It’s hard to believe it’s February already, but here we are!
With a month behind us already, it’s time to consider who we should keep our eyes on throughout the year. While 2022 was the year of NEWJEANS and Le Sserafim, 2023 may provide us with some new names K-Pop history should remember. Already, there are some buzzworthy girl groups emerging as potential contenders in the K-Pop realm. Here are five girl groups to watch in 2023!
YG Entertainment’s new girl group has been hinted at for a long time. Some indications of the new group have been there since 2018, but the BABYMONSTER name has been circulating since at least 2014 with many expecting this to be BLACKPINK’s original group name for a spell.
The seven-member group consisting of Ruka (Japanese), Pharita (Thai), Asa (Japanese), Ahyeon (Korean), Haram (Korean), Rora (Korean), and Chiquita (Thai) will officially debut this year. The group’s expected to be a vocal, rap, and dance powerhouse. Already, through their YouTube channel videos and introductions, the girls have charming personalities and obvious talent. YG Entertainment allowing fans to get to know the girls and their journeys through the audition process via the videos helps to develop a connection to the group. When they finally debut, fans can expect something powerful. Hopefully, the songs won’t be generic and bring something new to the industry to help cement the fourth generation as one of the best K-Pop generations.
CSR, a seven-member group from POPMUSIC, debuted in 2022. With their sweet, school-girl concept, CSR’s releases have been nostalgic breaths of fresh air in a sea of girl crush concepts. Their early K-Pop vibe mixed with some hints of 2000s J-Pop give this group something unique. They received their first music show win on December 2, 2022 with “Loveticon (♡TiCON),” so the future looks bright for CSR!
They are a group to watch because of their youthful, refreshing sound. If you’re a lover of early GFRIEND, Oh My Girl, and Lovelies, CSR is right up your alley. The only issue is, since their concept is “class of young girls who were born in 2005” (how specific!), how long can the early 2000s concept and sound last as the group and fans get older? Unfortunately, as we get further removed from the early 2000s, some of the fans that remember that time may be aging out of K-Pop, so nostalgia will only go so far. However, we hope the concept will attract enough people and keep fans listening long enough for CSR to carve their niche and continue to stand out!
In what was probably one of our favorite 2022 debuts, Fifty-Fifty has a lot of potential because of their versatility! When they debuted, they released three tracks showing their different vocal skills and abilities to melt into different genres with ease. This is something their company, ATTRAKT, needs to capitalize on moving forward. Fifty-Fifty are immensely talented, and with their first comeback coming up February 24, 2023, it’ll be awesome to see if they can maintain their sound and skills. This group has a potential for music show wins and even some year-end awards.
ATTRAKT does need to promote the group better because their talents should not be wasted. Fifty-Fifty has the potential to be a competitor in the current K-Pop class, and 2023 will be their year to stand out if promoted right (and hopefully that doesn’t equate being overworked!) and provided with songs that reflect their vocal abilities like their debut tracks did.
LIMΞLIGHT had their pre-debut in 2022 and officially debuted February 17, 2023. The group is currently a trio, but there are plans to add more members as time progresses.
From their pre-debut singles “Eye to Eye” and “Starlight” to their most recent release “Honestly,” LIMΞLIGHT displays great poise and delicacy. LIMΞLIGHT has a way of annunciating their lyrics to where their words are clear. This is one of their most likeable traits!
LIMΞLIGHT is a group to watch because of their strong singing abilities and solid discography so far. Like with Fifty-Fifty, LIMΞLIGHT’s company, 143 Entertainment, which is now also iKON’s home, needs to ensure they are promoted correctly. It seems in the cards that LIMΞLIGHT may get their first music show wins this year with the way their music suits them. They may also be in the conversation for some other honors as they continue to improve.
MAVE is an odd inclusion because, while they’re a girl group, they’re a virtual group. Of course, this makes them no different from other AI performers such as Rozy, K/DA, and APOKI, or Japan’s renowned vocaloid queen Hatsune Miku, or even the English virtual group Gorillaz, but they did catch the eyes and ears of K-Pop fans with some positive and negative reception.
The voices behind MAVE are solid, and it’s sad we don’t know the real singers behind the group, but we might eventually find this out overtime. For this, the idea of a virtual group can help former idols, singers, and trainees restart their careers in an unexpected way. MAVE could be a pilot group for testing the AI idol model that could bring new method for some people to follow their dreams.
Many wondered how MAVE would negatively influence the K-Pop scene and if the music world is ready for virtual performers, but this is a concept that’s been around for decades, even long before the emergence of Hatsune Miku and Gorillaz without a major disruption to the music scene (see The Archies, Josie and the Pussycats, and even Alvin and the Chipmunks as early examples of the “virtual band” concept). Some netizens have commented on how MAVE would not be able to have human interactions with people outside of the digital world or how they would perform on music shows and concerts, but the latter concern seems to have been addressed with their performances on Show! MusicCore. And, like Hatsune Miku and Gorillaz have shown us, concerts and fan connections can occur, so it seems some general fears might be unfounded.
MAVE is a “group” to watch because of how far technology’s come. While it’s still clear the group is AI due to jerky movements, as technology improves, the group can only become more realistic as time goes on. The developers and programmers behind MAVE have already shown they can make it to where the group can perform on music shows, so there is an expectation MAVE can compete in the industry. Each of the members—SIU, ZENA, MARTY, and Tyra—all have unique personalities that are expected to develop as the group progresses, and they have a storyline that will be introduced through a webtoon on Kakao Entertainment. The characters may have traits that will make them more appealing and more relatable to a general audience, so expectations are high for this group.
With those elements in mind, their debut track “Pandora” was solid and fit right in with many of today’s K-Pop songs. At times, they feel like aespa-meets-BLACKPINK while also having their own unique color. Of course, as the people behind MAVE develop the group more, it is more likely they will fall into their own groove and unique sound will also bringing something entirely different to the industry! MAVE will be fun to watch for sure!
What groups are on your radar for 2023? Let us know in the comments!
#girlgroups2023 #MAVE #SIU #ZENA #MARTY #Tyra #kcrusharticle #KakaoEntertainment #MusicCore #virtualgroupMAVE #Pandora #APOKI #HatsuneMiku #kcrushmedia #LIMELIGHT #EyeToEye #143Entertainment #FiftyFifty #ATTRAKT #comeback #CSR #POPMUSIC #kpop #kcrushamerica #LoveticonCSR #BABYMONSTER #YGEntertainment #Ruka #Pharita #Asa #Ahyeon #Haram #Rora #Chiquita #kpopgirlgroups2023