• http://thankgyuu.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

    Times are changing. Idol groups are losing relevancy in their home land and I am so ready for what is to come next. I need more solo artists in my life and it seems Korea does too.

    I just pray we don’t have another idol group influx next year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    My favorite female soloist this year was Kim Greem.

    My favorite soloist period was Crazyno (what can I say, the crazy m’fer grew on me).

  • animasaurus

    Personal favorites are Younha and Jisun (even though she didn’t make a comeback). I’ve also been loving Ailee, Baek Ah yeon, and Juniel. I like really soothing voices. I also really like Son Dambi and would LOVE Narsha to put out more solo work… imo her solo album was the best of B.E.G.

  • Streby

    Whenever there is too much supply of one product, the demand decreases and the deficit is filled by a second product, that happened with girl groups, then boy groups, and not soloists; its like a cycle of sorts. 


    Don’t forget Seo In Guk! :D

  • http://dvqd92.tumblr.com/ Elizabeth

    nice article Mark it’s nice to see soloists back along with groups like it once was in mainstream k-pop and korean music scene at large :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1436688980 Winnie Lee

    Don’t forget Junsu’s Tarantellegra debut! it was never performed on music shows due to SM’s cockblocking but you can’t deny it was one hell of a solo debut :) really diverged from JYJ/DBSKs old material

  • pg13247

    Fat Cat and NS Yoonji were pretty good this year even if they didn’t get that much media attention. It’s too bad Fat Cat got sick (I assume) since she abruptly ended her most recent promotions back in March-April.

    The k-pop atmosphere is changing due to the idol oversaturation. I hope this will make the companies more careful with their group releases and pick better songs, but I doubt it. It’d be nice to have a mix of groups and soloists constantly, but if it’s a repeat of 2003, then we’re probably not going to see many high profile group debuts for a while.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VOBHN5WR2Q3MPYG2DVDKDOB3WU Lili

    I want Gummy to make a comeback! And I really enjoy Lee Hi, I wish she would stay a solo artist though, oh well. Juniel is good too, she has a cute voice. 

    • ANANAS

      me too!!! I just went to listen to Gummy after reading this lol. I hope YG doesn’t forget about her :( I want Hayi as a solo too. Juniel is lovely and Aliee is amazing. I think I have a thing for female soloists because I don’t follow many girl groups but I do follow a lot of female soloists. I think it’s because they tend to go for the less agyeo concepts. 

  • Bstar5

    Honestly the return to me was 2011.  Both IU and G.NA were doing extremely well last year and it was the first time the focus pulled away from idol girl groups to young solo female stars with talent.  Yes you had girl group members doing solo projects, but these two were exclusively solo artists.  It was the popularity these two artists had that set the stage for more soloists to debut this year.  2010 is the year when idols groups peaked IMO with the most popular idols venturing off into the Japanese market.  In 2011 with most of these artists out of Korea, the less popular idols were left to carry the variety shows and the Chuseok and Lunar year specials and with the multitude of idols debuting, I think the general public just got idol fatigue.  “Superstar K” and “I Am a Singer” contestants were ruling the charts.  OSTs were doing so well that idol agencies who couldn’t handle the competition pretty much got Music Bank to remove OSTs from the K Chart.  2011 was when the focus really seemed to switch to the most talented; only the idols that were already popular did well.  In 2011, with IU getting not stop praise for her vocals in “Good Day”, agencies started to go out of their way to show they’re groups had vocal talent too.  All of sudden you had all these girl groups trying to prove they can hit a high note or deliver from a vocal standpoint.  Even boy groups started to put more emphasis on the members with vocal prowess.  Some members who weren’t good vocally were replaced with new members who were.  Enter 2012 and it’s just continuing.  Ailee did extremely well with her debut “Heaven”, Juniel’s “illa illa” was very popular as well.  Now you have Lee Hi who’s just killing the charts with her debut song with a sound that’s mature and fresh as far as KPop’s concerned.  It’s quite refreshing too given that’s she’s only 16 years old.  It just gives me hope that after all of this time focusing on the visual, the industry finally got the memo that people truly want artists with talent.

  • MCS23

    This is a pretty comprehensive list of solo artists however I think you’re missing one big entry. Namely, the most well known korean female soloist, the queen herself, BoA. She made a comeback in mid 2012 with her 7th album and title song that was self-composed. Furthermore, as a more experienced/’aged’ singer, she has slowed down album releases to pursue other aspects in the music industry, like producing/mentorship by participating as a judge on Kpop Star. 

    In my opinion, BoA has maneuvered herself pretty well and is showing some evolution as an artist.

    Also, Lee Hi was killer this year, monster rookie.

  • JKrow

    I’d still rather listen to TomTom (now known as A.T. – After TomTom), Maydoni, and/or Lee Jung Hyun over any of the artists listed above.