It might be a little early to weigh in on debuts for the first half of 2012, but we’re not so far into the year that we can’t look back at 2011. Debuts can be rough in an industry that easily falls into a pattern of recurring comebacks of already successful artists. So if we don’t pay careful attention, musical gems slip through our fingers unnoticed.
We’re all about the big names and solo debuts that came out of 2011, but let’s take a moment to look past the surface noise. Here are the top ten debut efforts (in no particular order) that we found from 2011, that didn’t get as much buzz but still deserve some props.
01. Bella – “Don’t Let Go”
Bella covered US music group En Vogue‘s ’96 hit as their debut single and tore. It. Up.
02. N:SONIC – “Super Boy”
N:SONIC has the 2010s K-pop idol group look, but shakes it up with a sound reminiscent of a late ’90s boy-band to create a refreshing sound for those of us who can remember back that far.
03. Fat Cat – “My Indifferent Love”
If you look past the bows, pastels and sequins of newer singles, Fat Cat’s 2011 debut was edgy and weird and didn’t get nearly as much hype.
04. LA.G – “Shaking”
There was no formal video recording of the girls performing their Bethoven-inspired lead single “Don’t Flatter Yourself,” but we did find a recording of “Shaking” from one of their showcases. It sounds kind of like if synth/rock band Freezepop were a Korean idol group with electric violins.
05. Purple Sweet – “Like a Magic Moment”
Purple Sweet’s sound is very smooth and jazz/lounge-y, which is a welcome change from the overwhelming trend of dance/pop in popular Korean music.
06. Slrhyme – “I Can’t Let Go”
YouTube cover rapper Slrhyme teamed up with fellow YouTuber Daeho for this debut project.
07. Eye to Eye – “Like A Man”
R&B was popular last year, and Eye to Eye kept up with the best of them, thanks to their soulful voices.
08. S.L.I.M. – “She’s Really My Girl”
S.L.I.M.’s vocals in their debut single are beautiful, moving and worthy of note, especially because ballads are difficult to debut with in K-pop.
09. HeOra – “Love Love Love”
With syncopated rhythms and a pleasant, almost conversational flow to her music, we’re left curious about the future of HeOra’s singles.
10. Geeks – “Officially Missing You”
Hip-hop duo Geeks debuted with a maybe-better-than-the-original cover of the hit song by Canadian R&B singer Tamia.
Stay tuned to MTV K for more K-music lists!