5 K-pop boy groups who debuted in 2014 to look out for

The world of K-pop is a fast-paced ride, which means that every year dozens of new groups debut, leaving us with more and more idols to keep track of. With this constant onslaught of new groups and new people, how do you know which ones to pay attention to? Never fear – here we have five boy groups you’ve almost definitely heard of, and this is your chance to get to know them better.

B.I.G (Boys In Groove)

Who are they?

B.I.G are a five member group under GH Entertainment, on July 8th 2014. Their debut song is ‘Hello’, and the boys not only say hello to their fans in a multitude of languages, but they also rattle off a list of great things about Korea. B.I.G consists of leader J-Hoon, Gunmin, Gook Minpyo, Benji, and maknae Heedo. A well-rounded group, B.I.G are all very solid dancers, and these boys have some impressive pipes. They are talented for sure – their debut teaser makes that absolutely clear!

Where to find them:

Being a smaller group on a smaller record label, news of B.I.G can be difficult to find if you’re not heavily ensconced in their fandom. So, if you want a few easy places to check them out and get to know them, they’re easiest to learn about through their member ‘Benji’. Benji is arguably the face of the group, and he hosts the ‘Music Access’ show on Arirang Radio (taking over from Nu’est’s Aron) every day from 2-4PM KST. Also for an easy watch, check out Benji’s violin performances on After School Club episode 138 – this kid is talented, and here’s hoping he and the other boys can get their names out there.

Intro Track:

B.I.G’s most recent offering is ‘Between Night n Music’, and it’s a jam. Enjoy!

LU:KUS

Who are they?

My personal favourites on this list, the ‘New Generation of Beast-dol’, LU:KUS are a five-member boy group hosted under Box Entertainment. Originally put together in 2013, LU:KUS performed their debut single ‘So Into U’ on June 7th at 2014’s Dream Concert, before making their official debut on July 4th. LU:KUS is made up of former X-5 (aka the tallest group in K-Pop) members, leader Donghyun, Haewon, and maknae Jinwan, as well as members Choi and Kyungjin.

Where to find them:

Luckily for fans, LU:KUS have their own YouTube channel, and from time to time they upload videos of them all (or, most of them at least) goofing around. Although none of them are subbed on the channel, you can still watch the boys play around and generally have fun, which is always nice to see.

LU:KUS’ channel also hosts videos of the group pre-debut, when their company originally started releasing teasers in 2013. LU:KUS were a group who were a long time in coming, and it would be a shame for the former X-5 members to fade into obscurity once again!

Intro Track:

LU:KUS have only had two songs to date, but their debut ‘So Into U’ was a catchy, dark concept with a killer chorus, and I recommend it to anybody who will listen.

HIGH4

Who are they?

The clue is in the name: HIGH4 is a four-member group consisting of leader Sunggu, Alex, Myunghan, and maknae Youngjun. The group are currently under NAP Entertainment, who are one of the seemingly thousands of smaller companies distributed by the much larger LOEN Entertainment.

Touted as a hip-hop group, HIGH4’s image to date has been largely very cute and bright, but they have shown their more mature side with ‘Day By Day’. HIGH4 are a very refreshing addition to the K-pop world. I expect big things from these boys, and clearly so do their record label – in their short career (having only debuted on April 7th, 2014) they’re already released duets with the veteran soloist IU, as well as Lim Kim.

Where to find them:

Like B.I.G, HIGH4’s easiest introductory route is through their English-speaking member Alex, who also hosts a show every day on Arirang radio. Alex hosts the Super K-Pop show from 4-6PM KST, having recently taken over hosting from Electroboyz member Randy ‘1KYNE’ Kim. To get to know the whole group better, check out their three episode stint on their own show HIGH4 – WHO AM I, which can be found with full English subtitles on the 1theK’s YouTube channel.

Intro Track:

Three out of four of HIGH4’s songs to date have been extremely fun, catchy, and rather sweet – but I personally feel the best HIGH4 track to listen to is their incredibly smooth duet with Lim Kim, titled A Little Close.

MADTOWN

The biggest group on this list, MADTOWN are a seven-member group created by J.Tune Camp, known as the house of MBLAQ. J.Tune are also the company who have a very confusing merger record. Formerly a subsidiary of JYP, they became independent in 2013.

MADTOWN consists of members Moos, Daewon, Lee Geon, Jota, Heo Jun, and the maknae team of Buffy and H.O. Moos and Buffy originally debuted as the hip-hop duo Pro-C in 2013, and Buffy is known in particular for passing the first round of auditions for the fourth season of the hip-hop survival competition Show Me The Money, and will appear as a contestant along with a slew of other idol rappers including VIXX’s Ravi, and Winner’s Mino.

Where to find them:

Despite being on a more established record label, MADTOWN can also be a difficult one to follow. The boys have appeared on the usual episodes of Let’s Go! Dream Team (surely this is a contractual obligation for most groups, at this point?), and they also appeared on a couple of episodes of Idol School alongside groups like UNIQ and Mr.Mr, as well as appearances on Yaman TV with CLC. Something to definitely check out is their episode of Let’s Dance, during which the members rather cutely show their point choreography for their debut track ‘YOLO’. Oh, and these boys can dance (with flips and everything!) – check out their dance practice vid for YOLO, too.

Intro Track:

Having only released two MVs to date, I would definitely recommend giving their debut track YOLO a listen. Honestly it took me a few listens (mostly because YOLO just…doesn’t need to be said ever again) but it’s a fun song, and it now has a permanent place on my trust K-Pop playlist.

 

UNIQ

The newest group on the list, UNIQ are a five-member group under Chinese label Yuehua Entertainment (represented in Korea by Starship) who also house former Super Junior member Han Geng. Sticking to their status as a multinational entertainment label, UNIQ are made up of three Chinese members Yixuan, Wenhan, and Yibo, and two Korean members Sungjoo and Seungyoun. UNIQ have the interesting (or slightly poached) concept of having rotating leaders depending on which country they are promoting in, with Yixuan acting as leader in China, and Sungjoo acting as leader when in Korea. The group debuted on 16th October 2014, simultaneously releasing Korean and Chinese versions of their debut track Falling In Love. A month after debut, UNIQ also released an English version of Falling In Love.

Where to find them:

The best way to get to know UNIQ is, actually, through their music – having only debuted in October last year, the boys have already released five tracks – but with numerous versions. What this means is the boys have already racked up 11 music videos (although whether dance versions count separately may be up for debate). But, if you want more of an insight into the boys’ personalities, they also have a Let’s Dance to show you the point choreography of their earworm track EOEO. Most impressively, the boys have already got themselves a few awards, including ‘Most Promising Group of the Year’ for Asia at the Tencent Beijing App Awards, strengthening their image in China along with a full group appearance on the always incredibly fun Happy Camp, produced by Hunan TV. As for collabs with other artists, maknae Seungyoun also played the male lead in Park Jimin’s (of duo 15&) debut solo track Hopeless Love.

Intro Track:

WEE-OOOOOOOOOOO WE-OOOOOO WE-OOOOOOOOOOOO!

Apparently this is known as the ‘Love Alarm’…and I certainly find my love for this song alarming. It’s fun, trust me. Just listen and you’ll end up liking it even if you don’t want to.

This is just a few of the many boy bands that debuted in 2014. If you have any other favourites let us know.

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Helen

Production journalist, sociology grad and video games enthusiast. I really love Epik High. Tweeting at @hm_worthed
  • Lily Hua

    I have not heard of any of these groups except. B.I.G. I hope to see more for them. They seem to have faded into obscurity but I hope they have not disbanded yet.