Just because it’s no longer International Women’s Month doesn’t mean I’m done celebrating these women. Girl groups and soloists have really been killing the K-pop scene these past few years. Before, only a few girl groups got the International Artist, God-Level love and attention. But now? Now, it’s feeling like they’ll soon outpace the boys. And I’m here for all of it.
As always, this playlist will be a mix of songs you probably know and some songs you might have missed.
Mamamoo — Hip
Why did I start this list with “Hip”? “Hip” addresses so much, not just for the group but for women everywhere. Throughout the video, we see the ladies of Mamamoo in numerous positions. Not just a housewife and princess, but as dancers, rock stars, an artist and a president. Hate and judge us however you want, but women can be whatever we want. And we’re going to do whatever we want.
f(x) — Red Light
OMG EVERYONE LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL I LOVED THIS COMEBACK!! KRYSTAL‘S EYEPATCH!! VICTORIA‘S EXISTENCE!!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can go back to being professional.
I’ve seen a few groups attempt songs this bombastic, but none quite hit the mark. There is so much in the production of this song. However, the ladies of f(x) are what make this great. “Red Light” has this grit and fierceness that it had to replicate. You also never lose track of just how great their voices are, especially around the 2:45 minute mark. Everyone has a moment to shine and be fabulous. It’s been nearly six years and the last minute of this song still gives me chills.
Sunmi (feat. Yubin) — Who Am I?
We don’t talk about this album enough. Sunmi is an incredibly well-rounded artist. It shows with her every evolution. She’s so effortlessly smooth and sultry here. You can feel her years of experience. Combine that with her former Wonder Girls teammate Yubin, and you have a song that’s pure Grown Woman Swag.
Lim Kim — Awoo
Lim Kim is an artist that constantly shocks me with her evolution. Her music before this fell more within the soft indie-pop range. Now she’s delving more into hip hop. Much like “Red Light,” its heavy electronica helps to showcase her unique voice and style. This song is coy, arrogant and fun all without one weighing down the other. A different type of song by a different type of artist.
Lee Hyo-Ri — U-Go-Girl
“It’s the princess, Lee Hyo-Ri!” I could honestly end the section with that. But as I’m a professional, I’ll go a little further.
Debuting with the first-generation girl group, Fin.K.L., Hyori eventually went solo and crushed the Korean pop charts. She’s also one of the first artists to do sexy comebacks and one of the Great Unnies of K-pop. Lee Hyo-Ri has never been one to play with.
Ga-In — Carnival
I struggled with what the last song on this playlist should be. But at the end of the day, I had to give it to my beloved Ga-In. By this point, you can probably guess what songs I’m drawn toward. Big, grandiose songs that aren’t heavy, are cleverly layered, etc.
Still, of all Ga-In hits, I gave this spot to “Carnival” rather than “Paradise Lost” or “Bloom.” This song surprises me because of how much it affects me. It somehow fills me with hope and wonder and just makes me feel glad to be alive.
There are so many women who I love, I could make this playlist a series. These lists help me slow down and really think about why certain songs or certain artists are important to me. These ladies just make me feel powerful. From “Hip” to “Carnival,” they all give me this feeling that I am unstoppable and fierce. It’s like having my own hype-women cheering me on to take on the world. I hope they do the same for you.