17 K-Pop Rookies That Are Starting To Blow Up In 2018

1. A.C.E

A.C.E members have been gaining attention for the last few months thanks to their appearances on both KBS The Unit and JTBC MIXNINE. Members Jason and Donghun were selected as part of MIXNINE‘s Top 9 Boys and will re-debut with MIXNINE in April.

2. Chungha

Chungha can be considered the most successful post-I.O.I and Produce 101 Season 1 artist, ranking high with her debut song “Why Don’t You Know” and surpassing that with her first comeback “Roller Coaster”, parked firmly in the Top 15 of most music charts. Her friendship with Sunmi is also the envy of many! She picked up her first Rookie of the Year award at the 27th Seoul Music Awards.

3. Weki Meki

Weki Meki is also in the running for top post-I.O.I group thanks to selling over 50,000 copies of their debut album WEME. Unfortunately, their comeback has been postponed due to “internal conflicts” stemming from the removal of former founder and CEO Na Byung Jun by JC Group.

4. Samuel

He may be a rookie but is no stranger to television, first appearing in SEVENTEEN TV in 2012. Debuting shortly after finishing #18 in Produce 101 Season 2, Samuel has been able to work with trending rapper Changmo and also become a cast member in tvN Leaving the Nest 2 and JTBC Photo People.

5. ONF

WM Entertainment’s newest boy group, all of the members also joined JTBC MIXNINE shortly after their debut. The group’s leader Hyojin and vocalist Laun were selected into the debut group and will re-debut with MIXNINE in April.

6. Stray Kids

JYP Entertainment’s newest boy group, they were introduced through their official survival show Stray Kids and even though Minho and Felix were once eliminated, they were brought back later on and all 9 members were able to make their debut. They recently released their pre-debut mini-album Mixtape.

7. Dreamcatcher

Originally known as MINX, Happy Face Entertainment re-debuted the group as Dreamcatcher while adding 2 new members. They have found their own sound with catchy rock/dance tracks and their popularity has been growing, touring Asia, South America, and Europe.

8. Golden Child

It has been 7 years since Woollim Entertainment debuted a boy group and Golden Child lives up to the company’s reputation with their slick choreography. The group just made their first comeback with “It’s U”, however they sadly lost a member as Jaeseok decided to leave the group due to health issues.

9. DPR Live

DPR Live is the next big newcomer to the hip-hop scene, already working with veterans such as Dean, Dumbfoundead, Loco, Jay Park, and Crush. He also has featured in Suzy’s latest release “HOLIDAY”. DPR Live will be taking his talents to the United States after being invited to SXSW 2018.

10. Jeong Sewoon

Representing Starship Entertainment in Produce 101 Season 2, Jeong Sewoon barely missed the cut to join Wanna One, ranking 12th. Instead, he has since debuted as a soloist and has worked with hit producers Groovy Room and Kiggen. He also produces some of his own songs such as “Never Mind” and “Miracle”.

11. Kriesha Chu

Kriesha Chu gained popularity as part of K-Pop Star 6‘s team KWINs. After KWINs finished as the runner-ups, she debuted as a soloist. Since then Kriesha Chu has also secured a variety of CF deals, including Holika Holika and Chujungone.

12. Woo Won Jae

Turning from a regular citizen to a hip-hop star, Woo Won Jae placed 3rd in Show Me The Money 6 and his debut track We Are placed #1 on all of the music charts after its release. He also joined AOMG.

13. fromis_9

The group formed by Mnet Idol School took their first steps in the industry by having their debut performance at 2017 MAMAs in Japan. They also were able to share a performance with AKB48, Chungha, PRISTIN, and Weki Meki. fromis_9 made their official debut January 24 with “To Heart”.

14. Duetto

Duetto is not what you would consider a normal K-Pop artist, instead singing in the classical genre. They were the runner-ups in Phantom Singer Season 1 and gained attention for their classical cover of “SIGNAL”, “Red Flavor” and “Gashina” at MBC Gayo Daejejeon.


Following in SEVENTEEN’s footsteps as producer-idols, PRISTIN is on the same flower path the other post-I.O.I artists are walking. Receiving 3 Rookie of the Year awards, PRISTIN’s popularity is definitely on the rise with their members branching out into various variety and MC appearances.

16. JBJ

A group that was willed together by fans, it took a few months for the agencies of all the trainees to agree that this group should be formed. Since their formation, they have seen nothing but success, having their own reality show Just By Joyful JBJ and winning their first music show trophy on KBS Music Bank January 26.


A group that should need no introduction by now, WANNA ONE has taken Korea by storm. They have sold over 1 million albums, ranked #1 on music charts, and won 6 Rookie of the Year Awards—out of 6! The group’s members have starred in at least 15 different advertisements and there is no telling how much more popular they will become before their inevitable disbandment on December 31, 2018.