Listen up: the best in new Korean music


Korea’s creative scene is a thriving one — and whether you’re a sucker for pop, a glutton for rock, prefer your music with an R&B sound, or love listening to something entirely different, Korea’s music scene boasts artists to meet all musical tastes.

Lore Walsh of UnitedKpop — a music enthusiast with a finely tuned knowledge of Korean acts — gives us the run-down on the best in new Korean music, and who we should be tuning in to:


If Girl Power had been an invention of Kpop, 4Minute would be flying the flag. Member HyunA notably featured in PSY’s Gangnam Style music video; and the latest release from 4Minute was produced by none other than Skrillex. View their Hate Music video, here.


BTS (or Bangtan Boys) is one of the most popular Kpop groups among Korean and international fans alike right now. The male, seven-member unit scored themselves the title of ‘Best Korean Act’ at the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards. Check out the band’s Save Me music video.


Lay Bricks


A gem from South Korea’s impressive indie music scene, LayBricks is highly influenced by its British counterparts. The band’s currently touring the UK and you can catch its addictive and emotive performances until 21 June. Watch its Don’t Worry clip, and read UnitedKpop’s interview with the group.


An instrumental trio with minimal vocals, Jambinai combines ‘classic’ rock instruments with traditional Korean instruments, including the haegum (somewhat like a fiddle), and geomungo (akin to the German Zither). There’s nothing traditional about how Jambinai plays these Korean instruments however. The band’s unique sound channels rock and metal influences; and has become one of South Korea’s most popular alternate acts. Watch Jambinai’s They Keep Silence video, here.

Epik High

This three-member hip-hop unit has a long and turbulent history, which has only made it stronger. This isn’t hip-hop as you would expect though; leader Tablo is one of Korea’s most skilled lyricists and Epik High’s music is full of depth, often inspired by the difficulties the group has faced. This year Epik High was the first South Korean act to play Coachella. And impress it did. Check out its Spoiler video.

Zion T

There are a number of impressive R&B vocalists in Korea, and Zion T is one of the most popular. His most recent releases show a new maturity to his lyrics. Having just moved to a new record label, Zion T’s fans are waiting with bated breath to hear new music from the soloist. Watch his No Make Up video, here.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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