As the coronavirus pandemic continued into 2021, K-pop debuts slowed down this year, as many companies didn’t want new talent to enter the industry at such a confusing timey. But a handful of new acts did debut, and 2021’s best K-pop rookies impressed with their performances straight out the door. In no order here are the five most intriguing K-pop debuts of 2021 you should keep an eye on in 2022. IVE IVE arrived at the eleventh hour of 2021 with their single Eleven dropping on December 1. Since then, the six-member girl group has blown up in South Korea, topping pretty much all the music charts, and becoming a hit in other regions across the world. The addictive song, plus two former IZ*One members being part of the group, have rapidly drawn attention, and though they’re new on the scene, they are impossible to ignore after having the most impactful debut in 2021. Xdinary Heroes In 2021, in the second year of a global pandemic that has taken millions of lives and changed the world forever, death feels closer than ever. New K-pop-rockers Xdinary Heroes emphasise that in their debut song Happy Death Day, evoking punk and grunge sounds in their brash introduction to the world . Produced by JYP Entertainment, best known in 2021 for Twice and Stray Kids, they’re the second band style group under the company, joining the softer pop-rockers Day6 on the company’s roster. Like all the other groups JYP has put out over the years, Xdinary Heroes are a band to keep an eye on. BugABoo If you walk away from listening to BugABoo’s debut single BugAboo without having its titular phrase stuck in your head, your headphones probably need to be recharged. Produced by K-pop hit maker Ryan Jhun, BugABoo’s first song is festive and addictive, and with a fun B-grade horror flick feel to it, and shows a lot of promise. Earlier this year, BugABoo’s members told the Post they hope they can show a “fresh and unique” take on being a K-pop group, with member Eunchae saying, “I’m really looking forward to seeing what we do in the future.” Purple Kiss Arriving in March, Purple Kiss has spent much of the year showing the world why they’re one of the most captivating K-pop rookies of the year. The group’s debut song Ponzona dropped that month, and their September song Zombie is definitely a song that’ll haunt your heart and head for a long time after the first listen. Produced by RBW, which saw major success with its previous girl group Mamamoo, Purple Kiss has some big shoes to fill, but they’re bringing something new to the scene and have stomped their way onto the field in full force with songs and a theatrical flair that is a joy to watch. Billlie With their November debut EP album the Billage of perception: chapter one, Mystic Entertainment’s new girl group set themselves up as a must-watch act, or must-listen to. Mystic is known for its vocalists, and this new girl group delivers, especially on their earworm of a debut single Ring X Ring. Listen to the album in full, and listen to Ring X Ring more than once if you need, but you will inevitably be won over as Ring X Ring is undoubtedly one of the most underrated K-pop songs of 2021. Billlie followed up their debut rapidly in December with another engaging listen: Snowy Night, which also saw a seventh member added to the group, promising more in 2022.