When it comes to K-Pop, its various generations, impacts in both various music, fashion and art markets within the world, numerous acts, groups, musicians and singers make their name known for their hardwork, relatable tracks, self-produced and self-choreographed songs, and more. Some of these artists and their works would include but are not limited to: 2NE1‘s ‘I Love You’, 4 MINUTE‘s ‘Hate’, BIGBANG‘s ‘Bang Bang Bang’, BTS’ ‘Spring Day’, BTS’ ‘Blood Sweat & Tears’, BTS’ ‘Dope’, BTS’ ‘Young Forever’, Brown Eyed Girls GaIn‘s ‘Catch Me If You Can’, Block B‘s ‘NalinA’, Block B’s ‘Shall We Dance’, Crayon Pop‘s ‘Bar Bar Bar’, EXO‘s ‘Wolf’, EXO’s ‘Love Shot’, MONSTA X‘s ‘HERO’, Orange Caramel‘s ‘Catallena’, SHINee‘s ‘Ring Ring Dong’, SUPER JUNIOR‘s ‘Sorry Sorry’, Rain‘s ‘RAINSIM’, VIXX‘s ‘Fantasy’ or ‘Shangri La’, TXT‘s ‘Devil By The Window’, and more.
The songs itself have various variables and elements that make an album, EP or single release special. In our past articles, “The Rookie List: Kpop Pre Debuts, Debuts and Comebacks to know happening in August 2023”, “5 Photography, Art and Museum Based SNS Created by South Korean Celebrities to Check Out”, and various articles underneath the series “Artist Insight,” we discussed numerous artists/upcoming artists, why music is such a comforting tool to many individuals globally, the ups and downs of being an artist, and why their role is important.
Within today’s article, let’s take a delve into various hand picked, both fan suggested and unknown B-sides within the K-Industry that falls under K-Pop, K-Alternative Rock, K-Indie, K-R&B and more. Did this list miss any or one of your favourites you think deserve to make this list, or do you want to share other tracks with other K-Pop fans to check out? Please don’t hesitate to leave your answer within the comments and share with the community.
1. ABLUE – ‘Fly’
When doing research for this article and trying to keep it original with tracks people may not know about, I came across ABLUE’s Official Spotify Account and their song ‘Fly’.
In a previous article ABLUE was mentioned alongside their “brother” group ANTARES, and got their own article for their release of ‘MAD’ which you can read here.
ABLUE is a South Korean boy group under J Star Entertainment with 6 members; Win L(Yang SeungHo)(Leader, Vocalist, Lead Rapper), ON (Kim DongWoo) (Main Vocalist), WonJun (Rapper), Park SeongSoo (Lead Vocalist), You (Kim TaeYoo) (Main Rapper), SukJun (Vocalist, Rapper, Main Dancer and Maknae).
2. AIMERS – ‘Colors’
AIMERS (formerly known as B3o1z and 1st AIMERS) is a boy group under Hyper Rhythm and has 6 members; SeungHyun, EunJun, DoRyun, YoEl, Seunghwan and WooYoung. They debuted recently on November 17, 2022 with the album “Stage 0. Betting Starts.” Their debut showcase caught many eyes.
This group first caught my attention during their pre-debut due to the inclusion former members of SPECTRUM (EunJun and SeungHyun, who was formerly known as Villain) in the group, who were still fighting for their dream.
On January 27, 2023, the group released their special single, ‘Fireworks’ before coming back with the single ‘Bubbling‘.
3. ATBO – ‘Good Vibes Only’ and ‘Just For Us’
Formerly known as ABØ, the final 7 members who were on the competition show “The Origin, A, B, Or What?” who were able officially debut under IST Entertainment as ATBO are Oh JunSeok (Leader & Main Dancer), Ryu JunMin, Bae HyunJun, Seok RakWon, Jeong SeungHwan, Kim YeonKyu and WonBin. If you are familiar with competition shows, you might recongize Kim YeonKyu from “YG Treasure Box.”
On July 27, 2022, the group would debut with the mini album “The Beginning : 開花.”
‘Good Vibes Only’ and ‘Just For Us’ are two B Side tracks by the group to get you up and moving or to bring you comfort in hard times. The members showcase their vocals and allow each member to shine and gives off a different vibe compared to their song ‘BOUNCE‘ and is a must check out for your list.
4. Billlie – ‘M◐◑N palace’
If you are like me who rarely follows up with girl groups or releases but are either wanting something new and refreshing or something unique, the girl group Billlie might be the best pick for you.
Songs like, ‘M◐◑N palace’ is the 4th track on the EP “The Collective Soul and unconscious; Chapter One” which was released back in 2022 with the title song, ‘GingaMingaYo (The Strange World)’.
Before becoming known as Billlie, the group was formerly known as Mystic Rookies. The group os consisted of 7 members: Moon SuA (Main Rapper & Lead Vocalist), SuHyeon (Main Vocalist & Lead Dancer), HaRam (Main Vocalist), Tsuki (Main Dancer & Sub Vocalist), Sheon (Main Dancer & Lead Rapper), SiYoon (Main Rapper and Lead Dancer) and Haruna (Sub Vocalist & Maknae).
At first, their covers and performance videos like Billlie cover of Beyonce‘s ‘Diva’, Moon SuA’s cover of BE’O’s ‘Without You’, the group’s dance cover of NCT 127’s ‘Kick It’, and more, really stood out to me and displayed both the members’ music choices and their own charms and aura. The amount of members and variety within the group means you can find something you enjoy or look up to. The group is definitely a must check out for your B-side playlists.
5. BZ BOYS – ‘Burn it Up’
BZ-BOYS first got my attention after their song ‘Close Your Eyes’. A B-Side you might not be aware of is their ‘Burn It Up’, which they performed in Japan in 2023, where they showcase a fun and cute persona onstage.
Since debuting on June 17, 2019 with ‘Question’, the 5-member South Korean boy group surprised their fans (affectionally called Blueness) by coming back with a 5-track EP “OUTLAW”. ‘Burn It Up’ is listed as the 4th track on the album.
This stage consists and shows the members duality and ability to work with the crowd, with the members getting each other to jump along, while smiling non-stop.
6. BLITZERS – ‘Hop In’ and ‘K-Pop’.
If you found my articles or previously know me as a writer, you might recognize one of my favourite recent rookies on this list: BLITZERS. Before becoming their fan pre-debut, the group has gotten attention with various songs and their powerful song ‘Breathe Again’ since appearing on the South Korean YouTube Channel “It’s Live.”
If you want something new, fresh, and a group that appears to have a rock-focused and influenced music sound, BLITZERS songs might be perfect for your playlist. With constant comebacks, there is always more B-Sides to discover. Fans of BLITZERS (Referred to as ‘BLEE’), would want to recommend the song ‘K-Pop’ and ‘Hop In’. The two songs showcase the group’s cute aura.
The Song ‘Hop In’ is relatable to anyone within their teens and provides comforting lyrics for those looking for something a little fun and upbeat to get your day started.
daybreak is a 4-piece South Korean Rock Band consisting of Kim SeonIl, Lee WonSuk, Jung YooJong and Kim JangWon. They debuted on September 18, 2007 under Happy Robot Records. They are known for their various works.
Some fans recommend the following B-sides: ‘Fireworks’, ‘Flower Road’, ‘Mellow’, ‘Waltz’ in the Maze’, and ‘Litmus’.
8. LUCY – ‘Wanderer’
LUCY (Also known and referred to as LUCY Island) is also a 4-piece member band under Mystic Story who was formed since the members participated on JTBC’s competition show “Superband.” They debuted on May 8, 2020 with the album, “Dear” and the title track ‘Flowering’.
Looking for something refreshing or looking for a new start into the world of South Korean bands and artists within this genre? LUCY and daybreak are amazing bands you should know of.
9. Rolling Quartz – ‘Rock N Roll Paradise’
For those interested in something a little heavier, Rolling Quartz is a 5-member South Korean girl band that originally caught my attention on TikTok, due to numerous fans suggesting them. Since debuting on December 30, 2020 with ‘BLAZE’, they have become known for their various songs: ‘Azalea’, ‘Good Night’, ‘Delight’, ‘Holler’, ‘I’m a Loner’, ‘NAZABABARA’, ‘Random’, ‘Higher’, and more.
‘Rock N Roll Paradise’ caught my attention with the guitarist duo, the vocalist strong and powerful vocals and aura, and the drummer whose medley and charms fit so well into the song and actually appear to enjoy the stage, asking the crowd to jump and enjoy as well throughout the drum solo at 3:00 mark.
10. Time Is Our Turn (TIOT) – ‘Surfing’ and ‘Starlight’.
Time Is Our Turn (Formerly known as REDSTART BOYS) is a pre-debut boy group under REDSTART Entertainment, the group itself consisting of Kim MinSeoung, Kum JunHyeon, Hong KeonHee, and Choi WooJin, all former contestants on the show “Boys Planet.” They officially released their pre-debut album “Frame The Blueprint: Prelude to Possibilities” on August 23, 2023 and are looking to debut in 2024.
‘Surfing’ and ‘Starlight’ are the 4th and 5th track on their pre debut EP and is a must check out for individuals who enjoy pop-indie songs.
Check out more about the group here: “Time Is Our Turn Releases New Stunning Pre Debut Pictorials”, “The Rookie List (K-Pop Pre-Debuts, Debuts and Comebacks to Know Happening in August 2023”).
When I first found 2Z, it was actually because of “Kickstarter.” I learned about them through purchasing their “Kickstarter” Package, a first for me in K-Pop. They were something I haven’t seen before and caught my attention.
The group itself is considered to be a rock band. and actually used to communicate with fans, ask for ideas on content and sent thank you letters of support via email and held numerous live streams. Recently achieving 50K subscribers, you might also recognize 2Z by the name ‘TuZi’.
The group consists of: HoJin (Main Vocalist), JiSeob (Guitarist & Sub Vocalist), JungHyun (Bass), BumJun (Drummer) and ZUNON (All Rounder/DJ/Multiplayer). As stated within the description of SUN Live Studio Video, 2Z is considered to be finding their music genre, but look towards answers through hard rock, New Wave, Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, and even re-arranging music from Korean Music based in the 80’s, giving the group a refreshing taste on the classic modern South Korean rock band.
Fans (Known as FromA) suggest the following B-side Tracks: ‘Slow Step’, ‘How Do We Know’ and ‘Fighting 4 My Dream’ (2Z, STAY and Sun.L) and ’25’.
12. DreamNote – ‘Thank You’ & ‘BitterSweet’.
DreamNote is a 6-member girl group under iMe KOREA, consisted of Youi, BoNi, Lara, MISO, SuMin and EunJo. They debuted on November 7, 2018 with their first single album [ DreamLike ]. Since then the group has released numerous songs, singles and participated in OST’s.
If you enjoy Indie and songs you can listen to peacefully while on the train, or on the way home from work or school, DreamNote’s ‘Bittersweet’ or ‘Thank You’ might be the perfect B-sides for that playlist. I found the song, ‘Thank You’ really calming paired with a medley and vocals that were really enjoyable. The song, ‘Bittersweet’ is definitely an addicting listen.
Choi HeeTae known professionally as ‘Khakii’ is a South Korean rapper under Colde’s label “WAVY.” Since joining the company, he actually previously known Colde since their school days.
Khakii himself is a former contestant of “Show Me The Money 9” and debuted as a soloist on October 24, 2019 with ‘BASS’ before becoming known for his songs like; ‘Trouble’, ‘BASS’, ‘Lost’ (feat. Moon SuJin), ‘CODE CLEAR’, ‘JUST’, ‘White Night’, ‘New New’, and more. The artist previously got my attention on “Show Me The Money 9,” and after releasing ‘Mango’ and ‘Parkour’. The artist has a variety of music in the South Korean Hip-Hop and South Korean Indie/R&B genre and has a variety of options.
On his 2022 7-track album “TIDE,” Khakii released the songs ‘Laundry’ (Explicit) and ‘Choices’ (feat. Colde) (Explicit). These B-sides, which are within the Indie-R&B genre of music, are perfect for any cozy or late summer themed playlists.
You might recognize Kang MinSoo from my other articles.
Kang MinSoo (AQUINAS) is a South Korean independent rapper and songwriter who officially made his debut on May 2nd 2020 with the single, ‘Oh!’. He previously was a contestant on “High School Rapper” Season 3 on Team B back in 2019, and won second place. Before, he was a participant shortly on “Show Me The Money 5” in 2016 where he was unfortunately eliminated in the first round of qualifying.
The rapper took to his official Instagram account (@loveyourAquinas), where he deleted all posts and remove comments, that he was bisexual on June 12, 2021. Since then however, he has slowly began to post again and update fans on his well being, even possibly teasing his boyfriend in a now taken down post, updating fans on his current life style, and stunning fashion choices such as a beaded necklace and large hoop earrings.
If you enjoy uplifting and fun performances with a twist of indie and traditional instruments, ‘It Doesn’t Matter’, ‘Only U’ and his debut song ‘Oh!’ may be the tracks that you are looking for!
youra is a South Korean soloist and singer songwriter under MUN HWA IN, who made her official soloist debut on October 1, 2018 with the single, ‘My’ before later becoming known for her songs: ‘MIMI’, ‘Rawww’, ‘My Hair is Green’, ‘RAL 9002’, ‘Fragile’ (feat. youra & pH-1), ‘My’, ‘Laundry’, ‘Swim’ (Virus Edit), ‘Best Regards’ and ‘Flicker’ (feat. Car, the Garden).
If you enjoy mellow -slow-Indie/R&B type of music, and are looking for B-sides within those genres, youra (유라) is definitely an artist to look into. Songs like, ‘If There’s a Sail’, ‘Airplane Mode’ and ‘Kung’ may be choices to consider.
Did this list miss one or any of your favourites? Please don’t hesitate to add it within the comments.
Full links to references to credit back original commenters, YouTube videos and “100 Boy Group Songs Everyone Should Know” (2022), and Reddit discussions “Let’s Collect the best B Sides in Kpop“, “What’s the best Nugu Group“, “Best B-Sides From 4th Gen Groups“, and “Your Most Loved/Listened B-sides of 2023 so far.”