8 Non-Korean Asian Groups From The First Half Of 2021 K-Pop Fans Should Be Listening To
Thanks to amazing investment in the industry and the stunning worldwide success of groups like BTS, BLACKPINK, and TWICE (just to name a few), when most people think of Asian music, they think of K-Pop. K-Pop has grown into a global industry that many are trying to learn from and explore as more and more international fans discover it. But there are so many other Asian countries full of talent, too! These are just 8 non-Korean Asian groups that deserve your attention:
1. AR3NA (Thailand)
AR3NA is a Thai trio of girls composed of Je’Taime, Prim, and their only Korean member, Minseo. They made their debut on March 25 under 411Music Entertainment but were revealed to have received training from The Black Label (A YG Entertainment subsidiary). The group often sings in a mix of languages, with Thai and English being the primary and Korean being the secondary. Their music easily rivals the many girl-crush concepts being used by K-Pop girl groups these days.
2. INTO1 (China/Thailand/Japan)
INTO1 is a multinational group created from the Chinese survival show Produce Camp 2021. In fact, they were judged by some very familiar faces: GOT7‘s Jackson and f(x)‘s Amber! The group debuted on April 24 with 11 boys named Liu Yu, Santa, Rikimaru, Mika, Nine, Lin Mo, Bo Yuan, Zhang Jiayuan, Patrick, Zhou Keyu, and Liu Zhang. Despite being from three different countries (four if you count America), all members sing in Chinese. Although they do not have a music video just yet, you can certainly tell they have potential just from their stages!
3. DAYDREAM (Philippines)
DAYDREAM debuted from Rebel Records on May 28. They have 4 members named Denise, Kiara, Jom, and Awie. Despite the 200 (yes, 200) languages spoken in the Philippines, this group sings in the country’s second official language, English! They bring a Western music vibe with an Asian twist that truly sets them apart from the rest.
4. 4MIX (Thailand)
4MIX debuted on May 11 with 4 members named Ninja, Mcka, Folksong, and George. They are under KS GANG and promote specifically as an “LGBTQ+ Band.” It is a bit unclear if the entire group is part of the community, but they strongly promote and support LGBTQ+ people. Their leader, Ninja, is the most open member who is confirmed to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Their music so far has an exciting and electronic sound with fun dance moves anyone could try.
5. GLASS (Indonesia)
GLASS, which stands for “Girls Loud And Super Strong,” has 4 members named Triarona, Denissa, Eugine, and PB. They debuted on January 22 under Z-POP Dream Indonesia. For their first song, they teamed up with an Indonesian electronic dance group called SICKZOMBIES. This, of course, gives them a unique techno vibe along with their girl crush concept.
6. BGYO (Philippines)
This group debuted on January 29 under ABS-CBN. They have 5 members consisting of GELO, Akira, JL, Mikki, and Nate. They each follow a specific life motto, and their first music video promotes self-love and perseverance. Their dancing is smooth, and their singing is impressive!
7. 7m!n (Japan)
7m!n is a boy group under WAIWAI Inc. and is produced by the popular Japanese YouTubers Yapp! and Yonemura Kaito. They debuted on March 13 with 7 members Yu, Kyoya, Rintaro, Ryoga, Kento, Itsuki, and Riku. Their first song has a very entertaining music video and is so upbeat, it feels like an anime opening!
8. DOPE (Indonesia)
DOPE is the brother group of GLASS and were former contestants of Z-POP DREAM Indonesia. They debuted on May 28 with 4 members Tamangga, Bee, Naufal, and Betrand. They are quite trendy with a lovely soft spot. They certainly have the talent and sound to make it far.