2015 saw the rise of its fair share of super rookies. Some were predestined to be huge, and some were surprises. But, for every breakout success, there are dozens of groups slowing clawing their way to the top. Some make it, some fail. And some produce music that’s better than the big boys. Let’s take a look at what I think are the five most promising rookie groups that haven’t enjoyed the instant super stardom that they deserve. We’ll start with the boys.
5. Road Boyz
The newest group on my list, and from the smallest agency. They’ve only released three tracks so far, but I can already see how this story is poised to play out. Avoiding trends, the guys have gone for a classic kpop sound that feels very refreshing in between constant barrages of hip hop.
4. Boys Republic
Not exactly rookies anymore, but I’ll fudge the definition because I’m a little worried that it’s been since last June that they released a new song, and that was only a digital single. Their output has been consistently strong no matter what concept they tackle, but they’re just not receiving the attention they deserve.
Another group that’s been around for awhile (almost two years, now) and should be climbing quickly up the k-pop tiers if the quality of their material is any indication. Instead, their latest single didn’t even get a music video. Their live performances are always fun and full of character, and they seem to elicit excitement when they’re on music shows, but none of that is contributing to the upward trajectory they deserve.
This is where my bias comes in, because I go absolutely crazy over Sweetune-produced tracks, and Romeo have worked with the production team for both of their singles so far. The guys have a fresh, innocent vibe that makes them ideal for variety shows, and I feel like they need that kind of exposure to truly stick out in the packed world of kpop.
I’m a recent convert to the HIGH4 fandom, but I’ve been addicted by their diverse sound and the charm of the members’ personalities. They burst on the scene with a big hit, buoyed by the fact that they scored IU as a duet partner. Since then, they’ve struggled to find their niche, and they need that one breakout song that will get them attention. They have so much potential, and I’m really pulling for them.