If there’s one thing Red Velvet is known for, it’s their ever-changing sound. The group was named for its dual concept—bright “Red” pop and mature “Velvet” R&B. However, over the past six years, Red Velvet has aced far more than these two genres. Just take a look at 12 of the styles they’ve taken on since debut.
Red Velvet’s debut song, “Happiness”, is a vibrant Euro pop song with strong worldbeat elements (particularly sub-Saharan African beats) in its percussion.
Worldbeat is a contemporary genre that combines pop with indigenous music sound from around the globe.
“Be Natural” may predominantly be an R&B track, but it was strong jazz influences.
Jazz is an African American genre characterized by swing, blue notes, and call and response vocals among other elements.
Slow jam “Automatic” has been described as a 90s R&B track with neo-soul influences.
Neo-soul is similar to contemporary R&B, but it features heavy soul elements as well as jazz, funk, hip hop, and more.
4. Drum & Bass
“Ice Cream Cake” blends bubblegum pop, a genre much-loved in K-Pop, with drum and bass.
Drum and bass is characterized by its heavy bass and very fast breakbeats.
Red Velvet has two songs that blend pop with funk: “Dumb Dumb” and “Rookie”.
Funk is a mixture of R&B, soul, and jazz, focusing on a groovy bassline, melody, and chord progressions.
All five members of Red Velvet are considered vocalists, so it’s no surprise that they tried the ballad genre with “One of These Nights”.
Ballads are slow and emotional-laden songs, typically with a strong focus on love in the lyrics.
Ever noticed how “Russian Roulette” sounds like a video game? That’s because it’s influenced by chiptune.
Chiptune is electronic music made using the same synthesizers that generate sound for old-school arcade games.
8. Tropical House
Billboard described “Peek-a-Boo” as a quirky pop song “laden with trop house elements”.
Trop house, also known as tropical house, is a deep house subgenre that brings in sounds from dancehall and reggae.
In “Bad Boy”, Red Velvet listeners greeted fans with synthy R&B and trap beats.
Trap is a hip hop subgenre that makes use of synthesized drums, simple hi-hats, and decayed kick drums.
“Zimzalabim”, one of the group’s most polarizing songs to date, is known for its EDM sound.
EDM is short for electronic dance music, featuring heavily inorganic songs that sound perfect for nightclubs.
In “Umpah Umpah”, Red Velvet sing over a track filled with old school elements—particularly disco.
Disco is a type of 70s dance music with syncopated baselines, electric rhythm guitars, four-on-the-floor beats, and more.
Red Velvet’s most recent release, “Monster”, comes from their first subunit with Irene and Seulgi. It’s catching attention for its use of dubstep in the dance break.
Dubstep is an EDM genre based on UK garage, and it’s most commonly known for its wobble bass (also known as the wub sound).