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(From left) V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin and J-Hope of BTS attend the 2021 American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on November 21, 2021. Photo: TNS

BTS, Girls Generation, Ateez: 5 K-pop songs for those fighting for something, whether it’s a cause or for themselves

  • These impassioned and hopeful K-pop songs are certain to stir your soul with their inspiration and energy
  • I’m Fine by BTS rejoices in self-discovery, Everglow’s La Di Da is all about ‘can’, while Into the New World by Girls’ Generation has become a protest anthem
Tamar Hermanin United States

Part of the human experience is about what we fight for, whether it’s our own happiness or communal betterment. Music often helps motivate us through these struggles, providing solace and inspiration.

These impassioned and hopeful K-pop songs are certain to rouse you, stirring the soul with inspiration and energy.

1. Ateez – Guerrilla

The music of this popular boy band is generally powerful and rebellious. Their July single Guerrilla rallies against the status quo and urges listeners to call for change.

“With both ears covered, with both eyes covered, like a duplicated doll, can’t live like that,” they declare.

2. BTS – I’m Fine

One of the most important, but sometimes hardest, things to fight for is yourself.

With their music, BTS has inspired many people to do that, especially through their Love Yourself album trilogy (2017-18).

I’m Fine, a follow-up to 2016’s Save Me, is a song rejoicing in self-discovery and affirmation, a declaration of one’s self.

3. Everglow – La Di Da

This one’s for the players and the haters / I don’t give a what.”

Pursuing something, whether it’s a dream or a cause, is often accompanied by people saying “you can’t”. But Everglow’s La Di Da is full of determined euphoria, intent on “can”.

4. Girls’ Generation – Into the New World

This 2007 debut track from Girls’ Generation, who recently celebrated their 15th anniversary, imagines a brighter, better world in front of us all.

The song has gone on to become a protest anthem for many people in South Korea dreaming of a more positive world, featuring regularly at events on women’s rights, LGBTQ activism and social justice.

5. NCT 127 – Punch

In a struggle, there’s always an opposition to overcome.

NCT 127’s Punch is the musical embodiment of this, preparing for a fight with confidence even while knowing there will always be another struggle ahead of you.

“Without any regrets, I’ll fight,” they declare.