Austn on the cover of Hallyu Release Radar
Artist on Cover: Austn

Welcome to the first month of “Hallyu Release Radar” – a monthly blog post where I share my top underrated songs released in the month. You can expect these posts on the last Sunday of every month.

Every month there are many Korean artists releasing songs and sometimes it’s hard to find the best songs by the underrated, non-mainstream artists. With this in mind, I will focus these monthly posts on artists that are underrated, new or have a small amount of monthly listeners. For album and EP comebacks of more well-known artists, check out our “Comeback Corner” section.

For this first post, let me just tell you briefly what “Hallyu” is. Hallyu (한류) translates to “Korean wave”. It’s a term that Chinese media outlets used to refer to the success of South Korean popular culture in China. It has now become a global term as the popularity of K pop, K dramas, movies and other entertainment has impacted the world. Titling these monthly posts as “Hallyu (Korean Wave) Release Radar” was a way for me to group all Korean music genres that I listen to in one post.

January was not only the start of a new year, but also a month full of new music and new discoveries for me. In this post, I will be sharing my top 10 songs by underrated Korean artists released this month and you can find all the songs in a playlist at the end of this post.

In order of release date, let’s get started.

I MISS YOU by GRAM album cover for Hallyu Release Radar: January 2023

Released on: January 1

“I MISS YOU” was of the first songs I heard on New Year’s Day and it has become one of my top 10 songs in my monthly receipt. This song is featured on his debut ep LOVE and currently has 6.2K streams. GRAM’s musical style is mainly r&b infused with a little bit of rap, especially in the song “SLOW MOTION” which emulates a similar vibe to pH-1’s musical style (probably why I also really loved this song). “I MISS YOU” is a song that has a retro feel to it because of the introduction which features a lo-fi, organ sound. 

After deep diving into GRAM’s Spotify, I realized he has collaborated with Dept on the song “Nap” which was released in October 2018. I was very shocked to see that GRAM only has 2.3K monthly listeners, but I truly believe that will go up within the year. I’m also really glad that I discovered GRAM because his music style is one of my favourites and I’m excited to see what other songs he releases.

Listen to “I MISS YOU” by GRAM on Spotify:

Check out GRAM on Instagram: @kdygram

마네킨 Mannequin by The ASIANIC album cover for Hallyu Release Radar: January 2023

Released on: January 1

This is another song I am so excited to share with everyone. First of all, this indie band is so underrated with their 19K monthly listeners but, I believe they will grow super fast. Their sound is mainly rock which makes sense because they are a band who uses guitar, retro synth and a four on the floor drum kit. However, they are more on the chill/softer side of rock so I think their music is a bit influenced by pop as well, which is a very nice blend. 

They remind me a lot of the Korean indie-pop band Standing Egg, an iconic indie-rock/pop band that I absolutely adore. This song “마네킨 Mannequin” is their only song with over 1K streams, so I am very excited to see how they grow and support them on their journey to success.

Listen to “마네킨 Mannequin” by The ASIANIC on Spotify:

Check out The ASIANIC on Instagram: @theasianic


Released on: January 3

“Let’s stay away” is one of my favourite releases this month because it’s a song that mixes elements from all the genres I love; rock, pop and rap. Starting the song off with beautiful chords from a synth/electronic piano, followed by drums and guitar when the first verse kicks off. The combination of seizetheday’s powerful voice with AQUINAS’ rap really completes the song. There were no Korean lyrics on Spotify or the internet for this song, so unfortunately I was unable to decipher what the overall meaning of this song is/the intent of this song. Definitely a fan of seizetheday after this song.

Listen to “Let’s stay away” by seizetheday, Lilkey and AQUINAS on Spotify:

Check out seizetheday, Lilkey and AQUINAS on Instagram: @realseizetheday, @lilkey_217 and @loveyouraquinas

Stay by Shin Youme album cover for Hallyu Release Radar: January 2023

Released on: January 3

Shin Youme is a singer that debuted in 2009 **under the stage name Riddim. In 2013, she changed her artist name to her birth name. Since then, she has released a lot of music and has even worked as a vocal coach for the K Pop groups GOT7, TWICE and DAY6.

I came across Shin Youme for the first time in December with the release of “Basic” which was an OST (original soundtrack) for the Netflix K Drama The Fabulous. Since then, I have been following Shin Youme on Spotify. “STAY” was a song that I had on repeat all month long because of the light piano chords, blended with her light voice. The chorus part where she sings “I need you to stay” is so catchy because of the drum beat and change of tempo. She definitely needs more listeners.

Listen to “STAY” by Shin Youme on Spotify:

Check out Shin Youme on Instagram: @newme_

the last stop of our pain by HANRORO album cover for Hallyu Release Radar: January 2023

Released on: January 4

HANRORO is an artist I came across this month because of this song. I had heard of her before but never actually listened to her prior to this song. “The last stop of our pain” is a beautiful slow song. It’s a song that could be used to heal from many emotions and pain. I absolutely love that it is an indie-rock song but it’s so peaceful rather than upbeat. This song reminded me of The Rose’s HEAL album which consists of slow, rock songs with the intend to heal the listener.

Listen to “The last stop of our pain” by HANRORO on Spotify:

Check out HANRORO on Instagram: @hanr0r0


Released on: January 4

Nine is an artist I had never heard of prior to this song. In fact, I had never really listened to OnlyOneOf, which is the K Pop group he debuted in. Since then, I have listened to OnlyOneOf and they are a very talented group. I came across this song randomly on January 5 or 6 and was surprised to see he had only 45 monthly listeners at the time. Since, then as a soloist he has grown to have 45 000 monthly listeners. This song is a fun, R&B style song mixed with the traditional K Pop elements. Overall, it is a different style to the music he usually participates in with OnlyOneOf. This being said, I hope we can hear more of Nine’s solo music this year and see how he grows.

Listen to “beyOnd” by Nine on Spotify:

Check out OnlyOneOf on Instagram: @onlyoneofofficial

when the snow melts by Austn album cover for Hallyu Release Radar: January 2023

Released on: January 5

“when the snow melts” is a dreamy, chill, guitar filled song by Austn, a singer and producer under Cherry Hill. I discovered this song on the release day through New Music K-Pop and I loved how Austn sings and raps a little bit on this song making it a cozy yet upbeat song. It’s a song that I feel would fit really well in a K Drama. Listening to Austn’s other songs, I came to a conclusion that he loves to explore with different genres and I think his voice suits every one he has tried.

Listen to “when the snow melts” by Austn on Spotify:

Check out Austn on Instagram: @austn.kr

Kursor by Ni album cover for Hallyu Release Radar: January 2023

Released on: January 5

kursor is another artist that I discovered this month thanks to this song and the New Music K-Pop playlist. Honestly, I don’t know much about kursor as it seems he is still underrated and off social media. However, I did find out that he is signed to or distributes music through SUPER SOUND Bugs!. Really looking forward to hearing more of kursor and hopefully learning more about him this year.

Listen to “NI” by kursor on Spotify:

상상 - M1NU, Wiz World

Released on: January 6

“상상” which translates to “imagination” is the first track on M1NU and Wiz World’s EP M1NUWORLD. M1NU is a singer-songwriter and Wiz World are a producer duo, both artists I had never listened to prior to this song. I came across the song “담아” (translates to “put” or “put on/in”), in the Spotify curated playlist New Music K-Pop. After falling in love with this song, I listened to the rest of the EP and that is when 상상 really stood out to me. I highly recommend listening to the whole EP though because it is really cozy and comforting.

Listen to “상상” by M1NU and Wiz World on Spotify:

Check out M1NU and Wiz World on Instagram: @m1nuonline and @wizworld_official

Released on: January 9

Levan is a very underrated singer with about 2K monthly listeners. This song is so vibey and combines elements of different genres such as; pop, dance and indie-rock. I really love how the drum beat follows a different pattern than the bass/guitar. I think the usage of instruments blend really well together and the production is really good. Levan has a great voice and when he shifts from Korean to English and vice versa, I like how his style of singing changes slightly. Hopefully, we get some more music this year like this song.

Listen to “Mellow Movie” by Levan on Spotify:

You can find all 10 songs mentioned in this article on our Spotify playlist below:

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