2015 was a great year for releases. It was a year full of comebacks, debuts, and long awaited releases. It was hard to narrow down my favorites, but let’s get started.
Best Male Group- VIXX
VIXX started the year off with ‘Boys’ Record’ in February. In April of 2015, they shared the stage with major Western acts such as Usher, Train, No Doubt and more at the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day at the foot of the Washington Monument in Washington DC, to a crowd of close to 300,000 Americans. They then shocked the KPOP scene with the announcement of their first sub-unit in August, VIXX LR, highlighting Ravi and Leo’s chemistry as a duet. Recently, VIXX came back with ‘Chained Up’ that has shown how VIXX can do both the cute concept, as well as the sexy concept.
I’m all for VIXX. I’ve traveled all over the United States for them, so having them as my favorite male group was a no brainer. I’m self-proclaimed VIXX trash, and I’m quite proud of it. I spend all my spare time looking at VIXX, so there’s not really much to say, but I just really love them.
Check out their amazing performance from the 2015 SBS Gayo Daejun which had me in tears with my ultimate bias, Ravi, well… just watch and find out for yourself.
Best Girl Group – EXID
Now, I’m not one for girl groups, I adore their music, but I can never find myself learning the members. The one group that I find myself humming is the one and only EXID. After being forced to listen to them by my friends, I found myself enjoying the catchy music that is ‘Hot Pink’ and ‘Ah Yeah.’ EXID took the Korean music scene by storm this past year, with their fancams going viral and their songs hitting the top of the charts. Hani has etched a spot into my heart, as no one seems to hate boys as much as Hani did, before it was revealed that she is in a relationship with JYJ’s Junsu.
Check out their music video for ‘Hot Pink’ below!
Best Rookie – HOTSHOT
You would think with a former SM Entertainment trainee that was set to be an original EXO member, the rookie group HOTSHOT would have a larger fanbase. They had their first comeback since debut early this year with ‘Watch Out’ which even EXO’s Kai promoted it as his favorite song of the moment. With the promotion of Kai it lead the group that houses his best friend, member Timoteo, to the top of the Korean online search charts.
The reason why they are my rookie group of 2015, even though there was great debuts likeof Seventeen, Monsta X and more, HOTSHOT has taken my heart since their debut in late 2014. They have this energy and aura about them that makes my heart yearn for them. They are content knowing that their fanbase in Korea and internationally is small, and treat their fans better than any other group I know. It seems that they accept being the “underdog” and just are trying their hardest for themselves and their fans that they hold so dear to their heart.
Check out their most recent comeback with their song ‘I’m A HOTSHOT’ and please, if you have room in your heart, accept these six little angels. You won’t regret it.
Best Solo- Kim Sunggyu
Kim Sunggyu is best known as Infinite’s leader, but he has also released two solo albums. The first one being ‘Another Me’ released in 2012, and his second, ‘27’ was released in May of 2015. After being told his first solo album was a failure, even though it was far from it, Sunggyu was reluctant to release his second. Although he has a voice that can stand alone, it seemed like it was hard for him to release a second album after he personally had so much trouble with his song ‘60 Seconds.’
It seemed like everyone and their mother was releasing a solo album this year. It seems like it was the cool, new thing to do. Sunggyu in my opinion has one of the most underrated voices in all of KPOP. He doesn’t get the recognition of say, Onew from SHINee, or one of the members from Super Junior. And with Infinite’s typical sound, his unique voice doesn’t get to stand out as much as it should. With his solo album release, he is able to show his own color and style. My reason for picking him as my best solo for 2015, is that his solo does what a solo should do; showcase a new color of an artist.
Check out his music video for ‘Kontrol’ below!
Best Indie Band – Nell
I guess the reason for picking Nell can be linked to Kim Sunggyu as my solo choice. Nell is under the same company as Sunggyu, Woollim Entertainment, and most of Sunggyu’s music has been influenced, or produced, by members of Nell. The indie band has not been given enough recognition since their formation.
Being a teenager in 2008, with songs by The Maine on repeat as I went to school, I just seemed to fall in love with the unique sound that Nell has.
Check out their music video for ‘Star Shell’ below!
Wild Card – UNIQ
I can safely say that UNIQ had my favorite song of the summer with ‘EOEO.’ The group started out strong in the beginning of the summer, as they gained many new fans, but it seems like after the hype of ‘EOEO’ died out, they were put on the back burner for other new groups to come through. They were pushed away for stronger rookie groups like Monsta X and Seventeen. UNIQ, like Seventeen, is a multinational group. They have members from China along with Korea, giving them the upper hand in advancing in the Chinese music market.
They’re my wild card because I see great things coming from these members. They have a strong foundation to build off of, and with another hit like ‘EOEO’ they will gain the fans that they lost when their momentum died down.
Check out their summer hit ‘EOEO’ down below!
2015 for K-POP was sure a wild ride. From hundreds of debuts, to comebacks, to world tours, to scandals, to well, everything one can think of. I’m excited with what 2015 brought, but I’m even more excited to see what 2016 brings!
This has been Emily, and I hope you enjoyed my favorite six of the year!
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