TOP OF THE (K) POPS
Catchier than One Direction’s back catalogue, with more members than the Game Of Thrones cast, Korean pop is about to take over your playlist. Meet its biggest exports…
Who? All-woman nine-piece born out of “girl group survival reality show” Sixteen. Like Popstars: The Rivals on acid. Big break: In 2016, their debut video for Like Ooh-Ahh clocked over 100 million YouTube views. Best lyric: “Knock hard. Bam! Bam! One more time. Bam! Bam!” Fashion vibe: Mean Girls meets Clueless. Sounds like: Barbie Girl by Aqua (singer Lene, left) on repeat, with a bit of B*Witched thrown in. Crazy fact: They’ve endorsed over 30 different brands, including cosmetics, beverages and, er, school uniforms.
Who? BTS’s biggest rivals were originally made up of two bands – Exo-K, who performed songs in Korean, and Exo-M, who performed them in Mandarin. Now they’re one (well, nine to be precise). Big break: Performing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Best lyric: “I’m drunk from your body.” Fashion vibe: Matchy-matchy catalogue models. Sounds like: If Justin Bieber (left) cloned himself eight times and formed a boy band. Crazy fact: In 2015 and 2016 they were named top of Forbes’ Korea Power Celebrity list.