Just when you were feeling relaxed and well rested, another weekend has come and gone and it’s time to go back to the daily grind. A good morning run and a healthy breakfast can help pump you up, but a solid playlist can also jump start the busy week ahead.
K-pop has become an umbrella term for most of Korean music, from hip-hop to R&B, but what made it the international sensation that it is today is it’s generally catchy and upbeat sound. Since the late 1990s, Hallyu or the Korean wave has been dishing out a vibrant fusion of pop, rock, and electronic music that’s perfect for boosting your spirits.
We picked 7 K-pop songs that will help you kick off a kickass week at school, at work, or anywhere you need a good pick-me-up.
1. PICK ME – PRODUCE 101/IOI
What better song to pick you up (sorry, not sorry) for the week than one of the best bops of the last five years? A product of an idol group reality show and originally sang by 101 idol aspirants, Pick Me is arguably Korea’s song of 2016, having been featured in several commercial films, television shows, and yes—in the national elections.
Its easy sing-along chorus and addictive drop, matched with the iconic dance that even Gong Yoo from Goblin knows, makes you ready to be in the center of things and inspires you to volunteer for that extra credit or the next office project.
And if you can’t get enough of this Produce 101 gem, you can check out its male counterpart from Season 2.
2. VERY NICE – SEVENTEEN
Remember that time when your high school crush smiled at you and your heart almost jumped out of your chest? Seventeen perfectly captures that sensation in their single Very Nice from the repackaged version of their first full studio album “Love & Letter.”
The song and its lively and complex choreography did not just bring suspenders back to fashion but also inspired a lot dance covers from Korean and international fans. If you have time, make sure to watch live performances where there’s a 100% chance it will make you sing “Aju Nice!”
3. YES I AM – MAMAMOO
Mamamoo recently made a comeback to save summer with the single “Yes I Am” from their latest album “Purple.” The lively and colorful music video alone should hype you up for the week, but Mamamoo’s trademark mixture of excellent vocals and refreshing rap will surely get you up on your feet.
If you look for subtitles, the song also offers empowering lyrics such as “whenever I wear sleeveless shirts, it becomes summer,” “don’t be shy, you’re Vogue” and its chorus “If I were to describe myself, I’m a confident woman.” And if Mamamoo says it, you better believe it.
4. PLZ DON’T BE SAD – HIGHLIGHT
The title of the track, “Plz Don’t Be Sad” may sound silly, but the song is guaranteed to make you smile with that earworm of a hook and the adorable choreography of self-confessed ahjussis.
These “middle-aged men” are formerly known as Beast, one of the most awarded K-pop groups of all time that then disbanded in 2016 as the contracts of the idols with their agency expired. Thankfully, 5 out of 6 members decided to form their own entertainment company and start anew under the group name Highlight. And as if they never left, the group is back to the top of the charts with a song will surely keep a smile on your face.
5. BOOMBAYAH – BLACKPINK
Widely dubbed as monster rookies, Blackpink announced that they are “in your area” in their powerful debut song “Boombayah.” This song and Blackpink’s other debut track “Whistle” broke records by reaching the top spots in the iTunes worldwide chart a week upon release.
The song is a declaration of dominance and kicks off with the lyrics “when I kick open the door, they all look at me,” a perfect soundtrack to give you confidence in entering any place. When you get to the chorus, the shout of “Boombayah!” and that awesome drop should pump you enough for the rest of the week.
6. 365 FRESH – TRIPLE H
When do you have to feel fresh? Triple H says, “365 Fresh”. This debut song from Triple H, a project group by Cube Entertainment, is a rare co-ed collaboration and a refreshing break from all-male or female idol groups.
With Uptown Funk vibes matched with HyunA’s brand of rap and Pentagon’s E’Dawn and Hui’s vocals, the song definitely gives that liberating feeling that you can be fresh and do anything.
7. DOPE – BTS
Honestly, a kick-off-your-week playlist can be completed with just BTS songs, as most ARMYs would agree, but if the author had to choose one then “Dope” would be on the top of that list. While some K-pop songs would sometimes mix it up by having contrasting sound, lyrics, and music video, “Dope” is a great combination of all three.
So go on and load up your playlists with these awesome K-pop songs to start the week right.