I wanted to start a quick little playlist series after posting my story on 8 Underrated Korean R&B Releases of 2017 (Part 1) for Rolling Stone India. Making that list was incredibly tough because I had to cut numerous artists and it hurt.
While that series will continue with Rolling Stone, this one features what I’m listening to currently— Something quick and short which will help share some (hopefully) really good music! Also please do comment and let me know if there’s any artist you would like to recommend. God knows I love discovering new music.
1. Rico “Don’t Talk to Me” Feat. Bloo
Now I know and adore Bloo, but I just discovered Rico today and I don’t know how I spent my entire life without this man’s music. It’s slow, sultry and (bonus!) the visuals are to die for.
2. Bloo “Hennessy”
Yeah I’m going to go ahead and add Bloo here because honestly he blends his ‘i don’t give a fuck’ attitude with some seriously intense bass and the result is #BadBoyPerfection.
3. pH-1 “Donut” feat. Jay Park
I feel like Highr Music and Jay Park have been spoiling us silly this entire year and “Donut” is no exception. It’s quirky, fun and gives us such a good introduction to pH-1.
4. DPR LIVE “Jasmine” prod. CODE KUNST
Am I in love with Code Kunst? Probably. His production on this is delicate, melancholic and intimate, introducing a side of DPR Live we haven’t seen before. The music video is equally stunning and these artists come together is a recipe for visual and auditory overload in the best way.
5. Samuel Seo “Window”
I don’t understand why more people haven’t heard of Samuel Seo; he’s incredibly talented and has a knack for blending together unusual genres. “Window” is a groovy, downtempo number that features him singing and rapping. The music video is elegant, dark and full of symbolism.
6. Ku One Chan “Planet”
Everything about “Planet” is so simple and yet so devastating. Ku One Chan’s vocals are soft with a very pretty falsetto and the music itself is on the alt R&B side. I highly recommend checking out his entire solo EP Repetition, you won’t be able to get him out of your head.
7. OFFONOFF “Dance”
“Dance” is my favourite OFFONOFF track; it’s equal parts groovy and filled with longing, the guitar is intricate, the bass is subtle but sexy and Colde’s vocals absolutely shine on this.
8. One “Heyahe”
One’s debut was more contemporary art than the explosive hip-hop I was expecting from a YG rapper, and man does it work well. I love the slightly nasal intonation in his voice and how he makes a smooth transition into vocals. My favourite thing about the track is the chorus– the background effects and ad-lib are incredibly well-produced.
9. Seventeen “Change Up”
I loved this bold leap into soul and R&B from Seventeen’s leaders. The horns are of course are the key to the track’s appeal but this era is also seeing Pledis up the visual game. “Change Up” is as much a visual treat as it is an auditory one.
10. Miso “Take Me”
Miso is one of my favourite artists in the Korean underground scene and it’s incredible to watch her rise day by day. “Take Me” is a brilliant display of her soothing aesthetic and glimmering harmonies, as well as the power of her lyricism. It’s also in English which makes it easier for foreign listeners to take their first steps into K-R&B.