We’ve looked before at several K-Pop songs that were meant for other artists, and it turns out there are many more that exist as well!
Many songs in K-Pop and other genres are frequently written with specific artists in mind. But sometimes, for a variety of reasons, those plans don’t follow through and they’re instead given to another artist to express in their own way.
The songs oftentimes still turn out to be great, and this list is an excellent example of that! Here are 13 K-Pop songs that were originally meant for different artists.
1. “What You Waiting For” by ANDA
“What You Waiting For”, not to be confused with Somi‘s song of the same title, was produced by YG Entertainment sub-label YGX‘s producer R.Tee, who has previously created songs such as “Playing With Fire” and “DDU-DU DDU-DU” for BLACKPINK. He wrote this song planning for it to be a 2018 release for the girl group to continue their fierce sort of vibe and concept, but because ANDA signed onto YGX that year, they gave the song to her instead to give her an opportunity to show her powerful side.
2. “Now or Never” by SF9
When “Now or Never” was created, it was actually originally meant to go to the five-member boy group KNK. However, the group decided to join competition show MIXNINE at the time, and since it was unclear what the future of KNK would be, the song was instead given to SF9.
3. “More & More” by TWICE
“More & More” was actually recorded by Swedish artist Zara Larsson, though the title for the song was “Back & Forth” at the time.
It was supposed to be released on her second album, So Good, in 2015, but it ended up not making it onto the album, so she sold the song to JYP Entertainment who changed the lyrics to better fit TWICE’s style. Fortunately, Zara does still have credit for the composition and background vocals!
4. “dlwlrma” by IU
When IU wrote the song “dwlwrma”, she actually planned on the song going to Oh My Girl, and thus wrote the song with a sort of concept that would suit them. Even though she felt like the song was too bright for her own type of style, she did say that she had wanted to try that type of song and did end up keeping “dwlwrma” for her Palette album.
5. “Your Eyes Tell” by BTS
Jungkook is the genius producer behind the song “Your Eyes Tell”, which of course was used for their Japanese album Map of the Soul: 7 ~The Journey~ as well as a Japanese movie of the same name. However, it was actually originally meant to go onto his long-awaited mixtape, but BigHit Entertainment decided it was just too good and that it should be given to BTS as a whole. Jungkook does, at least, have the title of being the first foreign artist to compose an OST for a Japanese movie!
6. “Light” by Wanna One
GOT7 leader JB actually co-wrote the original version of “Light” alongside producer Royal Dive, intending for the song to be performed by GOT7. However, JYP Entertainment ended up not approving the song, and it was instead given to Wanna One, though JB has released a guide version of the song recently.
7. “No No No” by MAMAMOO
A demo guide of “No No No” was created by MAMAMOO back in 2012 before the girl group even debuted, and it was originally meant to be performed by 4MINUTE. It ended up not going to the five-member girl group, though, and was instead released with MAMAMOO’s 3rd mini-album, Pink Funky, in 2015.
8. “The Eve” by EXO
It may be hard to imagine this iconic song being sung or performed by anyone other than EXO, but the song was actually composed by Henry Lau, who could have come out with the song himself! The composing group of the song decided that it was better suited for EXO, though Henry has released a demo English version of “The Eve” for fans to enjoy.
9. “Numb” by CIX
Former SM Entertainment producer MZMC has stated that the song “Numb” was actually created with SuperM in mind. However, it was bought by C9 Entertainment, CIX’s label, and used for their 2019 comeback instead.
10. “Sage” by OnlyOneOf
“Sage” was co-created by former BlockBerry Creative creative director Jaden Jeong, with the intention for the song to be performed by LOONA. However, after he left the company, he took the song with him and, after joining 8D Creative, gave the song to OnlyOneOf instead for their first comeback after their debut.
11. “Red Thread” by ONEUS
“Red Thread” was created by producers from RBW Entertainment, the company that ONEUS is under. They actually submitted the song to try and have it on Wanna One’s final album, but another song was chosen instead, so ONEUS member RAVN asked the company CEO if his group could have the song instead. Because of this, the song ended up being on their debut album, Light Us.
12. “Electric Hearts” by WAYV
This song was actually originally made for SHINee to perform back in 2016, and though it has a very similar title to a song they did record, “Electric Heart”, they aren’t the same. It ended up not being used by the group, so it was instead used for WAYV’s first album, Awaken The World, after Hendery and YangYang re-wrote the lyrics in Chinese.
13. “Zimzalabim” by Red Velvet
“Zimzalabim” was created by Swedish producers Caesar and Loui, who were inspired by the Girls’ Generation song “I Got a Boy” due to its unusual structure and rhapsody. They wrote the song not too long after “I Got a Boy” came out, hoping the girl group would use it as a follow-up single, and though SM Entertainment liked it enough to purchase the song, they ended up not using it until Red Velvet performed “Zimzalabim” in 2019.