UNDERRATED K R&B ARTISTS | 100K AND BELOW
BY BRENESSA ROACH | JANUARY 24 2023
Welcome to 100K and Below, a blog series where I will share artists I discover who have below 100,000 Spotify monthly listeners at the time of the post. This week, I will be sharing 12 underrated Korean R&B artists who I think you will love, especially if you enjoy Keshi, GSoul and JUNNY.
You can find a Spotify playlist with my favourite song of each artist mentioned at the bottom of this article!
Let’s get started…
hanuel is an independent singer, songwriter and producer born in South Korea and raised in Vancouver, Canada. His musical style is mainly R&B infused with hip-hop and lofi elements. He made his debut to digital streaming platforms in April 2020 with the song “I’m Fine” which is in collaboration with Beagle. On July 8, 2022, hanuel collaborated with Yelloasis for a song titled “SEE U”. This is currently his most popular song with about 41K streams. Additionally, hanuel released his debut EP RUN IT which consisted of “SEE U” and three new songs. He currently has about 34K monthly listeners.
On September 8, 2022, hanuel had the opportunity to be the opening act in Vancouver for JUNNY on his North American blanc tour. At the beginning of this month, hanuel dropped a new single titled “MOON” in collaboration with myno. In addition to that release, he is coming out with his second EP HOW on February 3, so make sure to follow him for updates and stay tuned for that EP. Hopefully with the release of this EP, we can see more live performances by hanuel and an increase in monthly listeners.
Listen to “SEE U” by hanuel and Yelloasis on Spotify:
Check out hanuel on Instagram: @nayahaneul
B.K is a singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He made his debut to streaming platforms with the release of his debut EP Think in March 2019. In September 2021, he released his single “Bout You” which was a collaboration with Minshik. This song is currently his most popular song with 14.2K streams. Following the release of “Bout You”, he released his first album archives:us in October 2021.
Furthermore, on September 9, 2022 B.K released his second EP This One’s About You which features five songs, including my favourite song “MAD L♡VE”. Following the release of his second EP, B.K was the opening act for JUNNY’s blanc concert in Atlanta on September 13. Around this time is when I discovered B.K, thanks to a friend who attended the concert in Atlanta.
Currently, B.K has about 300 monthly listeners, which I think can and should definitely grow in 2023, especially if he releases more music this year.
Listen to “MAD L♡VE” by B.K on Spotify:
Check out B.K on Instagram: @bk.musik
RIPLEY is an R&B/Soul singer and songwriter from South Korea with 7.5K monthly listeners. She is currently under the South Korean independent record label, Sohaengsung Music. In April 2018, she collaborated with KozyPop for the song “Fool to love”, which was the first single on KozyPop’s album Seoul Vibes, Pt. 1. Additionally, she also has songs on Seoul Vibes, Pt. 2, Seoul Vibes, Pt. 3 and Seoul Vibes, Pt. 9.RIPLEY made her solo debut in January 2019 with her first EP?&sorrow which features “Ocean” and seven other songs.
I discovered RIPLEY through the Spotify curated playlist “4:00 AM Groove” which features one of her most popular songs “right now”. In November 2022, she released “comfort zone”. Hopefully in 2023, we can see RIPLEY releasing another album and charting on even more Spotify curated playlists.
Listen to “Dear Moon” by RIPLEY on Spotify:
Check out RIPLEY on Instagram: @r_ipley
SE YOUNG is a Korean singer, songwriter and producer from Vancouver, Canada with around 9K monthly listeners. When he was young, he moved to Dubai before moving to Turkey and then finally moved to Canada (Source: Spotify Bio). He has a really unique sound as he falls under the R&B genre infused with hop hop and elements of Middle Eastern music. In November 2020, he made his debut to streaming platforms with the song “Calm Before The Storm”. In April 2021, he released “Come 2 My City” which is his most popular song of 18.6K streams. August 2022, SE YOUNG released his first EP titled Rain In August which includes four songs.
“COUVAM” from November 2022, is a song in collaboration with Aleebi. This is the song that made me discover SE YOUNG as it is currently charting in the Spotify curated playlist Mood Ring (a playlist dedicated to R&B in Canada). Additionally, SE YOUNG came out with a new song last week titled “PALM OF YOUR HANDS”, which is super catchy! After listening more to SE YOUNG, my favourite song of his is June 2022 release “Twin Flame”.
Listen to “Twin Flame” by SE YOUNG on Spotify:
Check out SE YOUNG on Instagram: @seyoung.ca
Artinb is a singer-songwriter from South Korea. He currently has about 24K monthly listeners. He mainly creates R&B music but, he also has songs with hip hop/rap elements and lo-fi elements. In March 2019, he featured on Dept’s song “Beside you”. Following that song, he made his solo debut in June with the release of “Lips” – his most popular song if 1 million streams. My personal favourite song is “Sun” which came out in March 2020. I also love the album cover art for this single. His latest single “Olive” came out in June 2022. Hopefully in 2023, we can hear some more of his music and possibly an album.
Listen to “Sun” by Artinb on Spotify:
Check out Artinb on Instagram: @artxinb
H:SEAN is an R&B infused with pop singer-songwriter with only 680 monthly listeners. In 2018, she collaborated with KozyPop for the song “Process” which was on KozyPop’s album Seoul Vibes, Pt. 2. Additionally, she features on Seoul Vibes, Pt. 5 with two songs and on Seoul Vibes, Pt. 6 with two more songs.
In March 2020, she made her solo debut with the release of her single “we – wee”. This is her second most popular song with 12.3K streams. In January 2021, she released her debut EP EVOL! which features her most streamed song “Honestly”, my personal favourite song “Burying the time” and four additional songs.
Her latest release was in November 2022 with 2u2, which is a mini EP consisting of 3 singles. Hopefully in 2023, we can expect some more music.
Listen to “Burying the time” by H:SEAN on Spotify:
Check out H:SEAN on Instagram: @h.sean.h
Kim Taegyu, commonly known as BB is a singer from South Korea who currently has 28K monthly listeners. In 2012, he debuted as a member in the K Pop boyband “A.Cian” under the stage name of “Hidden”. A few years later, he debuted again in 2015 in the duo Fri.D, which disbanded in 2016 (Source: K Profile). He made his solo debut in September 2016 with the. song “Reaction”.
BB is one of my newest discoveries as his new song “Question” featuring Geuneul is currently in the New Music K-Pop Spotify playlist. This song came out on January 8 and already has 6K streams. Listening to BB’s oldest music to his newest music, his style has changed and grown a lot so I’m really looking forward to hearing his new music in 2023.
Listen to “Question” by BB and Geuneul on Spotify:
Check out BB on Instagram: @bbnim
SWRY is a singer, songwriter and producer from South Korea. With 645 monthly listeners, he has released two EP’s and two additional singles. He made his debut to digital streaming platforms on February 16, 2021 with the release of his first EP a trace. I first came across SWRY in June 2022 with the release of his single “LET IT RAIN”. He finished off 2022 with the release of “LETTER”. An interesting fact about SWRY is that he actually sang the guide vocals for “Peaches” by KAI. Hopefully in 2023 we can get a full album and an increase in monthly listeners.
Listen to “LET IT RAIN” by SWRY on Spotify:
Check out SWRY on Instagram: @swry__
Choi Cello is a singer-songwriter from South Korea signed to INPLANET MUSIC. She currently has 17.5K monthly listeners. She made her debut on February 21, 2020 with the single “Night without you”. In November 2020, her song “Fall” came out, which is my favourite song of hers and also her popular song with 307K streams. In May 2022, she was a contestant on the reality show Stars Awakening. She ended the 2022 year with the release of her latest single “Hide and Seek”. She has not released an EP or album yet, so hopefully in 2023 we potentially get one.
Listen to “Fall” by Choi Cello on Spotify:
Check out Choi Cello on Instagram: @choi_cello
Jeon Jun Yong, commonly known as JERO and formerly known as J-Yo is a singer-songwriter from South Korea. He debuted in 2010 with the K Pop group TOUCH. He left the group in 2012 so he could complete his mandatory military service. In July 2014, he joined the co-ed group Lucky J, under the stage name of J-Yo. The group disbanded in 2016 (Source: Lucky J K Profile). JERO made his solo debut on August 11, 2016 with the song “Airplane”, which was in collaboration with GIRIBOY. Since then, JERO has released multiple songs. His most popular song “SAVE ME” of 2 million streams is a collaboration with the K Pop singer JAMIE.
Additionally, his first EP Love over hate came out on November 27, 2020. In July 2021, JERO wrote his first OST (original soundtrack) “Common Regret” for the K Drama Monthly Magazine Home. In April 2022, JERO released the song “Hate this love” which is my favourite song of his. His last release of 2022 was on December 20 with the song “Ms. christmas”. He currently has about 16.5K monthly listeners.
Listen to “Hate this love” by JERO on Spotify:
Check out JERO on Instagram: @jerofficiall
With 19.5K monthly listeners, nynas is a rising singer songwriter from South Korea. He made his debut in January 2022 with the single “Beautiful”. This is the song that made me start listening to nynas, and has become my favourite song from his discography. On April 9, 2022, his single “Thunders” came out. This song was a collaboration with The Beach Voice and also happens to be his most popular song with 326K streams.
Nynas released his first EP SUNSET on December 16, 2022. The EP consists of four songs. Considering he debuted in 2022 and has over 18K streams, hopefully 2023 will bring him a significant growth in monthly listeners.
Listen to “Beautiful” by nynas on Spotify:
Check out nynas on Instagram: @nynas___
DAHEE is an independent singer, songwriter, composer and producer from Seoul, South Korea. She currently has about 42K monthly listeners. In 2019, she posted a cover of “Normal Girl” by SZA to her SoundCloud. Following the release of her cover, she signed a deal with Craft And Jun in 2019. She made her debut to digital streaming platforms with the song “LUH!” which was in collaboration with SOLE. This song is also her most popular song with 886K streams. Another popular song of hers is “FOCUS”, which came out in December 2020, and happens to be my favourite song from her. DAHEE is an artist I recently came across because of her single “Footprints” from September 2022. This song is currently in the Spotify curated playlist “In The K-Indie“. DAHEE has yet to release an EP or album so hopefully we get one soon!
Listen to “FOCUS” by DAHEE on Spotify:
Check out DAHEE on Instagram: @daheealmond
You can find my favourite song of each artist mentioned in this article on our Spotify playlist below: