respectively. R&B ballad “Oh” has a soulful sound which harkens back to the ‘90s and features stirring, mature vocals from the members. Sadly, no music video was produced for this touching song, but these supremely talented men deserve to be watched closely in the future.
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Awe5some Baby – “Why Should I?”
Awe5some Baby is a five member girl group who made their debut in June 2015, under TN Nation Entertainment. Illustrious ‘90s K-pop stars Tony Ahn (H.O.T) and Kim Jae Duc (Sech Kies) contributed to the formation of Awe5some Baby and consequently the members shine brightly in “Why Should I?” Ranging in age from 17 to 21, the girls display surprisingly accomplished vocals in this funky throwback R&B track, with all the charisma of more seasoned veterans of the genre. Tomboyish leader Jun is the first ever idol beatboxer in a K-pop group, making Awe5some Baby a unique force to be reckoned with!
Bay.B – “Fancy”
Bay.B is a three member girl group who debuted in May 2014, with the company CAN Entertainment. The group’s fourth single “Fancy” is a smooth and sophisticated jazz number, featuring prominent use of a trumpet and melodic piano. Bay.B’s sultry delivery, combined with rapper Wu Tan’s edgy flow, result in a composition that harks back strongly to 1960s Soul and Motown. Unfortunately, this song also has no accompanying music video, but Bay.B’s powerful vocals make “Fancy” well worth a listen.
M.Crown – “Avenue Mumun”
Starpro Entertainment’s seven member boy band, M.Crown, debuted in October 2015. “Avenue Mumun” is a lively song with an infectious up-tempo beat, combined with elements of disco and boy band music of the 1990’s. The music video depicts M.Crown posing on Harley Davidson motorcyles and dancing in a baroque room, alternately wearing both smart and casual clothes. The suggestive choreography during the song’s chorus, combined with the group’s boyish good looks, will no doubt see many takers for M.Crown in the not too distant future!
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VAV – “Under The Moonlight”
In November 2015, AQ Entertainment introduced VAV (Very Awesome Vampire.) This rookie boy band is a cross cultural mix of four Korean and two Chinese members, who were uniquely promoted with a webtoon prior to their official debut. “Under The Moonlight” is an unconventional composition which fuses synthesized ambient music with hip hop, while the song’s music video is beautifully atmospheric and showcases the group’s gothic concept to absolute perfection. All in all, a band with great promise.