There are so many amazing K-Pop songs by talented artists that have been released that seem impossible to imagine anyone else performing. However, there have been many instances where these songs were originally created with a certain artist in mind, only to be rejected by the initial artist and be taken on by someone else instead! Here are 5 K-Pop songs that became massive hits, after first being rejected at some point in the production process.
1. “I” by Taeyeon
While it may be hard to picture a group singing Taeyeon’s beautiful debut track “I”, instead of a soloist, the song was actually originally meant for Girls’ Generation as a whole! For some reason, though, “I” was given to the leader of the group for her debut as a soloist, and there’s no denying that Taeyeon performed it beautifully.
2. “Very Very Very” by I.O.I
Believe it or not, I.O.I’s unforgettable and iconic debut song was originally meant for another K-Pop girl group: TWICE! Not only was the song created by J.Y. Park himself, but the members of TWICE actually learned the song with the parts already assigned to each of them. In fact, during a livestream, Jeongyeon shared that the “neomu neomu neomu” part of the song was supposed to be hers!
Instead of “Very Very Very”, which was eventually given to I.O.I instead, TWICE ended up with a song that really got them a lot of well-deserved attention: “TT”!
3. “Red Flavor” by Red Velvet
Not only was “Red Flavor” not originally made for Red Velvet, but it wasn’t even called “Red Flavor” to begin with, either! It was originally called “Dancing With Nobody”, and made by producers Daniel Caesar and Ludwig Lindell for Little Mix instead.
While the group did record a version of the song, the producer duo decided that the song would be better suited for the K-Pop genre, and thus sold it to SM Entertainment. And thank goodness it did, because Red Velvet received so much praise and love for the song!
4. “Ko Ko Bop” by EXO
Seeing a trend with SM Entertainment on this list? Interestingly, “Ko Ko Bop” wasn’t even meant for a boy group originally, though it was meant for an SM Entertainment artist: Red Velvet! In fact, the key of the song was 3 notes higher to fit the female vocalists, but was changed to how it is now for EXO. There’s even a demo version available that’s sung by a woman!
5. “Zimzalabim” by Red Velvet
Swedish producers Caesar and Loui made “Zimzalabim” after being inspired by Girls’ Generation’s song “I Got A Boy”, due to its unusual song structure. It was actually created not too long after “I Got A Boy” came out — which was back in 2013 — in the hope that Girls’ Generation would use it as a follow-up single.
While SM Entertainment did like the song enough to purchase it, they ended up not giving it to Girls’ Generation and kept it shelved until 2019 when Red Velvet recorded the song instead!