Koreans make fantastic music — and no, not just K-pop. They have rock bands, rappers and indie musicians actually making waves as well. If you’d like to give your playlist a little spice, here are nine alternative Korean musicians that’ll elevate your music taste.
If you watched Itaewon class and Start-Up and loved the soundtrack, you have Gaho to thank for that. Gaho makes the type of music you listen to with a straight face meanwhile you’re crying in your head. If you need earworms, check him out.
GSoul is a South Korean singer, and just like his name suggests, this man makes music for the soul. The kind of person who can sing about wanting the world to burn but sound beautiful. For fans of Sisyphus, he sang Stay for the OST. I dare you to listen to GSoul and not fall in love.
N.Flying is a South Korean rap rock band formed in 2011. The name N.Flying also means “new wings” or “new escape”. If you need music that helps you cry or feel your feelings, listen to them. They also have songs that make you feel like the main character in a shonen anime.
Eric Nam is a Korean-American singer-songwriter, television host and entertainer. His genres are mostly electro-pop and rap — a multi-talented king. If you liked that popular TikTok song called everything sucks, listen to the remix, it featured him.
LØREN is a solo singer, DJ and producer — talk about talent! He starred in BLACKPINK’s music video, Lovesick Girls and has worked with them on several projects. He makes rock music and sad boy songs that make you feel like you’ve been transported to an early 2000s teen romance..
The Rose makes the softest rock music. Their song RED was added to the official League of Legends playlist for this year, just to give you a sense of how good they are. Their most popular song has to be She’s In The Rain. Reminiscent of bands like Coldplay and The Script, The Rose has even covered several of the both bands’ songs.
The punk rock band, aka Even Day made me fall in love with them after I listened to Congratulations on their first album, Day, along with the title track. Congratulations is a petty song about congratulating an ex after they’ve moved on, and I fuck with that
MOONBIN & SANHA (Astro)
This duo is a subunit of the six-member South Korean boy group Astro which makes pretty good pop music. MOONBIN & SANHA debuted in 2020 and have been giving back-to-back hits ever since. Their music is a blend of rock and pop that makes you feel like they’re trying to seduce you, and maybe they are. So if pop-rock is your thing, they’re the one for you.
Seori is a South Korean R&B/Soul singer-songwriter. She makes music that makes you feel you’re in a “romantic” anime series where the lead is strong-headed but in a cute relationship, until she suddenly dies. So basically, her music makes you feel like a doomed sad badass. She was on the soundtrack for Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, and I can’t wait to see her on more OSTs. Her songs are a great way to end a good playlist, so take note.