2016 has proven to be an amazing year for rookie groups, with many already topping charts in Korea and gaining legions of fans soon after their debut.
With two of top agencies SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment debuting their latest groups, the market for rookie groups definitely had some tough competition this year. But even with SM Entertainment’s next-generation male group and YG Entertainment’s second-ever female group in the mix, there have still been a handful of rookies who thoroughly impressed fans this year with their talents and charms straight from their debut.
Take a look at some of the most electric debuts from this year below:
IMFACT began the year debuting in January with their track “Lollipop.” Their colorful music video, adorable looks, and upbeat song will be stuck in your head for weeks. The group then made their first comeback in November with their darker hip-hop track “Feel So Good.”
While ASTRO made their pre-debut in 2015, it wasn’t until February 2016 the group made their official debut with their adorable track “Hide and Seek.” Their cute boy concept, adorable choreography, and catchy track with leave you in love with ASTRO at first sight. The group has also already gained a large following of fans both Korean and international fans.
Also debuting in February with “KNOCK,” KNK offer a darker concept compared to other debuting groups. With model-like proportions and dark concept, KNK is definitely a rookie group to look out for in the future.
Teased by SM Entertainment as their biggest and most international group yet, NCT U was the first sub-unit to debut with their epic track “The 7th Sense.” The group’s mid-tempo R&B track won them a following of international fans within weeks of debuting. NCT U was then followed by sub-units NCT 127 and NCT Dream later in the year.
Following the success of Produce 101, I.O.I debut with their energetic track “Dream Girls.” The members had already gained a large following in Korea thanks to Produce 101’s hit song “Pick Me,” but after the success of “Dream Girls,” the project group’s popularity continued to grow. Unfortunately, the group was only planned as a project and will be disbanding soon.
Debuting in July after being teased as the brother group to fan favorite MAMAMOO, VROMANCE burst onto the scene with their amazing vocals, adorable personalities, and jazzy pop track “SHE.”
As YG Entertainment‘s first girl group in seven years, BLACKPINK’s debut was met with high anticipation from fans. Debuting in August with their hit club track “BOOMBAYAH” did not disappoint and gained international attention and the rookie girl group already have earned a legion of fans around the world.
Debuting in October with their epic track “Fanfare,” SF9 is slowly gaining attention in Korea and around the world. With their amazing mix of vocals, rap, and dance, SF9 is another rookie group to look out for.
PENTAGON’s impressive debut with their track “Gorilla” in October was met with high expectations from fans. The track unique mix of jazz, hip-hop, and pop will leave it stuck in your head for weeks. They made their first official comeback earlier this month with their new track “Can You Feel It.”
Debuting earlier this month, K.A.R.D are already gaining an international following for their tropical R&B track “Oh NaNa.” Their unique mature concept paired with mixing both male and female members together is a refreshing change from the norm.
Their debut song has gained the project from the usually smaller label DSP Entertainment a surprising amount of attention in a short span of time. K.A.R.D are a group to look out for!