With 2021 already here, the excitement for new music and rookie comebacks has never been more intense. One thing’s for sure though, the extremely long list of K-pop idol debuts over the last year definitely makes it tough to keep up. That's why the music experts at Kmall24 have compiled a list of some of the top rookies you should keep an eye out for during the new year.
Formed through a reality show in 2019, this group from YG Entertainment took over the charts, selling over 700,000 copies of their single album within three months of their debut. Their pop-infused, light hip-hop sound has proven popular, receiving over 60 million views from their “Boy” music video. The group has become the fastest to chart on Billboard’s Social 50, and have gone on to win multiple awards including “Rookie Artist of the Year” at the 35th Golden Disc awards, and both “Best New Male Artist” and “Worldwide Fans’ Choice” at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Treasure is bringing that same energy to 2021, starting the new year with their first full-length album, “The First Step: Treasure Effect,” which hit stores on January 11th.
This nine-member group was created by Starship Entertainment and after their debut, were quickly dubbed “Super Rookies'' after becoming the first rookie group of 2020 to hit the Billboard K-pop Hot 100. They later swept up numerous awards including “New Artist of the Year” at the 12th Melon Music Awards, “Best of Next'' at the Mnet Music Awards, and the “Rookie Award” during the 4th Soribada Awards. Cravity’s music takes a more dual concept approach with title tracks having a hard-hitting dance-pop style and follow-up singles taking on a lighter boy group sound. Their new album, “Season 3. Hideout: Be Our Voice,” hit stores on January 19th, so if you haven’t already, make sure to grab your own copy.
Another reality show sensation, Enhypen was put together as part of a joint venture by CJ ENM and Big Hit Entertainment. This seven-member boy group is a result of the fierce survival reality show “I-Land,” where a combination of expert judges and audience votes helped to decide the members. They went on to surpass all expectations, receiving over 150,000 album pre-orders in just two days and ultimately selling a total of 318,528 copies of their debut album on the first day of its release. There’s no official news about upcoming music, but we’re buzzing with excitement to see what’s next from Enhypen.
WEi, was formed by Oui Entertainment—a relative newcomer to the Kpop entertainment game. The group is made up of six members that have all taken part in (and in some cases won) a long list of popular reality survival shows including, "Produce 101," "Produce X 101," and "Under Nineteen." Despite coming from a smaller entertainment company they have managed to gain quite the following through previous activities, and many are already labeling them a potential supergroup. Their music has a groovy pop sound that will surely grow and develop in upcoming releases.
This five-member boy group came seemingly out of left-field but simultaneously managed to leave a huge impact with their debut single, “Ice Age.” MCND is a five-member group with a fun hip-hop sound formed by TOP Media. Their debut music video reached over 24 million views, leaving many looking forward to what the group is going to come out with next, and so far, they still haven’t managed to disappoint. MCND started the new year off with a bang, releasing their comeback album “MCND AGE” on January 8th, 2021.
Drippin is a seven-member group formed by Woollim Entertainment, the company behind the hit group Infinite. Six of the seven members of Drippin participated in the hit reality show Produce X 101 and have amassed a following thanks to the show. Their debut song “Nostalgia” combines a flurry of distorted electronic sounds, which leads into a sprightly verse, followed by a trap-rap style breakdown. However, where Drippin truly shines is in their performances, as the group continues the staple “knife-like choreography,” otherwise known as extremely in-sync choreography, that previous Woollim Entertainment artists have been known for.
Last but not least, the seven-member girl group Weeekly from Play M Entertainment—the same company behind the much-loved group Apink. Three of the six members in the final group participated in the survival reality show “Mixed Nine.” Their debut music video for “Tag Me'' managed to reach over 10 million views within the first seven days, while their first release sold over 10,000 copies in the first eight. They have already been awarded “Female Rookie of the Year” by the Korean Consumer Forum after polling over 550,000 Koreans, so we can’t wait to see what else is in store for the group in 2021.