Since the late 2010s, influences from classic genres including swing, jazz and reggae have made their way into various K-pop hits. But recently, K-pop acts have taken it a step further by transporting us back in time through their music videos with their A+ production.
If you haven’t watched or listened to “1 of 1”, you really should. Inspired by new jack swing genre, this funky music video takes us back to the early 90s with its quirky video transitions, and the boys in suits.
Wonder Girls’ I Feel You is all about the 80s – the smooth synthpop, the ‘WTV’ watermark at the beginning, the pink fluorescent lighting and, last but not least, those red swimsuits.
They may be known for upbeat songs such as “Dumb Dumb” and “Ice Cream Cake”, but Red Velvet manages to pull off their classy and mature concept just as well, or maybe even better. Automatic brings us back to the 90s with the era’s signature R&B sound and aesthetic.
After a whole three years, Lee Hi returns to the K-pop scene with her acclaimed album, Seoulite. “My Star”, one of the title tracks off the album, is a fun retro soul pop hit that features a romantic plot against the 50s-esque set in its music video.
Watching Jay Park and Kirin dance to “City Breeze” in front of obvious green screens in their suits makes us feel as if we’re back in the 90s. Any more 90s-esque and we’ll have to rave about this old school jam to our friends on our Nokias.
Whenever The Red Shoes comes on shuffle, we’re immediately back in the 30s. Whether it’s the big band sounds or dramatic choruses or IU’s talented vocals, the classical swing style inspired song makes you want to get up and do the Charleston.
70s retro is everywhere in the Navillera music video. From pastel outfits to hair styling, the girls of GFriend have us in awe with their flawless vocals and synchronised moves.
Whether house music is your type or not, you have to admit “Free Somebody” is the ultimate jam. Colourful 80s-inspired animations, a pretty and pink filter throughout the music video and Luna’s powerhouse vocals is the formula for a perfect 80s house hit.
Another Wonder Girls hit on the list? It’s no surprise, really. The girls are truly the queens of experimenting with new genres, and “Why So Lonely” proves just that. When the catchy reggae tune comes on, we find ourselves back in the 70s – just like the girls in their music video.
Once you listen to “Lion Heart”, that catchy 60s retro tune will not leave your head for days. The music video does exactly the same, especially when the Girls’ Generation members are dressed in beautiful, elegant outfits and dancing to choreography reminiscent of Hairspray.