Meet 7 Trendsetting Asian Artists Who Are Making Waves In The Music Industry

From chart-topping K-pop sensations to breakout stars.

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Presented by Sara Smith

Asia’s vast cultural and musical diversity has produced a vibrant tapestry of talented artists who are making waves in their home countries and capturing the attention of international audiences.

These are the trendsetters, visionaries, and avant-garde creators pushing the boundaries of sound and style while taking the world by storm. Meet seven top Asian artists who deserve a spot on your radar.

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New Jeans 

(New Jeans)

Since their 2022 debut, New Jeans has become a breakout K-pop sensation. Comprised of five talented members—Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein—this dynamic quintet is not only known for their mesmerizing Y2K-inspired fashion choices but has also been making waves with their captivating throwback sound, reminiscent of the iconic pop music of the 2000s. The success of their second mini-album, Get Up, soared to the coveted top spot on the Billboard Main Album Chart, the Billboard 200, cementing New Jeans’ status as a powerhouse pop group.

Furthermore, all three of the album’s lead tracks have made a significant impact on the Billboard Main Singles Chart, the Billboard Hot 100. Their pre-release track, “Super Shy,” climbed 16 places to reach the 48th spot, while “ETA” and “Cool With You” made impressive debuts at 81st and 93rd positions, respectively. New Jeans’ unique debut strategy, which places their music at the forefront, has allowed fans worldwide to appreciate their artistry without bias, solidifying their position as a musical force to be reckoned with.

XG

(XG)

In a dazzling debut on March 18, 2022 in South Korea, XG, a sensational seven-member Japanese girl group, burst onto the music scene. The name stands for “Xtraordinary Girls,” a moniker that perfectly encapsulates their remarkable presence. Comprising the talented members Chisa, Hinata, Jurin, Harvey, Juria, Maya, and Cocona, XG made their mark with their very first digital single, “Tippy Toes.” This track not only catapulted them to stardom but also claimed the top spot on iTunes Alternative Charts in seven countries, including France and Italy, while securing a spot in the top 10 in eight countries, including Germany, the UK, and the USA.

Their entry into the iTunes Alternative Charts in the UK and the USA marked an unprecedented achievement for a rookie group. Since their debut, XG has released a total of six singles, including hits like “Mascara,” “Shooting Star,” “Grl Gvng,” and “TGIF.” Their track “Shooting Star” even broke through onto the Billboard Global 200 chart, solidifying their status as formidable newcomers in the music industry.

With their most recent album, New DNA, which dropped on September 27, XG continues their meteoric rise. Every aspect of XG’s artistry, from their mesmerizing rapping and sensational singing to their electrifying dance moves and eye-catching outfits, sets them apart in a truly remarkable way.

Stray Kids

(Stray Kids)

Stray Kids, the eight-member multinational boy group under JYP Entertainment, made their debut on March 25, 2018, and have been shaking up the K-pop scene ever since. The name “Stray Kids” reflects their bold ambition to break free from conventions and carve their own path as “wandering children.” From their debut until now, Stray Kids have demonstrated impressive musical versatility, crafting each album with their unique style.

While their music primarily revolves around EDM, they fearlessly delve into various EDM sub-genres and seamlessly incorporate elements of hip-hop, acoustic, mainstream pop, and even hints of alternative rock. Their penchant for blending genres is exemplified in tracks like “Thunderous (Sorikun),” which fuses trap and traditional Korean music.

Notably, their latest album, 5-Star, released in June, achieved the remarkable feat of claiming the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, marking their third chart-topping success following ODDINARY and Maxident. Impressively, it’s the nineteenth non-English album to achieve this prestigious ranking. Stray Kids consistently delivers awe-inspiring music with each release, keeping their fans eagerly anticipating their innovative musical explorations and solidifying their position as a group that never fails to impress.

YOASOBI

(YOASOBI)

YOASOBI, the captivating J-pop duo, truly stands out with their unique approach to crafting “music from novels.” Comprised of the brilliant composer Ayase and the enchanting vocalist Ikura, their debut single, “Into The Night,” released in November 2019, achieved a remarkable milestone by amassing over 700 million streams by December 2021. This extraordinary achievement propelled them to the pinnacle of the music charts, securing the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart.

YOASOBI’s global influence was further underscored when they claimed the coveted title of Spotify’s “Most streamed Japanese artist in the overseas market in the year 2021.” Notably, their mesmerizing track “Monster” was chosen as one of “The 10 Best Songs of 2021” by Time magazine, cementing their status as international music sensations.

What sets YOASOBI apart is their unwavering commitment to storytelling, a defining element that has propelled them to the forefront of another major J-pop trend of the 2020s: anime cosigns. Their music and narratives have seamlessly integrated with the world of anime, providing a compelling bridge to connect with overseas fan bases. Beyond music, YOASOBI’s creative horizons continue to expand with ventures into novel publication and film adaptation, making them a multifaceted force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world. 

JEON SOMI

(Jeon Somi)

Jeon Somi, popularly known as Somi, burst into the spotlight in 2016 as the overwhelming winner of Produce 101 Season 1. She then showcased her talents as the youngest and center member of the iconic girl group I.O.I. Since 2019, Somi has been captivating audiences as a solo artist under YG Entertainment’s subsidiary, The Black Label. Her debut full-length album, XOXO, was a chart-topping sensation, claiming the No. 1 spot on the iTunes K-pop Albums Chart.

The album’s title track, “XOXO,” also dominated the iTunes K-pop Songs Chart, while other tracks like “Anymore,” “Dumb Dumb,” “Watermelon,” and “Don’t Let Me Go” all secured top positions. Notably, XOXO made its mark on the worldwide album charts, solidifying Somi’s triumphant solo debut. Her recent EP album, Game Plan, featured the hit title track “Fast Forward,” which not only garnered love as a dance challenge but also showcased her cool and captivating dance moves, including a nostalgic tectonic dance.

Beyond her musical prowess, Somi is a multifaceted artist who’s making her mark in the fashion world as well. In 2022, she was named a global ambassador for Prada and starred in the brand’s campaign for the “Eternal Gold” fine jewelry collection. With each step she takes, Jeon So-mi continues to capture the anticipation and excitement of fans worldwide.

Seori

(Seori)

Seori, the South Korean singer-songwriter whose name translates to “frost” in Korean, has been making waves in the global music scene since her debut with Depacse Ohw. After signing under 88rising, she’s been on a mission to expand her artistic horizons across borders. Seori’s unique and enchanting voice has graced numerous collaborations, including tracks with TXT on “0x1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)” and Eaj on “Dive With You (feat. Eaj).”

Notably, she received a shout-out from BTS’s Jungkook when he featured her on his playlist, solidifying her status as a rising star to watch. Seori’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable; she even lent her talent to the Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings‘ original soundtrack with “Warriors.” More recently, her song “Cinderella” showcased a different style while drawing attention for its heartfelt lyrics. Seori’s fearless and authentic lyrics have firmly established her as an artist with a distinctive voice and values.

ADO

(ADO)

Ado, the enigmatic Japanese sensation, burst onto the music scene at the tender age of 17 with her debut digital single, “Usseewa.” The impact was nothing short of meteoric, as the song soared to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Japan Hot 100, Oricon Digital Singles Chart, and the Oricon Streaming Chart. What’s even more astounding is that Ado achieved 100 million plays on Billboard Japan in just 17 weeks, making her the youngest solo singer in history to achieve this milestone.

In 2022, her track “New Genesis” took the world by storm as the theme song for the anime film One Piece Film: Red, dominating Apple Music’s Global Top 100 charts. Ado’s journey is a testament to her remarkable talent and unique approach—she never reveals her face in public, allowing her voice and mesmerizing videos on platforms like TikTok and YouTube to speak for themselves. As she continues to captivate audiences and pique the curiosity of countless fans, the future holds great promise for this mysterious and incredibly talented artist. Stay tuned for what Ado has in store next.

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