It’s once again time to spread the joy of K-pop to all my readers! Here are my favorite K-pop music videos from 2022 in no particular order.
Familiar faces and old favorites
1. “Tomboy” by (G)I-dle
This girl group (pronounced “Idle”) had two big hits this year, both written by leader Soyeon, both with very different musical styles. When I’m not listening to K-pop, my preferred genre is alternative rock, so “Tomboy” in particular really appealed to me. I love the punk rock feel! Both “Tomboy” and “Nxde” talk about breaking free from restrictive gender norms, which feels so empowering. (G)I-dle is such a talented group and I feel like they have a lot to say. I’ve been a fan of them since their debut and I’m so happy they had such a great year, especially after losing a member to a scandal last year. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
2. “Waka Boom” by Hyolyn
Hyolyn, former member of SISTAR and one of the best vocals in K-pop, continues to show the younger idols how it’s done with this single for the music competition show Queendom 2. Hyolyn’s fierce look and dancing combined with the inspiring lyrics make a big impact. Plus, some rapping by the amazing Lee Young Ji, who is one of my favorite female rappers and just a fabulous person. Check out her cover of Lizzo’s “Juice!”
3. “Blah Blah Blah” by Itzy
After killing it in Korea, Itzy moved on to Japan this year with two awesome Japanese singles, “Blah Blah Blah” and “Voltage.” I love the energetic vibe; it really suits them. Jpop is actually my first love, so I always really appreciate when groups put out great original Japanese songs (as in, not just translations of their Korean hits). I picked this one especially because I love the esthetic of Ryujin in that orange dress!
4. “That That” by PSY
It’s a collab between K-pop royalty! Suga from BTS joins PSY of “Gangnam Style” fame for this super catchy hit, staging a Wild West showdown. As always, PSY is just so much fun to watch. Even my kids liked this one!
4th Generation Queens
This year also had an amazing crop of female rookie groups! I couldn’t pick just one, so here are two videos that really stood out to me.
5.1 “Antifragile” by Le Sserafim
Despite having a bit of a tough start, what with losing a member to scandal right after their debut, Le Sserafim had an amazing comeback with “Antifragile.” I particularly loved this performance version, which really showcases their stage presence as well as former ballerina Kazuha’s awesome leg lifting choreo. Just try to get ANTI TI TI TI FRAGILE FRAGILE out of your head!
5.2 “Attention” by NewJeans
It is so refreshing to see a rookie group that actually looks like contemporary teenagers! NewJeans feels like a breath of fresh air. No dyed hair or matchy outfits, just friendly interactions and natural athleticism.