By Ally Jambu KDA Internship
Everybody knows and loves artists like BTS and EXO, I mean good looking guys and amazing music? But KPOP isn’t the only genre who can excite it’s listeners. With big names like Zico and Crush, K R&B has been gaining traction throughout the years. So if you want to take a dive into K R&B but don’t know where to start, or are just looking for some new artists to listen to, here are a few underrated Korean R&B artists that deserve some love.
‘Villain’, short for ‘heronamedvillain’ is a must listen to. He made his debut back in 2016 with “Rainy Nights” and has been in love with music ever since a young child. In the past, Villain worked as a producer at Big Hit Entertainment, proving he is not only a talented singer but an amazing producer as well. His music is easy to relax to, especially with his laid-back way of singing.
He grew up as part of the crew ‘AlphaDict’, known as ‘PLT’ when performing in a group. AlphaDict has many hidden gems, from Gaho to Jung Jinwoo, they are a self producing crew that nurture and hone each skill.
2. Ash Island
Formerly known as ‘Clloud’, Ash Island is Korean rapper under Ambition Musik. He made his first major appearance during season 2 of ‘High School Rapper’, placing 4th overall. In 2018, Ash Island made his debut and has garnered many fans, especially for his style of rap. Major artist and fellow label mate Changmo has taken Ash Island under his wing, collabing songs together and even inviting Ash Island to participate in his tours as a special guest. Ash Island is definitely worth giving a listen to as a new face to the K R&B scene.
GLABINGO is the youngest on the list, but by no mean less talented compared to the rest. Growing up, Yoon Jungwook aka GLABINGO had always been surrounded by music. Both his parents were already a part of the music industry, as a singer-songwriter and the either as a composer.
GLABINGO is a K R&B singer under OctoJ Entertainment, debuting December, 2016. For his debut track, ‘As Feel’, he composed, arranged and wrote the whole song, proving his amazing talents. At such a young age, GLABINGO continues to create music, both singing and rapping as well as composing all on his own. As GLABINGO continues along this path, his future seems colourful and exciting.
4. Samuel Seo
Samuel Seo is a Korean producer and R&B artist. It’s impossible to listen to his music and not fall in love. Samuel Seo’s signature follows a breezy and chill vibe. He has constantly been a part of the music industry, with others sometimes referring to him as a ‘genius artist’. Samuel Seo’s music genre is not only limited to R&B, producing music that includes traits from soul, hip hop, synthpop and funk.
In 2015 Samuel Seo released his first studio album ‘Frameworks’, which won him the Best R&B & Soul Award at the Korean Music Awards 2016. Samuel Seo continues to produce music currently and even appeared on ‘The Masked Singer’ in 2020. His smooth vocals accompanied by his composing skills, are talents not wasted on him.
Yenjamin is another artist who came underspotlight after participating in ‘High School Rapper’ season 1 and 2 in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He also participated in ‘Show Me The Money 9’ with members from his crew KIFF Clan. Yenjamin has been constantly praised by artists like Giriboy, San E and Cheetah for his skills.
Yenjamin is signed with Brand New Music, who also house names like AB6IX and Bumkey. His skills mainly lie in rapping; however, don’t let this stop him from venturing out into other areas. Yenjamin is a highly skilled artist with a bright future ahead of himself.
Maddox is a solo singer and composer under KQ Entertainment. Maddox chose his stage name in order to remember his roots in the UK while producing music in South Korea. His agency also houses big name kpop group Ateez, who Maddox has also produced songs for previously. In the KPOP community he is most well known for his narration of Ateez’s ‘Long Journey’; however, when listening to K R&B, his voice stands out as he is able to sing high-notes with ease. Maddox is a soft and gentle person who has an amazing vocal range and talent when it comes to music.
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Mcaisse77. (2020, July 15). PLT Members Profile (Updated!). Retrieved from https://kprofiles.com/plt-members-profile/
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마독스. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://kqent.com/producer/1660