Second generation K-pop renaissance: what you need to know about Brave Girls, After School and other bands making a return
- The second generation of K-pop stars are enjoying a revival, performing and seeing their songs re-enter the charts. Cover versions by newer acts are helping
- Many see the 2000s and 2010s as a golden age of K-pop, and groups from that time are seeing a resurgence
Nostalgia for the music of a decade ago is dominating South Korea in 2021, with artist reunions and remakes of older hits.
Popular YouTube channel MMTG, fronted by television personality JaeJae (Lee Eun-jae), hosted a “K-pop renaissance” concert that featured special performances by members of disbanded girl groups After School and Nine Muses.
The concert also featured 2PM, welcoming back the boy band to the scene ahead of the release of their Must album on June 28. It’ll be their first album since 2016’s Gentleman’s Game, and arrives after a lengthy hiatus while members fulfilled South Korea’s mandatory military service. All three acts were formed in 2009 or 2010.
The surge of nostalgia coincides with artists remaking older songs, and several popular television shows in South Korea over the past few years that aim to shed light on hidden talent and underrated songs that never saw the love they deserve.
Between the late 2000s and the early 2010s, South Korean artists, especially idol groups, were immensely popular both locally and abroad, with the rise of YouTube helping to lift the industry to higher heights.
While K-pop’s popularity has continued, that era is seen by many as a golden age musically that heavily influenced the state of things today, and every few years there’s a heavy nostalgic push in the industry as acts make long-awaited reunions or share new performances.
In related news, Girls Generation’s Tiffany Young and Sunmi, formerly of Wonder Girls, will appear as girl group mentors on Mnet’s upcoming talent search show Girls Planet 999, set to premiere in August.