Another new year has rolled around. Many use the start of the year to start building new habits, or letting go of bad ones. As we gear up for another exciting year of K-pop releases, we ask the writers: what are your K-pop-related resolutions?

Gina: Throughout last year and early this year, I stuck mostly to the R&B, underground, and indie genres of Korean music, keeping a distance from K-pop. In some ways, I stuck to what I knew and wasn’t too familiar with how the genre itself was changing apart from the new, glamorous faces and names I knew just from browsing Instagram or the web. 

So for this year, I’d love to branch out and dive back into K-pop, reminiscing on the Golden Age with the second generation but also giving the newer fourth-generation groups a genuine try. NewJeansLe Sserafim, and IVE did catch my attention despite my dissonance, but I know there’s still a lot more to unearth, and I’m excited for what this year has to offer for all the K-pop fans out there.

I also have a far-fetched resolution to attend more concerts this year, but with work life and reality always there, it’s hard to make that tempting financial and hourly escape!

Qing: Looking back on 2022, I think I did a decent job keeping up with music releases. I found gems in unexpected places: Kang Daniel‘s versatile yet cohesive The Story, for instance, and Bibi‘s nightmarish, unrelenting Lowlife Princess: Noir. Checking out any album soon after they drop is a habit I’d like to keep, as it helps me to discover music beyond genres I usually consider.

I resolved to finish three half-watched dramas as a 2022 resolution. Life got in the way and I only managed one, but I’d like to give this resolution a try again to kick my habit of leaving shows half-watched. My 2022 victim roster comprised BL web drama Light On Methe quiet, intensely introspective A Piece of Your Mind; and the critically acclaimed Signal, which I didn’t immediately warm to but came to appreciate after the first quarter. I aim to finish these, as well as Do You Like Brahms? so that I can move on to Park Eun-bin and Kim Min-jae‘s more recent filmography.

A last, tentative resolution is to pay more attention to the debuting groups in 2023 and rookies from last year’s crop. I focused more on choreographies for the Mid- and End-of-Year Reviews, so I haven’t really explored newer artists aside from putting Yena‘s effervescent Smiley and NewJeans’ New Jeans on repeat. I say this resolution is tentative, because it really depends on whether these new artists will finally do away with the tired trends of skipping melodies in choruses and leaning excessively into hip-hop and “tough” concepts (a fan can hope!).

Sophie: My resolution is kind of the inverse of Gina’s–I feel like I’m maybe too immersed in the K-pop bubble and need to broaden my horizons! Especially with the wonderful world of K-indie artists.

The Indie End-of-Year Review has been a major inspiration for me, and has my eternal gratitude for introducing to Kaiavant, who defies description and is somehow a surreal blend of genres, like everything and nothing at the same time? I owe so much to the Seoulbeats fam for continually keeping my playlists fresh! If it weren’t for everyone keeping me on the pulse of new releases, I’d be playing the same songs for months on end. (When I like a song or an artist I tend to play it relentlessly!)

Another goal for me this year is to dive into more second- and third-generation groups, especially epic names like Big Bang, and iKon (which I am ashamed to say I don’t know all that much about, except for their biggest hits). I definitely want to fall down the rabbit hole of K-pop history!

(YouTube. Images via RBW Entertainment, HYBE, Feel GHood Music, YG Entertainment.)