The K-pop industry has a different flow when it comes to producing their artists' projects. In other countries, when two members want to try something new, they leave the group. Well, in South Korea, they form a "sub-unit." The term “sub-unit” is used when there’s a group being formed within the group. It’s not because they want to be separated from their original group; it’s more like they want to try something different without actually leaving their members.
And through this concept, we discovered sub-units that are as amazing as their original group—sometimes, even better depending on our music tastes! Here are a few of them:
Making a comeback last April 10 with their funk-synth pop song “Blooming Days,” EXO-CBX is EXO’s chart-topping sub-unit that’s composed of members Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin. They were formed in 2016 when they released a soundtrack for the drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo entitled “For You.” They’re mostly popular in Japan, thus receiving the Best Asian Style in Japan Award at last year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards. It was announced that the group will be releasing their first Japanese studio album Magic on May 9, making us utterly excited for more swoon-worthy vocals and aesthetically pleasing visuals!
In 2012, South Korea’s “Nation’s Girl Group” Girls’ Generation went on their first hiatus with most members focusing on their acting career and other business endeavors. Lucky for us K-pop fans, members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun continued to pursue their musical passions. Their agency SM Entertainment decided to form them as a sub-unit called TaeTiSeo, taking the first syllable of each of their names. Their debut EP “Twinkle” was the first album by any Korean act to rank number one on the Billboard World Albums chart, and they were the first sub-unit to be number one for three consecutive weeks on South Korean music shows. They even had their own reality show The TaeTiSeo during their promotions!
You might have heard them before because of their well-known debut single “Ma Boy” that has become everyone’s ultimate summer song back in 2011. Sistar19, dubbed as “Summer Queens of K-Pop”, is SISTAR’s very own sub-unit consisting of members Hyorin and Bora. This sassy duo released the chart-topping single “Gone Not Around Any Longer” in 2013, which evokes a more mature and sexier image as compared to their original group's sexy vibe. With Hyorin’s outstanding vocals and Bora’s flawless rapping skills, they absolutely complement each other!
As the rappers of South Korea’s elite boy group BIGBANG, G-Dragon and T.O.P. released their first album entitled GD & TOP in 2010 which became one of the best selling South Korean albums of the year! This dope duo released hit songs like “Oh Yeah” and “Knock Out” that were both listed as two of the best K-Pop music videos of all time by Stereogum. With their several unique music video concepts and phenomenal singles, G-Dragon & T.O.P. are absolutely is genius level!
5. Orange Caramel
The only sub-unit that’s more popular than their own group, Orange Caramel is the quirky trio of girl group After School consisting of members Raina, Nana, and Lizzy. The sub-unit was formed in 2010 when they released their debut single “Magic Girl” which ranked number two on the Korean Gaon charts. Veering away from After School’s sexy concept, Orange Caramel is adored for their charming concept and colorful style! Excuse us while we indulge ourselves with their quirky music videos!
Which of these sub-units do you stan? Let us know!
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