Top 10 K-Pop Male Solo Artists (2020)
We love K-pop vocalists for their charisma, for their talent, and for their stunning performances! We are mesmerized by their smooth dance moves and groovy songs. Since there are so many amazing K-pop solo artists that it's hard to choose the best, but these solo artists certainly stand out from the pack.
Top K-Pop Male Solo Artists
- Agust D (Suga)
- Jay Park
- Kang Daniel
Lee Tae Min, known simply as Taemin, debuted as a vocalist with the group Shinee in 2008. Later, he became one of the most popular and best-selling artists in Korea. He was the first member of Shinee to go solo. He debuted as a soloist in 2014.
Taemin is innovative. He wants to bring different styles of music into the K-pop genre. He challenges himself to try new things, rather than simply repeating sounds that everyone has already used a million times. You can see he is trying to show more of an edge, more power, in his music video for the song “Move.” This song uses retro-sounding R&B, attempting to break stereotypes about what K-pop is. You simply can’t help but enjoy the groovy rhythm of the song and push that “repeat” button to rewatch the hypnotic dance movements in the music video! In his interview with Billboard, the artist said that the aim of the choreography in this music video was to mix both masculine and feminine movements together so that he could break the labels put on male and female performers.
Jung Hoseok, better known by his stage name J-Hope, is the main dancer and rapper of BTS. J-Hope debuted as a member of this well-known boy band on their single album 2 Cool 4 Skool. Actually, he was the third member to join the band. Together with BTS, he won numerous awards and became one of the world’s most famous celebrities. But, what was before all this? Prior to his group activities, J-Hope was a member of the underground street dance team Neuron. His dance career made him very popular.
In 2018, the vocalist released his first solo mixtape. He also starred in a music video for its title track! He has an upbeat and energetic tone to his music, which blends a variety of different musical genres!
3. Agust D (Suga)
Min Yoon Gi, known mostly as Suga or Agust D, is a Korean rapper, record producer, and songwriter. He first debuted as one of the members of the highly popular Korean pop group BTS. However, apart from performing with BTS, he has also released his own solo mixtape called Agust D! It should be noted that Suga has written and produced lyrics for a large number of tracks on BTS’s albums. And, of course, when it comes to his own tracks, he is the one who writes, composes, arranges, mixes, and masters all his materials. He is also extremely good at playing the piano, which he uses to produce hip-hop and R&B music. Moreover, Suga has written and produced over 70 songs for various artists! Plenty of them won awards from the Korean music industry!
Kwon Ji Yong, known simply as G-Dragon, is truly one of the kings of K-pop! This guy is a singer and songwriter, rapper, entrepreneur, and fashion icon. Is there anything he can’t do? Well, probably not. Interestingly, long before debuting as a member of hip-hop K-pop group Big Bang (back when he was only 12), G-Dragon trained for more than six years at YG Entertainment! Even though he was only twelve-years old, he debuted as a rapper! So, he's been a recognizable Korean entertainer for a long time.
Today, G-Dragon produces the music for both Big Bang and for solo artists. He is not only one of the greatest performers and most popular K-pop figures in South Korea (with a truly incredible list of achievements), but he has also had a big influence on youth culture, music production strategies, and fashion in the country! That’s why he was listed as the most influential person under 30 in the Asian entertainment industry (according to Forbes).
He releases very mature sounding tracks. He even entered military service (a duty which is obligatory for all Korean men).
I think the military service will only enrich his life experience and give his work more depth. I look forward to more great things from him when he ends service in 2020.— cultural critic Kim
Kim Nam-Joon, known as RM (Rap Monster), is a Korean rapper, record producer, and songwriter. RM began rapping at 13 (!) and very soon successfully auditioned for an agency and became the first member of BTS! Although BTS got popular in the pop world, RM didn’t want to forget about hip-hop. The first solo mixtape he released in 2015, RM, is a real rap mixtape.
RM has an important place in Korean hip-hop history. There has been a constant tension between idol acts and hip-hop artists in Korea, where the hip-hop community would look askance at idol acts for being overproduced. But because RM established his identity as an artist through hip-hop, he was able to pull the two communities together and find legitimacy as both an idol and a rapper.— DJBooth
6. Jay Park
Jay Park is a Korean American ‘90s hip-hop and R&B influenced singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer, choreographer, dancer, actor, entrepreneur, member of Art of Movement (the Seattle-based b-boy crew), and founder / CEO of two independent hip hop record labels. God, what this boy can’t do? Inspired by Michael Jackson, Usher, and Chris Brown, Park did so that his love spanned into his career. Jay started his path as a b-boy, a dancer. Charismatic, with great stage presence, he was described as a “born entertainer”. Born in Washington, he was a fan of hip hop from his childhood, especially rap.
In his teens, he decides to move to South Korea, where his career in the entertainment industry begins. First, he was one of the members in boy group 2PM, but re-debuted as a solo artist in 2011.
7. Byun Baekhyun
Byun Baekhyun, better known simply as Baekhyun, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, and actor. He is a member of the K-pop Chinese boy group EXO and K-pop supergroup SuperM. The lead singer in EXO, he shows his strong vocals and stage presence. However, Baekhyun is successful beyond the group too. He made his debut as a solo artist in 2019 with the release of his first EP, City Lights! Not to mention his career as an actor! Back in 2015, he debuted as an actor in highly popular and beloved by everyone Korean drama Moon Lovers, where he starred alongside his fellow singer IU!
I look younger than my age most of the time. The EXO members are all in their mid-20s. These days, many [K-pop] groups that start off [are] in their teens, but when we made our debut we weren’t all that young— Byun Baekhyun
Kim Jong Dae, mostly known as Chen, is a South Korean singer and songwriter. He is the lead dancer and one of the best vocalists in EXO. Kim became a trainee thanks to S.M. Entertainment’s Casting System when he was only 18. In 2011, he was officially introduced as the fourth member of the K-pop group. Apart from the group activities, Kim wrote and also sang several songs for some Korean dramas! To name a few, "Best Luck" for It's Okay, That's Love, "Everytime" for Descendants of the Sun, and ‘For You‘ for the SBS drama ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’. Moreover, in 2019, Chen debuted as a solo artist with the EP April and a Flower.
Kwon Hyuk, better known as Dean (because he’s a huge fan of the late American actor James Dean), has established himself as South Korean R&B King of K-Pop, songwriter, record producer, and rapper. It feels like he is rebelling against the mainstream K-pop climate: he is known for his unique style and vocals. Dean started when he was only 16 (!), and by the time when he was 20, he was already writing songs for K-pop groups like EXO! He made his debut as an artist in America first, though it’s quite rare for Korean artists to start their path in America first, not in Korea.
10. Kang Daniel
Kang Daniel is a South Korean singer and songwriter, who won famous idol reality contest Produce 101 (season 2) in 2017. As a result, he became a member of the project K-pop boy group Wanna One until their very disbandment. He made his debut as a soloist in 2019, releasing his first album Color On Me.
I think the stage is much bigger when you're an individual artist instead of being a member of a group. I have to do more to fill the stage up. I'm also looking forward to penning songs that are filled with only my voice and my colors - my style, my personality.— Kang
Who is your favorite K-pop male soloist? Share with us what you think in the comment section below!