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K-pop favourites from 2022: the best of the best

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The year 2022 K-pop is wrapped up, and I wanted to make a top list of my favourite K-pop in 2022. It is hard to pick favourites as there are so many, but I thought that it would be a fun challenge to do so! What were your favourites from 2022? I have below categorized my favourites. Last year I picked my top eight favourite K-pop songs of 2021. So, this year it is a little bit different. Let me know which one you prefer.

I base these favourites on what I listened to the most or have fond memories of 2022. The songs I enjoyed the most were somehow meaningful to me and, therefore on this list.

The top releases are in categories, and I will include other K-pop-related things too in this list if I feel that it is worth mentioning. The categories bring a bit of variation to artists and groups. All of these top songs have been mentioned in my blog previously, so I will leave a link where you can go see the review in more detail in my posts in 2022.

Let’s hop into the 2022 K-pop favourites!

1. Best K-pop album 2022: Ha Sung Woon’s ’Strange World’ mini-album

Ha Sung Woon released several releases this year, and I love them all. But for this ranking, I can only choose one. My favourite was the ’Strange World’ mini-album, which came out in August. All the songs are great, and I’ve been listening to the ’Strange World’ EP every day after its release because it is so good! From the title track, ’FOCUS’, upbeat pop, to R&B vibes of ‘Baby Blue’ and to a ballad song ‘Daylight’, which ends the mini-album. On ’Strange World’ there are various music styles that work awesome together, and listening to Ha Sung Woon’s amazing vocals is bliss. For my longer review of the EP, check out my August highlights.

2. Best K-pop debut 2022: LE SSERAFIM

Girl group, LE SSERAFIM, made a great debut with their mini album ’FEARLESS’ and came back with another great EP, ‘ANTIFRAGILE‘, at the end of the year. I chose this as the best debut because of the consistent quality of the music, performances and releases. I love the title track,’ANTIFRAGILE’, and it has one of my favourite dance choreographies of this year! Check out my longer review of LE SSERAFIM from the October highlights.

3. Best K-pop crossover 2022: (G)I-DLE’s ’TOMBOY’

Girl group (G)I-DLE’s, ’TOMBOY’, was a perfect mix of pop and rock influences, with a super catchy chorus. These elements made this song a big hit, and for me, it sounds like a rock and K-pop crossover. For a longer review of this song, check out my highlights from March 2022.

4. Best K-pop party song 2022: PSY’s (prod. SUGA from BTS) ’That That’

PSY’s ’That that’ was a perfect party song for the spring and summer of 2022. With the fun dance choreography: I have been dancing all year long to the fun chorus. With the nice Latin-style beat and catchy chorus, it was one of the most-played songs this year. Check out the longer review in my April highlights.

5. Best K-pop musical 2022: Metatheater’s ’Midnight Sun’

This year I discovered that you could watch K-pop musicals online at the Metatheater’s service! So, I watched the heartwarming and cute ’Midnight Sun’ musical from the Metatheater site. You can find many musicals running throughout the year. The shows are live, and you can choose subtitles if you want to. So, this is a convenient and fun way to watch your favourite idols/actors performing in musicals in Seoul. The musical, ’Midnight Sun’, has great songs, and the cast performing was amazing in 2022.

"Midnight Sun" -musical was running in 2022 from May to June.  You could buy cute merchandise too. Here's the musical book and CD of 2022: this was the version with Kwon Eun-Bi and Ha Sung Woon in it.
“Midnight Sun”, the musical, was running in 2022 from May to June. You could buy cute merchandise too. Here’s the musical book and CD of 2022: this was the version with Kwon Eun-Bi and Ha Sung Woon.

6. Best dance choreography 2022: Billlie’s ‘GingaMingaYo’

Billie’s ‘GingaMingaYo’ is a great song and a bop, but also it has an amazing group dance choreography! I had so many favourites for this category, so it was hard to choose. My other dance choreography favourites were Seventeen’s ‘HOT’ (the chorus!), LE SSERAFIM’s ‘ANTIFRAGILE’, BTS’s ‘Run BTS’, ONEUS’s ‘Same Scent’ (Traditional version) and Ha Sung Woon’s ‘FOCUS’. The ‘GingaMingaYo’ dance choreography is fascinating because there is happening a lot of small details all the time, and it is quite challenging to perform. All the group members have a powerful effect on the whole performance, and it looks amazing. See my full review of the ‘GingaMingaYo’in the February highlights

7. Best K-hip hop 2022: Balming Tiger’s ‘SEXY NUKIM’ (feat. RM of BTS)

This I considered for a long time, and it was difficult, but I had to pick the Balming Tiger’s ‘SEXY NUKIM’ as the best K-hip-hop for 2022. It was an experimental, chill and still very listenable hip-hop song. With this amount of experimentalism, it is harder to achieve listenability. The raps are here top-notch, so this one sneaked into my best K-hip-hop for all the reasons mentioned. Find my longer review of the song in my September highlights.

8. Best OST K-pop 2022: Jimin X Ha Sung Woon ’With You’

For the best OST song, I picked ‘With You’, because it is a beautiful and delicate ballad. The song fits the OST, ‘Our Blues’ very well, and the song flows well with the lyrics and the great vocals. The song has my favourite singer, Ha Sung Woon, and Jimin from BTS, making this a dream collaboration. Such a great dreamy ballad this one is! Check out the full review of the song in my April highlights.

9. Best K-pop collection: BTS’s ’Proof’ Anthology

The best collection of songs from the past and present, with three new songs, was BTS’s ’Proof’. With older and newer K-pop classic songs, this was an easy choice and category. I love the ’Run BTS’ dance choreography, and it’s my favourite song of all the three new songs on this collection. Also, the title track ‘Yet to Come’ has grown on me after its release. I like it more now. It has a great melody and rap lines; it is a very comforting song. Check out my longer review of ’Proof’ in June highlights.

I went to the 2022 BTS Exhibition 'PROOF' in October in Seoul.
I attended the 2022 BTS Exhibition ‘PROOF’ in October in Seoul.

10. Best group K-pop comeback 2022: KARD

After a long time, the four-piece group KARD returned in 2022 with their mini album, ‘Re:’. The title track of the album, ‘Ring the Alarm’, was long awaited and was a great song for the summer. With a fresh and groovy comeback, KARD are the best group comeback in 2022! With the great dance choreographies and songs, I was so happy about this comeback. You can find a longer review of KARD’s title track in the June highlights.

KARD was performed at the MU:CON 2022 showcase in October at the Nodeul island in Seoul.
KARD was performed at the MU:CON 2022 showcase in October at the Nodeul island in Seoul.

Summing Up K-pop top favourites 2022

So, here were my favourites for 2022! I hope you found a lot of great songs and loved K-pop in 2022, and I hope we hear a lot of great songs in 2023! Many favourites went outside this list to keep this somewhat short and sweet. So, check out my highlights blogs and playlists on Spotify / Youtube. There you can find more great K-pop!

January has started, and it seems already an interesting month so far. We got Mnet’s ‘Boys Planet’ starting and many exciting comebacks coming. I started a ‘new K-pop releases’ on my Youtube channel, and I’ll post a list and first impressions on interesting K-pop releases I find while making a list of new songs. So if you are interested in the new releases and short reviews, please subscribe to my Youtube channel!

I hope you have an amazing week and a healthy, happy January!

Here are some First Impressions of new K-pop releases from 27th January on my Youtube channel. I post new releases every day and give my impressions on new K-pop. So fun!

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