As a wise woman once said, “Who run the world? Girls!” This International Womens’ Day, we celebrate being female by appreciating these wonderful women of K-pop.
Choosing specifically from soloists, this list features some of K-pop’s most talented gals if you haven’t already checked out their music yet. Ranging from dance pop to R&B to power ballads; there is nothing these ladies can’t do.
It’s impossible to have not heard of Sunmi if you are familiar with the K-pop scene. From making her debut with Wonder Girls to her brief dabbling with solo work before returning to the band scene once again; everyone has been seduced by this temptress at least once. After the disbandment of Wonder Girls, she rocketed onto the scene with her hit song, “Gashina” which took South Korea by storm. From it’s trademark gun dance move to its natural addictive nature; the song defined most of 2017 for many. Now out with her latest single, “Noir”, Sunmi tackles on the dark side of social media and the glamorisation of mental illnesses.
K-pop’s sweetheart, IU, has been a name that’s no stranger on the charts for more than a decade. However it’s in her years of experience that makes her such a veteran, with the amount of concepts and genres she’s experimented with. A particular highlight in her discography that is always worth mentioning is none other than the jazz album, “Modern Times”, which featured a big musical-esque number “The Red Shoes” as the title track. The music video is embellished with Gatsby like designs, adding to the atmosphere. With collaborations from various other artists such as G-Ain from Brown Eyed Girls and the late Jonghyun from SHINee, the album seems to have aged wonderfully with time. Recently however, IU goes for a more bubbly image (evident from her latest single, “BIBIBI”) She throws shade at the haters for spreading pointless rumours about her, in a playful yet sassy way; there’s no denying how cheeky the fox-like IU can be.
3. Chung Ha
2019 sure seems like Chung Ha’s year. With a new song out in January, the soloist has finally secured her first few wins at music shows! The winner of Produce 101’s first season and ex member of girl group I.O.I., Chung Ha chose to be a soloist instead of joining a girl group like some of her ex members.
Clearly a wise decision, the fruits of her efforts are finally ripe! From slowly building hype to rising to the top, it was “Gotta Go” that caught everyone’s attention this year. From the sultry choreo to the interesting take of the lyrics, it’s a song that gets you from the start. Chung Ha may have sold us from her iconic freestyle dancing video on Produce 101, but often we forget that it’s in her equally powerful vocals that makes her such a force to be reckoned with.
A classic for any lists involving female soloists, it’s impossible to not mention the vocal powerhouse herself; Taeyeon. From singing alongside her members in Girls Generation to belting vocals all by herself, Taeyeon has always been a staple to the essentials of Kpop. With a voice that powerful, she has always sailed to the top with her various comebacks. Perhaps the most iconic one would be the refreshingly simple, “I”, that was the calming anthem of 2015. Shot in New Zealand, the music video makes us want to just drop everything we’re doing and run off, much like Taeyeon did in the video, though perhaps we wouldn’t casually have a fancy car ready to drive off from our part time job.
Often times in history, it isn’t about who does it first–but rather who did it best. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be too preposterous to call HyunA a pioneer of her time, as she paved the way with high heels and even shorter shorts. Unapologetically sexy and controversial, HyunA has always been a shocker. With her iconic rapping style and scandalous dance moves, she slowly broke free of her girl-next-door image with “Bubblepop!” to just amping the sex appeal up comeback after comeback. “Roll Deep” is arguably one that says it best; complete with back-up dancers in leather and on leashes, twerking, and not to mention the legendary bra and jeans combo.
Despite all the skin exposure, HyunA makes it very clear that this is no invitation for anything. “You can’t touch me, don’t touch me,” she sings on the track. Serving empowerment in showing skin, HyunA embodies confidence and celebrates being sexy for no one else but herself.
Winding it down to the R&B path, Heize has always been looming on the horizons of the genre. With her haunting vocals and gloomy atmosphere, she has always felt like a pixie, ghosting us with her charm. The melancholy in her tracks take you into a different time, one that most of us would try to forget. This is perhaps best said in her track, “First Sight”, which catches you off-guard from the start. The crimson shades of the music video sets a romantic mood for the unlikely love song, but it strings up all the right heartstrings.
From belting along with her members in the vocally powerful Mamamoo, Hwasa has finally gotten a solo song! Showing her charismatic and sexy appeal, “TWIT” does all of that and more. With gorgeous visuals, iconic outfits and a catchy sing-along chorus; the music video quickly shot up to the millions upon its release.
Hwasa has always wanted to dabble with sexier, raunchier outfits (evident from her MAMA performance where she wore a red, latex bodysuit) to embrace her gorgeous body. Being one of the few curvier girls in K-pop, we have all been all over her (and her amazing thighs!) from the very start.
8. Park Jimin
A name that often is met with confusion (sorry ARMYs, it’s not what you think it is), Park Jimin has been a slow burning yet strong flame. The winner of K-pop Star, with a viral video of her at 15 singing Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, Jimin (or Jaime) is more often known for her position as Arirang’s “After School Club” ’s host. Being a woman of many talents; her sharp tongue and quick wit isn’t all that is impressive about her. Shifting to R&B from her previous pop sound, Jimin utilises her sexy crooning on the seductive “April Fools”–her latest release. With rather dark and slightly suggestive imagery in the music video, it’s evident that she is reinventing her image into the charismatic soloist she is.
The sexy starlet of ex group SISTAR, Hyolyn, has always established a name for herself with her killer vocals. However it was when she dropped “DALLY” last year that we all truly lost our minds. Possibly her most notable single as a soloist, the track was easily a summer staple. The smooth and chill nature of the song paired with a seductive choreo was what made it an absolute must watch (even more so with Hyolyn in a red bodysuit and doing a full number in knee high boots!) With her gorgeous chocolate complexion and natural confidence in rocking whatever she has on— we can’t seem to take our eyes off her.
A huge thank you for these wonder women whose hard work are evident in their legacy and will continue to be bops for years to come. For now, we can’t wait to see what more they have in store for us this year ;)
Article by Leyasheena Panicker.