A quite long time ago I wrote two accompanying lists where I counted down my favorite solo artists. Back then I did not include members of groups that I listen to that have also done solo work, since I somehow didn’t think of them as “real” solo artists. This time I will do nothing so unfair. Here I will count down my top ten favorite solo artists, regardless of their status as members of a group. They will be placed in order based on how many songs of theirs I currently have downloaded on my phone. Basically, based on how much I actually listen to them. I will also include song recommendations, of course. So you can see what you’ve been missing out on.
10. Jaejoong (JYJ)
Jaejoong is my fifth favorite male bias, and in my opinion probably one of the most gorgeous people to walk this earth. But I also really appreciate the music he makes. About a year ago he would have ended up way higher on this list, since I don’t listen to him quite as much anymore. He has a rock sound in his solo work that doesn’t exist in his group’s sound, and that I really like.
I recommend: “Just Another Girl”, “Luvholic” (featuring Ha Dong Kyun)
Ailee has one of the best voices in the whole world of kpop. She has a power and a strength that is not easy to find. I do listen to her some, but I feel like her voice alone should put her at the top of this list. Glorious singer, beautiful girl and she sometimes makes stuff I really enjoy.
I recommend: “I Will Show You”, “U&I”
8. Amber (f(x))
Amber is my second most beloved female bias in all of kpop, so there’s no denying my love for her. I was stoked as all hell when I heard she was going to get a solo album, and she did not disappoint. If that was a one time thing I will be deeply upset, because I need my girl Amber to get me dancing ALL THE TIME.
I recommend: “Shake That Brass” (featuring Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon), “I Just Wanna” (duet with Eric Nam)
7. HyunA (4Minute)
Hyuna is my fifth favorite female bias, but before I ever knew her as a member of the (awesome) group 4Minute, I knew her as a solo act. Her song “Bubble Pop!” was my jam for a whole summer and even when she puts out a bad single, she doesn’t disappoint. Her great songs are great and her bad songs are still fun. There’s no downside.
I recommend: “Red”, “Blacklist” (featuring EXID’s LE)
6. Jay Park
I absolutely love this guy. He’s got so much swag it hurts, and is frankly kind of ridiculous. Everything about him is swag, and he never fails to make me laugh. But he’s also got some real rapping and dancing skills to back all that swag up and when I want a song that will make me feel like the baddest bitch in the world or something that will inspire me for a wild sex session, I go to this gorgeous creature. Plus he often does songs in English, which I appreciate.
I recommend: “Appetizer”, “You Know How We Do” (featuring Dumbfoundead)
5. Lee Tae Min
SHINee is my absolute favorite group out there, and Taemin was the first member from that group to go solo. So of course he has to be on here! A lot of people were upset that the group’s first solo was given to the maknae, but I was not. He’s improved massively since debut and carried his solo well. With a bit more vocal training, I really don’t know how far he’ll be able to go. But I’m excited to find out.
I recommend: “Danger”, “Pretty Boy” (featuring EXO’s Kai) (Super weird song, but the fact that it features Kai and that Jonghyun wrote flawless lyrics makes it all worth it)
4. XIA (JYJ)
While Jaejoong has always been my favorite member of JYJ and even DB5K, he can’t wow me with his solos as much as XIA, or Junsu, does. He’s a very strong singer, and an excellent dancer, and there’s a sense of drama to a lot of the work he does that I really adore. Even the material I’ve liked the least from him has still impressed me.
I recommend: “Uncommitted”, “Flower” (featuring Epik High’s Tablo), “X Song” (featuring Dok2)
3. Kim Jong Hyun
Jonghyun is my favorite member of my favorite group, i.e. my ultimate bias. So I was both excited out of my mind and mildly terrified when it was announced that he would be the next SHINee member to take the step into solo artist realm. Excited because I was sure that he would do most of the composing and writing himself and would kill it vocally. And terrified because what if I didn’t like what he put out? I so desperately wanted to like it. Thankfully, I really did.
I recommend: “Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)” (featuring Iron), “Déjà-Boo” (featuring Zion.T), “Hallelujah”
2. Lee Hyori
Of course my very own queen of kpop has to have a spot high on this list. Lee Hyori is a badass woman, and the message she preaches is one of self-love and confidence that I can always stand behind. God I wish I was more like Lee Hyori. Gorgeous, smart and sassy, she takes no shit but will smile radiantly while shooting you down. An inspiration. She may not be the strongest singer out there, but over her years as an active singer, she has really found a way to mask that and still sound amazing.
I recommend: “Bad Girls”, “I Hate Myself”, “Miss Korea”, “Oars” (just check out her whole “Monochrome” album, it’s glorious)
1. G-Dragon (Big Bang)
G-Dragon is a huge force to be reckoned within the world of kpop. He’s very talented in so many different aspects, and I have a huge amount of respect for him. I was for sure not surprised to find him at the top of this list. To be honest, I would have been shocked if he wasn’t on top. He’s very versatile and has tackled many different styles in his solo work. But he has such a strong brand that you can ALWAYS tell that it’s his song.
I recommend: “One of a Kind”, “Gossip Man”, “Crooked”, “R.O.D” (featuring Lydia Paek), “Shake the World”
Who’s your favorite solo singer? If they’re not on this list, then please recommend a song for me to listen to! Or if you have a great song from one of these artists that you don’t think I’ve heard, then please for the love of kpop recommend that to me!