A Year in K-Pop: The Best Releases of 2023 | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

BTS’ Kim “V” Taehyung with his pet pomeranian Yeontan
BTS’ Kim “V” Taehyung with his pet pomeranian Yeontan

These K-Pop songs made our year



From viral TikTok dance challenges to iconic performances and chart-topping hits, the year was filled with a number of unforgettable tracks from our favorite K-Pop artists.

As we take a look back at the soundtrack of the year, here are our picks for the best K-Pop releases that made 2023!

OMG – NewJeans

Yes, this song was released earlier this year (January to be exact). Arguably one of the biggest names in K-Pop today, NewJeans has made leaps and bounds over the past year—culminating in the widespread reception of their latest release “Super Shy” and their appearance on the Lollapalooza stage. 

But in hindsight, this early 2023 hit solidified their place as the industry’s next big star and a staple in our playlists.

Like Crazy – Jimin

After dropping “Set Me Free Pt.2,” Jimin showcased a side to him that we had never seen before. “Like Crazy,” the lead single from his debut EP “FACE,” explores a subtlety and vulnerability beneath a catchy 90’s pop beat.

Let’s also not forget about his jaw-dropping Jimmy Fallon performance.

Fighting – BSS (Featuring Lee Young Ji)

Against the ups and downs we’ve faced throughout the year, “Fighting” served as our decaffeinated pick-me-up.

This live band performance also proved that BSS doesn’t need high-octane choreography and pyrotechnics to deliver a show.

People Pt.2 – Agust D (Featuring IU)

When SUGA of BTS isn’t lighting up the stage under his moniker and alter ego Agust D, he writes and performs tracks that are on the lighter side—“People Pt.2” which explores his struggles during the pandemic is just that.

In case you missed it, here’s a live performance by the way of “People Pt.2” with both SUGA and IU.

Love Me Again – V

V’s solo debut, “Layover,” was a warm hug and a breath of fresh air in contrast to the typical high-energy releases from his K-Pop contemporaries. 

As a bonus: take a look at this performance of “Slow Dancing” featuring V’s lovely ​​pomeranian Yeontan.

Get A Guitar – RIIZE

Undeniably catchy and with an exhilarating choreography, “Get A Guitar” is the perfect introduction to this up-and-comer.

Happily Ever After – TOMORROW X TOGETHER

2023 was a year of success for TOMORROW X TOGETHER. Not only did they release an EP and an album, but they also headlined the past Lollapalooza stage and delivered an unforgettable VMAs performance. “Happily Ever After” is the serotonin boost you need from their latest album, “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL.”

Drowning – BOBBY (Featuring SOLE)

Pretty sure this track went under the radar for many, but it’s not too late to give this one a shot—trust me, it’s worth it. A little carefree and nonchalant, BOBBY’s latest track exemplifies what it means to be drowning in someone’s love.

God of Music – Seventeen

The ever-growing presence of K-Pop and international music in the mainstream is a testament to the power of song to unite and empower regardless of language, culture, and genre. Seventeen’s “God of Music” is an appreciation of that.

Bonus: Seventeen’s recent MAMA 2023 performance.

Sweet Venom – ENHYPEN

Show-stopping vocals and Michael Jackson-esque dance moves—ENHYPEN’s “Sweet Venom” is the perfect late-year hit.

For the music production enthusiasts out there: take a look at this behind the scenes recording for ENHYPEN’s latest.

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