Korean popular music began with Korean songs such as trot and ponchak, and was pioneered by the group Seotaejiwa Idol, who was also known as the “President of Culture.” Thanks to the efforts of people like the pioneers of K-pop idol groups such as HOT and SES, I believe that more free and open expression has increased.
In recent years, hit songs by groups such as Girls’ Generation, KARA, and Wonder Girls, which have sparked a social K-Pop movement, have been popularized as #Korean melodies on TikTok.
Therefore, in this article, we have focused on nostalgic hit songs that will bring you back to those days, regardless of genre. Let’s listen to Korean nostalgic melodies that are fresh and wonderful even now!
Top 21 Nostalgic K-POP Songs
Mister by KARA
Girl group KARA. “Mr.” is included in their second album. This story depicts a woman who falls in love at first sight. There may be some people who feel uncomfortable here. In fact, in the translated version that is popular in Japan, the lyrics have been changed.
Why not enjoy it while also considering the differences? Also, the hip dance during the chorus is a highlight. So, it is one song that I would like you to check out in the video.
The First Snow is Coming by Lee Jeong-Seok
Lee Jeong-Seok’s song titled “ The First Snow is Coming” is being used in the drama Sketch of Love ~Reply 1988~ and is receiving renewed attention. In addition, Park Bo Gum’s performance on the YouTube channel was shown, which caused further buzz.
It’s a love song with a snow theme, and its relaxing sound is sure to soothe your soul. Please check out both the original version and Park Bo Gum’s performance. The performance is arranged to use Christmas carols.
From the Beginning Until Now by Ryu
Winter Sonata is a drama that has caused a social phenomenon in Japan. The theme song is From the Beginning to Now. This is a ballad song about a man and a woman who are in love but have to break up.
Ryu, who is in charge of the project, has a silky voice, and the content is sure to move your heart. Even if you haven’t heard it yet, please take this opportunity to check it out. By the way, this song is also Ryu’s debut single.
Letter by Kim Kwang Jin
Kim Kwang Jin’s “Letter” is a song that I would like to recommend to those of you who are looking for autumn songs. Kim Kwang Jin’s clear and soft singing voice permeates the heart that worries about autumn. Please pay attention to the sad yet gentle lyrics.
A Flaming Sunset by Lee Moon Sae
Lee Moon-Sae is a singer who is also active as a host and radio DJ. His 1988 release “A Flaming Sunset” became a hot topic when it was later covered by BIGBANG.
You can deeply enjoy his high-tone voice, which is known as a ballad singer. The lead synth that resonates with a powerful rock sound is impressive. The dynamically unfolding chorus work echoes emotionally. Listen to classic songs from long-loved Korean entertainers.
Candy by HOT
H.O.T. is a Korean idol group that represented the 1990s. It has become overwhelmingly popular among teenagers and has become a major part of pop culture. He has also produced many songs that have social issues as their theme.
Among their songs, “Candy” is pop and perfect for beginners. It appears on the 1996 release We Hate All Kinds Of Violence. The colorful and catchy melody line is impressive. If you want to listen to nostalgic hip-hop, give it a listen.
Good Day by IU
Singer-songwriter IU is so popular in Korea that she is called the “National Little Sister”. As an actress, she is also known for her beautiful looks.
Released in 2012 as her debut single in Japan, “Good Day” is a love song about heartbreak. The elegant and pop melody line is impressive. The sound is a perfect mix of disco and electro. Nostalgic melodies with ageless charm will give you vitality.
Couple by SECH SKIES
Along with the idol group H.O.T., the boy group Sech Skies was a big hit in the Korean music scene in the 1990s. “COUPLE” recorded in “2016 Re-ALBUM” released by them in 2016 is a refreshing pop song.
You can deeply enjoy their singing voices that are transparent. It’s a danceable track, but it also has a sentimental side. Why don’t you fall in love with their charm that is loved over time?
NOBODY by WONDER GIRLS
The idol group Wonder Girls is known for their retro music and fashion. It is known as the spark of the K-POP boom that continues to this day. This “NOBODY” is a dance number reminiscent of disco sounds and black music.
The nostalgic yet new electro sound was loved by many people. The light rhythm gives a pop impression, but their high singing ability is also worth paying attention to. Please listen to the folk melodies, which can be said to be the origin of hook songs.
Gee by Girls’ Generation
Girls’ Generation, is a music group that has had a great influence not only on the Korean music world but also on the J-POP scene. It is known for its global activities, such as making its debut in Europe and the United States beyond Asia. Among their works, I especially recommend “Gee” released in 2009.
It was also a big hit in Japan, so many of you must have heard it. The melody line resonates with a brilliant expression of electronica and dance-pop. It is a number that brought the charm of K-POP, which has its own unique tempo and sense of rhythm, to the world.
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I Know by Seotaiji and Boys
Hip-hop group Seotaejiwa Idol was very active in the early days of K-POP, which is now known all over the world. He is known for creating a movement in the Korean music world, where ballads and trots were the mainstream.
“I Know” from their 1992 release “Seotaiji & Boys” is a dance number where you can enjoy skillful rapping. The emotional synth sounds and rhythmic flows are packed with a charm that connects to the current K-POP. If you’re wondering, “Where did K-POP begin?”, please give it a listen.
RED by HyunA
Hyuna is a dance-pop singer and idol who can also rap. She is also known as a former member of girl idol groups Wonder Girls and 4minute.
Her solo release “Red” is a masterpiece that has won two of Korea’s most famous awards, the Golden Disc Awards and the Seoul Music Awards. In the music video for this song, HyunA is wearing hot pants and a bunny girl costume, and the stimulating visuals have become a hot topic.
To My Boyfriend by Fin.KL
Fin.KL is known as the original Korean idol group. The gorgeous dance that makes the most of the members’ individuality has been passed down in the K-POP world. “To My Boyfriend”, which is included in “BLUE RAIN” released by them in 1998, is a famous song that has been covered by various artists including BTS.
The pop and cute melodies also have funk and soul influences. It is a number that can be said to be the origin of K-POP, which is characterized by its unique rhythm and sound.
Heartbreakingly by Namjin
Namjin is also highly acclaimed as an actor. He was a popular trot singer from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. His 1967 release Kasmapuge was such a hit that a movie with the same title starring him was produced.
In Japan, Korean popular singer Lee Sun-ae’s cover is well-known.His singing style and vibrato are appealing. The melody line and lyrics that convey the sadness will bring tears to your eyes. If you like Enka and pop songs, please give them a listen.
Hometown Station by Na Hoon-ah
Along with singer Namjin, singer-songwriter Na Hoon-ah was a sensation in the Korean music scene in the 1960s and 1970s. “Hometown Station,” one of his signature songs and known as the “king of trot,” is a masterpiece with a nostalgic atmosphere.
The melody is both gorgeous and sad, which is typical of popular songs. He emotionally sings lyrics that make him feel nostalgic for his hometown. This song, which develops at a mid-tempo, will remind you of a train running.
Also Read: Popular Korean Hip Hop Artists
TOP(Twinkle Of Paradise) by SHINHWA
Since their debut in 1998, the idol group Shinhwa has been loved by fans for a long time. You are known for your electronica and R&B-based songs. Among their songs, one that I particularly recommend is the title song of “Twinkle Of Paradise” released in 1999.
The music that unfolds in an ennui atmosphere gives you an adult-like charm. The hip-hop style flow and cool chorus work are also attractive. If you like Korean hip-hop from the 1990s to 2000s, please give it a listen.
Oh My by Jang Yoon-Jeong
Jang Yoon-Jeong is a singer who is loved by a wide range of generations and is called the “Queen of Trot”. Known for having gorgeous and cute looks. In 2004, she released the title track to Omona, which won many awards.
It is finished with a melody that feels nostalgic and unique to popular songs. It had such an impact that it changed the image of trot at the time. When you listen to light Korean songs, you can’t help but dance.
Unconditionally by Park Sangcheol
Park Sangcheol, is a trot singer who has won many famous awards in Korea, such as winning the highest award in KBS national singing contest. In 2005, he released “Unconditional”, which was featured on the variety show “1 Night and 2 Days” and became a huge hit.
A melodious sound with a sense of speed and expansive chorus work. It’s a song that conveys the message that if someone you care about calls you, you’ll always be there. If you like rock and pop, please listen to it.
GANGNAM STYLE by PSY
“GANGNAM STYLE” has attracted attention from all over the world, triggered by its hit on YouTube. PSY, who is also active as a music producer, released it in 2012, and it is also known as a song that represents K-POP. His horse-riding dance choreography also became a hot topic, gaining popularity not only in Asia but also in the United States and Europe.
The unique lyrics unique to Korea that are engraved on the heavy dance beat match perfectly. The rhythm development of melodious songs and his unique singing will also give you energy. It is K-POP that discovers new possibilities of dance music based on EDM.
WA by Lee Jung-Hyun
Singer Lee Jong Hyun, who is also known as an actress, starred in the movie “Alice in Honesty”. “Come”, included in “Let’s Go To My Star”, which she released in 1999, is a song that expresses the feeling of “I want my lover to come back.”
The sound is reminiscent of trance and techno, creating simple and technical dance music. The Korean emotional hip-hop style flow is unique.
Battery of Love by Jinyoung Hong
Hong Jin-young is a trot singer who is known for “To Live” and is also active in dramas and movies. “Battery of Love” is her debut song with cute looks, also known as “Goddess of trot”. This is finished with girly lyrics reminiscent of an idol song.
The light sound reminiscent of disco sounds is also impressive. Her coquettish singing will make your heart flutter. This number is recommended as an introduction to trot for those who like to listen to current K-POP!
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