Photo credits: M&N

[2023 Presents] by ripple

Time to say goodbye to 2023!?

In 2023, we’ve swum with joy among rapidly changing trends and waves of new music. Here are the main issues and albums of the year. Let’s take a look at the 11 keywords that swept our bodies and minds this year!

#WEB SERIES– From <Moving> to <Mask Girl> and <Taxi Driver 2>… Among the many beloved TV series in 2023, the web comics-based series stood out. Web comics and web novels are now attracting attention in the mainstream.

Many OSTs of the web series were loved this year, including <No Office Romance!> featuring Young K(Day 6) and TAEMIN, <Killer Peter> featuring BLASÉ and Moon Sujin. 
#4TH GENERATION– The new golden age of K-pop has come with the 4th generation idols! In 2023, there were many artists who announced their debut and teams that made their comeback after a long time.

From ROCKY‘s debut single ‘Lucky Rocky,’  DKB‘s ‘What The Hell,’ CRAXY‘s ‘NUGUDOM’ and JUST B‘s ‘MEDUSA’ to TRENDZ‘s ‘MY WAY,’ colorful music have filled the K-pop scene. Who was your favorite 4G idol?
#BOY’S LOVE-BL(Boy’s Love) genre isn’t subculture anymore!This year, there were quality OSTs for the ‘BL’ contents like web comics-based TV series <Unintentional Love Story> and the gay dating reality show <HisMan 2>. 

Especially, the OST of <Unintentional Love Story> was loved so much that it led to the release of the CD. It proved the power of BL content, expected to grow further with its flexible and open stories.
#ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACKS– As well as the Korean dramas, the OSTs are also loved. Do you remember the OSTs of TV series like <Doctor Cha>, <Sparking Watermelon>, <Bitch X Rich> and <Maestra>?

Especially <Doctor Cha>, aired worldwide on Netflix, taking first place on ‘TOP 10 TV Shows’ in Indonesia and Malaysia, was also loved by the soundtracks. Korea’s greatest vocalists Sondia, Jung Seung HwanRothy, Shinae An and PARK MIN HYE participated to make the drama fans to get more immersed in the story.
#MBTI– Have you ever heard of the meme, “Are you ‘T’?” MBTI was used on various K-pop songs this year.On Valentine’s Day, JUST B released ‘MBTI,’ a collaboration with AleXa. The sweet melody goes well with the witty lyrics – ‘We’re not ‘I’, ‘E’ but ‘W’, ‘E”.Seen Hyun Hee from SEENROOT also dropped a single called ‘I YA E YA (MBTI)’, a bubbly song about a girl who’s confused if she is ‘E’xtraverted or ‘I’ntroverted.
#SMUGGLERS– “The Korean movie with the richest soundtrack ever,” said Ryu, the director of <Smugglers>.

<Smugglers> ranked top 3 in the box office of Korean movies released in 2023. Chang Kiha, well known as a huge fan of the 70s music, has participated as a music director of <Smugglers> and won ‘Blue Dragon Film Awards’ for Best Music.
Oasis Records’ old songs ‘Love and Hate’, ‘Sending on the Night Train’, ‘Even If I Don’t Know Where You Are’ were in the list. 
#COVERS– There are songs that are loved even after a long time. Lim Hyun Jung’s ‘Falling in Love is like the Spring Rain, Parting is like the Winter Rain’, Zitten’s ‘White Night’ and Se7en’s ‘Come Back To Me’ are one of those. 

Shin Ji HoonMingginyu and Grizzly have covered the old songs in their own versions, making the orignal version shine again after 10 to 20 years. 
#ROCKSTARS– There were so many blasting rock music with fresh sounds! Rock never dies, and Grammy Awards highlighted Korean band music recently.

Here are the ‘rockstars’ that debuted or came back this year TOXICBluePaprikaCHASEDAEThe CrackerMoolWESTOF, …

Enjoy the hottest band music which takes away the coldness of winter!
#REELS AND SHORTS– I’m going to sleep after watching this. (Wasting my time for 57231 hours…) 

If you’re addicted to Reels or Shorts, you must have heard of these songs. Lee Daneung‘s ‘Especially For You’ was used in almost 2M reels and Summer Park‘s ‘Love Me Like’ was used in 115K reels.

Also, a reels star has born! Park Chan Young uploaded several live clips with himself playing a cello with his signature pitchcato style. Covering ‘Seven’, ‘A Walk’ and ‘Dandelion’, his reels hit over 8M views each.
#LEGENDS ARE BACK– The living legends have come back this year.

Yoon Sang and Park Nam Jung, also known as the fathers of Anton of RIIZE and Sieun of STAYC, came back with their own music this year! Yoon Sang and LeeJunoh teamed up as ‘Nohys’, releasing a full album with the best auditory experience. Park Nam Jung dropped a remake version of ‘HEARTACHE’ last June.

BMK, the god mother of Korean soul music, has released a studio album in 16 years to mark her 20th anniversary.  
#REFRESH– Endemic’s coming! This year, we were able to do outdoor activities freely, and I was able to take off the masks, sing, and go wild again! It was 2023 that refreshes the musicians who had been waiting for this time.
There was an interesting project under the theme of ‘Refresh’. A song camp was held for indie musicians and produced a compilation album [fresh as… ⁎⁺˳✧༚]. It provided interaction for artists of various genres. New music was created that will refresh the listeners too!