When it comes to music, there are hundreds of different genres you could listen to. And when it comes to K-Pop, an industry characterized by its fusion of genre, it can be difficult to tell one from the other!
Here is a list of 10 different genres and an NCT song that matches it to help you get the vibes.
1. R&B – “Back 2 U (AM 01:27)”
R&B, also known as Rhythm and Blues, originated in Black American communities in the 1940s. Today, a fusion of traditional R&B, pop, hip hop, and electronic music makes up Contemporary R&B.
“Back 2 U (AM 01:27)” is a perfect example of an R&B-inspired NCT song! Think smooth and love and flawless vocals.
2. Bubblegum Pop – “Chewing Gum”
What better song to describe bubblegum pop than “Chewing Gum!” Bubblegum pop got its name because of its target audience: the youth who, back in the 1960s, were always chewing gum.
NCT DREAM are all about the hopes and dreams of young people and “Chewing Gum” is a perfect example of feel-good music that makes you want to dance.
3. ’90s Hip Hop – “90s Love”
This one seems a bit obvious, but it still deserves its own spot on the list! From the ’80s to ’90s, hip hop experienced its Golden Age where innovative artists were changing the genre with every release.
Golden age hip hop saw a huge rise in sampling, which is taking parts of a previously existing song or sound and working it into something new. “90s Love” samples “Pass the Courvoisier Part II” by Busta Rhymes!
4. Tropical House – “Switch”
Tropical House is a subgenre of house music, which itself is a genre of electronic dance music. It has a consistent beat and often incorporates tropical instruments, like the marimba you can hear in “Switch!”
5. Synthpop – “ANL”
Synthpop is, well, pop music that’s heavily focused on synthesizers! While early synthpop was criticized for its emotionless quality, in the 1980s, dance beats were introduced and synthpop took a turn towards more emotional lyrics.
This totally fits with “ANL,” a track that’s all about wanting to spend all day and night with someone you love.
6. Pop Ballad – “No Longer”
In K-Pop, when we refer to ballads, we most often are talking about pop ballads! Ballads are emotional pieces of music and can come in all genres, like rock, jazz, and R&B. NCT 127’s “No Longer” is a perfect example of a pop ballad: slow, tender, and full of emotion.
7. Trap – “Turn Back Time”
Trap music has roots in the life and hardships experienced by the southern Americans it originates from. Therefore, in K-Pop, it’s rare to find music that perfectly fits the trap genre. However, there are tons of trap-inspired tracks, like WayV’s “Turn Back Time!”
Think thick synthesizers, deep drums, quick hi-hats, and that signature triplet rap flow, and you’ll see how “Turn Back Time” was inspired by trap music.
8. Electropop – “Electric Hearts”
This one is pretty self-explanatory too: electropop is a fusion of electronic music and pop. Electropop is all over K-Pop— think SHINee and f(x), for example. “Electric Hearts” is an electropop masterpiece that fully embraces that energetic, bright electronic sound.
9. EDM – “Love Me Now”
EDM stands for electronic dance music and is the broad category that includes the previously mentioned synthpop and electropop. It’s the kind of music you want to hear come on in the club; it makes you want to get up and dance, and if the chorus has any lyrics, they’re always addicting. Just like in “Love Me Now!”
10. Pop Rock – “Paint Me Naked”
Ten‘s upcoming solo “Paint Me Naked” was described as a pop-rock song, and they’ve definitely nailed it! Though the song won’t be out until tomorrow, August 10, the teaser already shows some signature characteristics of the genre: forward guitar sounds, powerful drums, an upbeat feel, and strong vocals.