As the popularity of K-pop keeps increasing worldwide, the South Korean entertainment companies have also started to create more K-pop groups in the recent years. From FIFTY FIFTY to RIIZE, 2022 and 2023 are the years where plenty of record-breaking K-pop groups have debuted. Here is a list of the top 10 rookie K-pop groups that have debuted in 2022-23.
1. Fifty Fifty
FIFTY FIFTY is a K-pop girl group under ATTRAKT. They debuted on November 18, 2022, with the mini album "THE FIFTY". The group has four members: Saena (leader, main dancer, and sub-rapper), Keena (main rapper and sub-vocalist), Sio (main vocalist and lead dancer), and Aran (lead vocalist, lead rapper, and maknae [the youngest]). FIFTY FIFTY reached the peak of their success with their TikTok-viral single "Cupid". The song ruled the internet after its release in February 2023 and entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making FIFTY FIFTY the fastest Korean musical act to enter the chart after its debut.
NewJeans debuted on July 22, 2022, under ADOR, a label under HYBE LABELS. They released their debut single "Attention" followed by the debut EP "New Jeans," which was released on August 1, 2022. The five members of the group are Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein. The members do not have any official positions. In January 2023, NewJeans released their first single album "OMG", accompanied by two singles, "Ditto" and "OMG". "Ditto" gained huge popularity, giving the group their first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. NewJeans were featured in Time's "Next Generation Leaders" listicle.
3. Le Sserafim
LE SSERAFIM debuted under Source Music on May 2, 2022. The group name is an anagram of the phrase "I'm Fearless." The group members are Kim Chaewon (leader, vocalist, and dancer), Sakura (vocalist, rapper, and dancer), Huh Yunjin (vocalist and rapper), Kazuha (rapper, dancer, and sub-vocalist), and Hong Eunchae (vocalist, lead dancer, and maknae). LE SSERAFIM originally debuted as a six-member group, but Kim Garam left the group on July 20, 2022. The group's second EP, "ANTIFRAGILE" reached number 14 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the fastest K-pop girl group to debut on the chart.
ZEROBASEONE, simply known as ZB1, is a project boy group formed through MNET's survival show, "BOYS PLANET." They debuted on July 10, 2023, with the mini album "YOUTH IN THE SHADE" under WAKEONE Entertainment. The group consists of nine members: Sung Hanbin (leader and visual), Kim Jiwoong (visual), Zhang Hao (main vocalist and center of the group), Seok Matthew, Kim Taerae (main vocalist), Ricky, Gyuvin (visual), Park Gunwook, and Han Yujin (visual and maknae). ZB1's debut album had 1.08 million pre-orders and has sold more than 2 million copies so far. They are coming back with their second mini album "MELTING POINT" on November 6.
Xikers is only the second boy group debuting under KQ Entertainment after the worldwide popular group, ATEEZ. They released a pre-debut song "Geek" on September 17, 2022, and debuted on March 30, 2023, with a mini album named "HOUSE OF TRICKY: Doorbell Ringing." Xikers consists of ten members: Minjae (leader, main rapper, main dancer, vocalist, and composer), Junmin (main dancer, lead vocalist, and visual), Sumin (main rapper), Jinsik (main vocalist and visual), Hyunwoo (main vocalist), Junghoon (lead vocalist), Seeun (vocalist, visual, and sub-rapper), Yujun (vocalist and visual), Hunter (main dancer and vocalist), and Yechan (main rapper, main dancer, vocalist, and maknae). In the first week of its release, their debut album sold over 100k copies making it the 5th highest 1st week sales figure for a debut album in the Hanteo chart.
NMIXX made their debut on February 22, 2022, with the single album named "AD MARE." They are signed under SQU4D, a sub-label of JYP Entertainment. The group consists of six members: Haewon (leader and main vocalist), Lily (main vocalist), Sullyoon (vocalist and dancer), Bae (vocalist and dancer), Jiwoo (main rapper, vocalist, and dancer), and Kyujin (main dancer, rapper, vocalist, and maknae). Originally a seven-member group, Jinni left the group on December 9, 2022, for personal reasons. The "Blind Package" version of "AD MARE" sold over 40k copies in its pre-order.
Kep1er (pronounced as "Kepler") is a nine-member project girl group managed by WAKEONE and SWING Entertainment. They were formed through MNET's survival show "Girls Planet 999." Kep1er debuted with their mini album "FIRST IMPACT" on January 3, 2022. The members are Yujin (leader), Xiaoting, Mashiro (co-leader), Chaehyun, Dayeon, Hikaru, Huening Bahiyyih, Youngeun, and Yeseo (maknae). The other members do not have any official position. Recently on September 25, Kep1er came back with their new EP "Magic Hour." The title track of the album is "Galileo."
BOYNEXTDOOR debuted on May 30, 2023, with the single album "WHO!". They are signed under KOZ Entertainment. BOYNEXTDOOR consists of six members: Jaehyun (leader), Sungho, Riwoo, Taesan, Leehan, and Woonhak (maknae). The group's 1st EP "WHY.." debuted at no.1 on South Korea's Hanteo chart. They have won the "K Global Super Rookie Award" at the K Global Heart Dream awards.
RIIZE is SM Entertainment's newest boy group. They debuted on September 4, 2023, with their single album "Get A Guitar." There are seven members in the group: Shotaro, Eunseok (visual), Sungchan, Wonbin (center of the group), Seunghan, Sohee, and Anton (maknae). RIIZE released their pre-debut single "Memories" on August 21. The group has won the "Next Leader Award" at The Fact Music Awards this year. In just a month and a few days, RIIZE has already gained more than 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
10. The New Six
The New Six (TNX) is another K-pop group that was formed through a survival show (SBS' "LOUD"). They debuted under South Korea's veteran musical artist, PSY's own entertainment company, P Nation, on May 17, 2022, with the mini album "WAY UP." Taehun (leader), Kyungjun, Hyunsoo, Junhyeok, Hwi, and Sungjun (maknae) are the six members of the group. The group originally debuted as "TNX," but later they rebranded to "The New Six." The New Six became the first rookie boy group of 2022 to reach 300k monthly listeners on Spotify.