4 More K-Pop Groups You Need To Know NOW

Just as we predicted, K-pop is a global phenomenon that has continued to skyrocket in popularity over the past few years. Since we last introduced you to Big Bang, 2ne1, Girls' Generation, and SHINee, these groups have have toured all over the world, collaborated with the likes of Missy Elliott, The Black Eyed Peas, and Snoop Dogg, and can count megastars Lady Gaga, Pharrell, and Kanye West as some of their biggest fans. Not too shabby if you ask us.
Now, we’ve got the lowdown on four more acts you’re sure to become obsessed with. What’s special about these groups isn’t just their killer style or killer beats. Most of them also have a roster of multicultural members, a testament to the truly global nature of K-pop and how it connects people across countries, cultures, and languages. Behold: B.A.P, EXO, f(x), and Miss A are about to shake up your playlist (and your wardrobe) in a serious way.
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Photo: Courtesy of B.A.P.
B.A.P
B.A.P exudes confidence — not surprising since its name stands for Best Absolute Perfect. Consisting of members Yong Guk, Himchan, Daehyun, Young Jae, Jong Up, and Zelo, this group champions a straight-up toughness you rarely see in pop, and the music is a far cry from the sugar-coated crooning the word “boy band” traditionally brings to mind. The influence of U.S. hip-hop combined with the traditional pop-song format makes for a unique listening experience: Each B.A.P tune features a relentless beat and a powerful, almost aggressive, style of singing that will always get your heart racing. In particular, the deep, gravely voice of rapper Zelo is a unique and outstanding feature of the group, not to mention the boys’ razor-sharp dance moves are easily the most impressive in the biz.

Stylistically, it’s no surprise that B.A.P favors head-to-toe black, lots of leather, bicep-bearing tanks, and metallic accents in the form of heavy statement earrings, thick necklaces, and studs galore — perfect for all of those moody, slow walks toward the camera in the music videos. Speaking of which, start your new B.A.P obsession by checking out the intense, action-flick-like video for the rap-heavy song “One Shot,” followed by the weighty debut single “Warrior,” or “Coffee Shop” for something slower and more R&B inspired.
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Studded Leather Top
This leather KTZ top channels B.A.P’s bad-boy image as well as its love for leather and metallic accents. We love that the boxy cut is boyish but still sexy, and you can’t go wrong with built-in jewelry.
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Simple Black Jeans
The boys of B.A.P always keeps their bottoms simple with sleek black pants in leather or denim. To emulate their style, we suggest a basic black skinny jean for its unparalleled versatility and the fact that the pant’s clean lines provide a blank canvas for any kind of K-pop style accessorizing you might want to do.
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Statement Jacket
B.A.P is all about the perfect tough-guy coat, which is always black and usually made of leather. For our interpretation, however, we think the rich weight of this wool-crepe Valentina Shah coat channels the boys’ gravitas, while the leather, armor-like shoulders keep things squarely in the badass category.
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Photo: Courtesy Of EXO.
EXO
Although there are already several K-pop acts that sing in both Korean and Chinese, EXO is truly unique in that the group actually consists of two separate units — Exo-K, who performs in Korean, and Exo-M, who performs in Mandarin. Although this brings the member count to a whopping 12 (Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun in Exo-K; Xiumin, Luhan, Kris, Lay, Chen, and Tao in Exo-M), it’s hard to complain about having twice the hot Chinese, Korean, and Korean-American dudes to fawn over. Oh, and perhaps we should mention the group has its very own “legend,” about how each member is a force that nurtures the tree of life, but evil split the tree into two, which is why there are two different EXOs. And, apparently each member has his own legendary power, including telepathy, healing, and frost. Do with that information what you will.

Legends aside, EXO is, in a word, smooth. Its image is rather simple and largely consists of either sharp suits or ripped jeans and a statement jacket. Musically, the group combines the laid-back beats and velvet vocals of R&B with the catchy hooks and simple, straight-forward format of pop songs. Throw in some flawless dance moves, and it’s no wonder the group has won over 40 awards since its debut two years ago. Start with the dramatic debut single “Mama” (complete with monastic chanting), then check out “Growl” if you’re looking for an infectious beat to get you dancing ASAP.
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Schoolboy Blazer
To emulate EXO’s classic schoolboy style, the right jacket is an absolute must. We love the simple silhouette of this Burberry Brit cotton blazer. The epaulettes at the shoulders and zippers at the cuff give this piece the kind of unexpected, trendy twist that so defines K-pop fashion.
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Distressed Jeans
When they’re not dressing like the clean-cut kind of boy you’d want to bring home to mama, the guys of EXO love an artfully distressed pant to wear with a bicep-bearing tank. We love the relaxed boyish fit of these Loft jeans, but also how the cropped leg keeps things from feeling too masculine.
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Graphic Tee
Top off your EXO-inspired outfit with a simple graphic tee. We love that the sketch-like quality of this Tory Burch print gives off an almost brushed-metal feel, perfect for that charmingly boyish edge that so defines this group.
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Photo: Courtesy of f(x).
f(x)
With its catchy choruses, infectious melodies, and quirky dance moves, f(x) is a group that will always keep you guessing. Consisting of five ethnically diverse members — Luna and Sulli are South Korean, Krystal is Korean-American, Victoria is Chinese, and Amber is Taiwanese-American — its relentlessly fun music combined with the ladies’ truly eclectic sense of style has been lighting the K-pop world on fire for the past five years. Indeed, its most recent album, Pink Tape, was one of the most popular releases in 2013, and f(x) was also the first K-pop group to ever perform at the South By Southwest festival in the U.S. The secret to its success? Hypnotic, throbbing beats with a distinctly techno edge and simple hooks you’ll sing for days. Coupled with the badass confidence they exude, it’s no wonder these girls are always in the spotlight.

F(x)’s style is undeniably bold, as the group masterfully blends an eye-popping range of patterns, colors, accessories all at once. We particularly love that member Amber eschews skirts and heels completely and champions a distinctly masculine look, a profoundly important step toward shaking up old notions of identity in an industry that has long promoted an incredibly narrow and unmoving standard of beauty. As for the tunes, its hypnotic smash-hit “Pinocchio (Danger)” is definitely the first song you need to hear — just be prepared to be going “dda dda dda” for the rest of the afternoon. We’re also obsessed with last year’s sexy, seductive hit “Rum Pum Pum Pum,” and the relentless drive of “Nu ABO” is the perfect pump-up song before you hit the club.
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Sports Jersey
One thing we love about ladies of f(x) is how they’re always incorporating a little sporty-chic into their style. Whether it’s a jersey, varsity jacket, legging, or baseball hat, the laid-back look is always refreshing to see in a sea of girl groups who rely on a more traditionally feminine image.
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Quirky Pieces
F(x) is no stranger to experimentation — these ladies combine colors and layer patterns on patterns like nobody’s business. We think these perky melon shorts are right in line with the group’s quirky style. They never take themselves too seriously.
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Amped-Up Footwear
True to its eclectic nature, f(x) is always rocking some kind of crazy-cool footwear. Although the girls sometimes go for a sexy pair of heels, more often than not they’re rocking Doc Martens, neon-bright sneakers, or badass boots. Here, we’re paying homage to our girl Amber with a pair of seriously sweet kicks for the most daring of style stars.
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Photo: Courtesy of Miss A.
Miss A
Miss A has been a consistent presence in the K-pop world since its hit debut single, “Bad Girl Good Girl” in 2011. The four-member group, consisting of Chinese singers Fei and Jia and Korean singers Min and Suzy, have been promoting in both Korea and China from the very beginning to great success. Besides topping the charts in both countries with each single it’s released and bringing home a slew of victories on Korea’s hottest music shows, Miss A has brought its classic style and unique message of self-empowerment to venues all over the world. The songs always contain a driving beat and lilting, bouncing melodies all designed to get you dancing. And, although the group sometimes infuses some subtle hip-hop elements, Miss A doesn’t have a designated rapper like most other groups and instead focuses on its own powerful-pop sound.

Miss A excels in the style department, and its go-to look is definitely ultra sexy. All four girls have legs for days, and they’re not afraid to show them off in thigh-highs, miniskirts, and short-shorts. The group also favors midriff-baring crop tops, and each look is always topped off with a pair of sky-high heels. But, while the group projects a very feminine image, don’t think these ladies only do lovey-dovey songs. Miss A is all about girl power, frequently singing about dressing for themselves, the importance of being an independent woman, and how they ain’t got time for any BS from a boy — themes we could certainly hear more of in pop music. Must-listen tracks include anthems “Bad Girl, Good Girl” and “I Don’t Need A Man,” and the latest single “Hush” will definitely play over and over in your head with its seductive, smooth vocals.
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Crop Top
Miss A is all about the midriff, so a sexy crop top is a must. Since the group tends to lean more toward a traditionally feminine style, this silky cream Carven top with beaded black waist puts an elegant, classy spin on an otherwise casual piece of clothing.
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Flirty Skirt
It’s not easy to pull off both a crop top and a high-waisted skirt, but Miss A is always up for the challenge. The flirty scalloped hem on this miniskirt channels the group’s signature sexy style, and we love that it’s versatile enough to be dressed up or down.
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Thigh-High-Inspired Tights
When you have long limbs like the members of Miss A, why not show them off with some simple black thigh-highs? If you’re not ready to adopt such a daring style (and let’s face it, most of us can’t show up to work showing that much skin), the next best thing are these super-cute, mock-garter tights that will keep you covered but still make you feel subtly risqué.