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K-pop Highlights February 2023

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Hi, it’s time for the K-pop February 2023 highlights! February went fast, and a lot was happening in K-pop. And there were debuts and so many good songs. I struggled to pick my favourites this month because so many good songs came out. So here I have my absolute favourites! I have a Spotify playlist with all the highlights and song releases I enjoyed in 2023.

K-pop reality music shows that started in February

In February, Mnet started to air their reality music television show “Boys Planet”. So far, an excellent show! The viewers can vote for their favourites, and a boy group is formed and debuts after this television show. The show’s contestants’ talent is impressive! The show has been really well cut and is entertaining. I recommend this show if you are interested in K-pop reality shows. 

Also, there is another boy group survival show currently going on that I still need to watch. The contest is called Peak Time 피크타임 by JTBC. They have a few platforms to watch this (information on Twitter). I just realized there are, for example, the group Aimers, which was in my January highlights last month! So this might interest you as groups are competing against each other. It could be fun for a K-pop fan to follow!

K-pop news and a concert in Helsinki

In the K-pop corporate world, February was news month as HYBE Labels purchased SM Entertainment’s shares from the founder Lee Soo Man. And a piece of unfortunate news was Brave Girls announcing disbandment and their last single release, “Goodbye“, under Brave Entertainment. Brave Girls are my favourite girl K-pop group, so I hope all the members will have an excellent career whatever they set out to do and succeed in the future! Minyoung has already opened a cafe in Seoul. I am so happy for her!

Brave Girls released their "Summer Queen" mini album in 2021 after their song "Rollin" became a superhit after many years, although it was released in 2017 originally. The album includes excellent tracks, such as "Pool Party" and Chi Mat Ba Ram".
Brave Girls released their “Summer Queen” mini album in 2021 after their song “Rollin” became a superhit after many years, although it was released in 2017 originally. The album includes excellent tracks, such as “Pool Party” and Chi Mat Ba Ram”.

What is fantastic, I got to attend a K-pop concert in Finland! How unexpected and mind-blowing a K-pop concert in Helsinki, Finland! But it is true, as K-pop solo artist KISU was on a world tour in Europe. He held a show at the Tiivistämö in Helsinki to a small but enthusiastic crowd. The concert was excellent, and KISU’s performance was fantastic! You can read my concert review of KISU’s show in Helsinki on my blog.

I listen to almost every new K-pop release these days as I have a daily new K-pop release video series on Youtube. And in this blog, I list my monthly personal subjective opinions and favourites. I pick three to five of my favourites daily and give my first impressions of the songs. You can also check out my travel and concert videos there. If you want to know what I am up to, you can follow me on Instagram 😊

So, let’s hop on to the K-pop February 2023 K-pop highlights and favourites!

Song of the Month and Favourite Track: Ha Sung Woon, “Snowy Stars” (Single, BPM Entertainment)

Solo artist Ha Sung Woon, my favourite singer and artist ever, released a surprise digital single, “Snowy Stars“, on 8th February! This was the 4th-anniversary date of his fan club, and it was a gift to all the fans. And what a gift it was! This song is a beautiful R&B track with a neo-soul feel and a slow beat. Ha Sung Woon’s soft voice is fantastic, and the melodies are wonderful. The lyrics are warm and full of symbolism.

He prepared this song before enlisting in the military, where he currently is in. “Snowy Stars” is a sweet and lovely song and a surprise to all fans, HA:NEUL, during the cold winter. I love this song and listen to the track many times a day. It’s so amazing!

I was lucky enough to go to his show in October in Seoul at the Someday Pleroma festival. You can check out my concert review in my blog. Last year Ha Sung Woon released a mini album, “Strange World, ” my favourite album of 2022: check out my review of “Strange World”. Ha Sung Woon has previously been in boy groups HotShot and Wanna One and started his solo career in 2019.

Amazing Ha Sung Woon performed in Someday Pleroma in October 2022 in Seoul! He is performing here "Can't Live Without You", a beautiful song.
Amazing Ha Sung Woon performed in Someday Pleroma in October 2022 in Seoul! He is performing here “Can’t Live Without You”, a beautiful song.

Smooth Collaboration: JUST B X AleXa “MBTI” (Single, Bluedot Entertainment)

Solo artist AleXa and the six-member boy group JUSTB collaborated in February with a single, “JUST Be with you Pt.1”; the track is called “MBTI“. This song has a 90’s retro vibe with the production: I love the R&B style of this era with the basslines and drumbeats that this track has! This song also has outstanding vocals and melodies.

The dance choreography is cute, too, and I would be thrilled to see more female and male artists collaborate with pop songs like this. It’s fun! I immediately liked this song and was happy about this exciting collaboration.

AleXa is a solo artist who won the American Song Contest in 2022 in May with the great song “Wonderland“. JUST B debuted on June 2021 with a mini album called “JUST BURN”, so they are still a relatively new group. Last year they released hits like “RE=LOAD” and “ME= (나는)“.

JUST B performed in the MU:CON 2022 Seoul Showcase event in October. An excellent performance from them!
JUST B performed in the MU:CON 2022 Seoul Showcase event in October. An excellent performance from them!

Super catchy pop is here: n.SSign, “Salty” (pre-release music video, n.CH Entertainment)

The rookie boy group, n.SSign, with seven members, dropped a pre-debut music video for the song “Salty” in February. I remember liking this when I heard it the first time. Still, I remember that I found myself singing this after a week and didn’t remember whose song it was and had to go through all the new releases and find out it was this song!

I have yet to find a single or a mini album as I write this post. But the song is so good, melodic, catchy and pure pop. You can check this out on Youtube, where there is a music video. The dance choreographies look great, and the vocals are amazing! The music video is cute, and it has uniqueness in the storyline. I am waiting for this fantastic song to release to get it on my playlist! n.SSign is a boy group formed in a television audition show called “Youth Star”.

Cuteness Overload: STAYC, “Teddy Bear” (Single, High Up Entertainment)

The six-piece girl group STAYC released the single “Teddy Bear” on Valentine’s Day on 14th February. I usually like STAYC’s songs a lot, and this song grew on me as I listened to this more. “Teddy Bear” has a cool chorus melody, and the song is overly cute! The production of this song has some dry-sounding synths and a loud snare sound. I also love the guitar riffs in this one. The STAYC’s vocals are excellent, and the whole song is adorable.

“Teddy Bear” is a joyful song with some great energy from STAYC again! The dance choreography looks impressive too! I am gonna try this one out and learn some of it. There is an Everline STAYC pop-up store in Seoul, if you are in the neighbourhood, from the 6th to the 15th of March.

Funky and Classy: Hwang Min-Hyun, “Hidden Side” (EP, HYBE Labels)

Last but not least, I picked as the highlight of the month Hwang Min-Hyun’s title track from the new mini album “Truth or Lie”. Hwang Min-Hyun has been in the boy group NU’EST, which disbanded last year, and also in Wanna One, a project group formed in the audition television show “Produce 101 Season 2” in 2017. Currently, he is a mentor for the contestants in the Mnet’s K-pop television audition show “Boys Planet”.

Hwang Min-Hyun’s “Hidden Side” expresses the many sides of him as he steps into a solo era. The song is a melodic pop track with solid melodies and a funky groove. The chorus is very catchy, and the softer middle8 part contrasts the strong bass line in the chorus. The music video for this song is stylish and sleek. Also, the dance choreography for this song is fantastic!

Summing Up K-pop February 2023

What were your K-pop February 2023 favourites? I had a lot of happy-sounding songs and quite upbeat songs, the only slower song being Ha Sung Woon’s “Snowy Stars” on this list. There were a lot of great songs in February, as you can see from my Spotify playlist. I find all the new K-pop songs and listen to them at least once, but there are a lot of releases, so sometimes something might go under the radar.

For this month’s picture, I drew some northern lights! Also, it fits the song of the month, “Snowy Stars”! Because last week in my hometown, Helsinki, Finland, you could see Aurora Borealis if you were lucky! I tried to catch them because you rarely see them this south in my country. Almost a 25 % possibility was last week, which is rare! So, I went outside at night for a few nights. It was freezing cold and a lot of snow. I tried to catch them, but I was unlucky, unfortunately 😀 But some people got amazing views and pictures here (Finnish news and videos)!

I hope you enjoyed this K-pop February 2023 blog post, and thank you for being here! I have my other social media, where I post at least weekly and here a few times a month. This spring has been hectic and challenging, but spring is coming soon! I am so much of a spring and summer person: looking forward to it! 😊

Until next time, I hope you have a fantastic March! Health and happiness to you ❤️

And listen to K-pop! Be inspired! 😊