Covers of songs are always fun to listen to, just to see how one artist interprets the work of another. And considering how specialised a song and concept is for each K-pop group, seeing K-pop artists cover one another’s work is especially entertaining.
Not only has the continuing rise of competion shows given us some great covers of K-pop songs, recent episodes of music shows have hosted special stages of idols covering other idols, as well. In light of this, it was a good time to take stock of all the K-pop covers we have seen and ask ourselves: what are your favourite cover performances within K-pop? Have any of the newer performances made your list?
Erianne: In the history of K-pop, there’s definitely been a lot of really impressive K-pop covers, but the most recent one that I seem to really enjoy the most would be BTS‘ “Perfect Man” cover. With how BTS has been marketed as a playful hip-hop group, I was really amazed by how well they were able to carry out this very classical boyband-ish color in their “Perfect Man” performance. I also loved how Jungkook and Jimin‘s respective vocals perfectly fit the song and it almost made me wish that BTS could release a song that’s somehow vaguely similar to this one so that Jimin could showcase more of his unique vocals.
Also, can we please talk about how BTS totally gave this song’s sick dance routine some serious justice? Shinhwa doing a live performance of “Perfect Man” will always give me life, but I cannot deny how well BTS was able to execute the choreography without losing a touch of their BTS dancing flair.
Sydney: I agree with Erianne, there have indeed been a lot of amazing covers, so much that the fandoms within me are duking it out. I really want to choose one of (or really all of) Lunafly’s covers, or 100%‘s.
Though not K-pop, V’s voice alone is enough to make me want to put in my vote for BTS’s performance of “Oh Happy Day;” but I think my favorite will always be Supearls‘ rendition of “Fame.” Back in the days of Kpop Star season 1, I think Lee Michelle, Park Jimin, Lee Seung-joo, and Lee Jung-mi formed a legendary group.
Their renditions not only highlight each member’s vocal color, but also blend them together in harmonies that give me goosebumps every time. And what I appreciate the most is how they don’t need flashy moves, their voices alone entrance the audience all the same. Though they never became a real group, they really left an impression.
Sonya: Kpop Star and other competition shows provide such a plethora of covers, but what I think makes a cover stand out is when the group or performing can erase your memory of the original’s performance. That’s why my favorite K-pop covers are Seventeen‘s cover of After School‘s “Because of You,” where the stripped down instrumentals allows greater focus on the melancholic melody and Baek Yerin‘s cover of Crush‘s “Sometimes.” Although Yerin didn’t make large changes to the song with tempo or instrumentals or style, there is a sense that this could be her song.
Gaya: Seventeen seems to have a real knack for covering girl group songs: I caught their girl group medley on Music Core and loved their mini-renditions of “Lion Heart,” “Ice Cream Cake” and “Rough.”
One of the first intra-K-pop covers I came across was SNSD‘s vocal line giving a mellow take on Super Junior‘s “Sorry Sorry.” MBC‘s Music Travel Lalala was a treasure trove of covers, seriously. There’s also a SuJu version of “Gee” from the show.
Of the most recent covers, BtoB‘s “You’re The Best” is right up there. BtoB and Mamamoo are both groups that mix technical proficiency with silly, but still wholesome, entertainment; so while the performance suffered from a lack of practice, it was still a great fit.
Pat: I second Gaya with Seventeen’s performance. A lot of my own favorites have been covered, so I’ll just add a handful to the mix. I loved when f(x) covered 4Minute‘s “Mirror Mirror” and made me actually like the song. SNSD’s take on “Sorry Sorry” was a pleasant surprise at a time when I didn’t know if I liked them or not.
My top favorites were when Shinee covered BoA‘s “Girls on Top,” and After School’s cover of Shinhwa’s “Wild Eyes.” Honorable mention is Vixx’s covers of “So Hot” and “Ice Cream Cake.”