Article: Top 10 K-R&B Artists You Should Watch Out For

Korean music is significantly more diverse than uninformed people assume. People wrongfully tend to associate Korean music with flashy bubble-gum songs of K-Pop but in reality, Korean music, like any other field of music, contains multitudes. The subgenres included in Korean music range from rock, R&B, and hip-hop to ballads and indie music. Thanks to the backing of several prominent as well as independent labels, a new wave of Korean R&B singers has emerged. From chilling to their groovy tunes at home to singing them out loud on a road trip, Korean RnB can be appreciated by any music lover. Here are the top 10 artists who will get you hooked on K-R&B:

10. Yugyeom

Out of all the members, Got7’s Yugyeom has the most interesting trajectory. In 2021, Yugyeom made his debut as an R&B solo artist under the label AOMG. His debut album, “Point of View: U,” surprised a lot of people as they primarily recognised him for his dance skills. The critically well-received album featured many famous names in hip-hop and R&B, many of whom are his labelmates. Yugyeom’s thin, high-pitched voice can be an acquired taste, but he has learnt to suit it to this style of music. It’s an indication of his growth as an artist.


9. Sumin

Sumin has truly earned her reputation as a multi-talented woman. From singing to song-writing to producing, she can do it all. Sumin made her debut in 2015 with her song “Goosebumps,” and has since gone on to work with some of the most prominent artists in the industry-IU, BTS, Red Velvet, Chung Ha, and Woodz. Her sound has been dubbed “Neo K-Pop.” However, Sumin refuses to be restricted to RnB and draws her inspiration from multiple genres.


8. Woodz

Cho Seung Youn, professionally known as Woodz, gravitates towards hip-hop and R&B. Woodz insists on writing and producing his own songs. Since he went solo, he has consistently put out good music and has worked on diverse concepts, ranging from bright and colourful to dark. The themes of love, heartbreak, and mental health issues feature prominently in his work. His journey and growth as a musician have resonated with many people.


7. Zion. T

Zion. T is easily identifiable with his signature sunglasses. The hip-hop and R&B artist is signed to The Black Label, a subsidiary of YG Entertainment. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, and has two extended plays and one acclaimed studio album, “Red Light.” Zion. T is known for his unique killer voice and has worked with top artists like IU, Zico, and G-Dragon. His collaboration with Crush on “Just” won the Best Collaboration at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards.


6. Jay Park

Anyone familiar with Korean music has undoubtedly heard of Jay Park. This multi-talented artist has dabbled in singing, dancing, song-writing, and record producing. After his split from his group 2PM, Jay Park went solo as a hip-hop and R&B artist. He is one of the most influential figures in the Korean music scene and is known for pushing boundaries. His explicit lyrics and western influence have garnered criticism, but his songs were commercially successful, topping all major charts and selling thousands of copies. Jay Park has been lauded for his charisma and incredible stage presence. Frustrated with most K-Pop companies, he sought more creative control and established the labels AOMG and H1GHR MUSIC, both of which have impressive rosters.


5. Junny

Junny is a versatile singer, song-writer, and composer who has been credited with some of K-Pop’s biggest hits. He is particularly close to and a frequent collaborator with Got7’s JayB. Two of them worked on two of JayB’s tracks, “Nostalgia” and “Fame.” Junny has also worked with EXO’s Kai, Suho, Baekhyun, NCT U, WayV, and IU. Like Sumin, Junny doesn’t restrict himself to genres and experiments freely.


4. Heize

R&B star Heize came under the limelight for the first time on “Unpretty Rap Star,” a reality show that featured female rappers. That was in 2015. Since then, Heize has released seven extended plays, two studio albums, and multiple singles. She is signed to PSY’s label, P Nation, and has worked with BTS’s Suga, Girlboy, Simon Dominic, et al. Billboard has called her “one of the most colourful and exciting artists of her generation.” Heize has lent her beautiful voice to the soundtracks of popular Kdramas like “Goblin,” “Prison Playbook,” and “Hotel Del Luna.”


3. Devita

AOMG’s ace Devita is one of the best emerging artists in recent years. Like a siren, her rich, sultry voice hooks anyone who hears it. The Korean-American singer releases music both in English and Korean. She has regularly collaborated with her AOMG labelmates Jay Park, Gray, and Yugyeom.


2. Dean

Known for his velvety voice and chic visuals, Dean is one of the most distinguished R&B artists in Korean music. He is referred to as the “R&B Prince of Asia.” A prolific writer, he has penned songs for the superstar Justin Bieber and the beloved K-Pop group EXO. He has also collaborated with the Grammy-winning singer, Eric Bellinger, and worked with prominent K-R&B artists like Crush and Heize.


1. Crush

Crush’s mellow voice is well known to Kdrama addicts. He has appeared on the soundtracks of Kdramas like “Goblin” and “Crash Landing on You.” His first album, “Crush on You,” won the Best R&B & Soul Album at the 12th Korean Music Awards. He has collaborated with Girls' Generation's Taeyeon, Dean, Zico, and Red Velvet’s Joy. Besides his soft and smooth voice, Crush is also adored for his amazing personality. The singer is currently signed with P Nation.