Top 10 Korean Songs of 2013

Last year was quite the year for Korean music, from amazing debuts to scandalous reveals. It was eventful. A lot of people ask me what Korean songs I like and here is the breakdown of my Top 10 2013 songs. I hope you enjoy them 😀


10. “Attraction” Bumkey Feat. San-E

Almost everyone has had that crazy unexplainable attraction to someone else. The one that feels like fireworks exploding from your chest, where excitement can be almost mistaken for pain. Well Bumkey brought out this beautiful number explaining just that attraction. The original features Dynamic Duo but my favourite is this live version with San-E, maybe you can guess why? They’re simply an epic duo from Brand New Music.


9. “Bounce” Cho Yong Pil

This ballad also focuses on attraction or more precisely love. The one-side of the coin we see and the uncertainty of it. Cho Yong Pil produces a more uplifting mature idea of what it feels like to be in love and how it can literally lift you up. The video makes you want to rock out to this song while falling madly in love. This song will undoubtably become a classic, if it’s not already.


8. “Two Melodies” Zion.T Feat. Crush

Over the last couple of years I’ve been following Zion.T’s music, watching him move from strength to strength. No one was more excited than me when he announced the release of his album Red Light and I was highly impressed with it when I bought my copy. Which brings me to “Two Melodies,” the song of cliches that states it’s just that. It has that R&B feel with not too much going on in the video yet still the red mood lighting is just enough. I can’t help thinking “Damn this guy must have been in love when he wrote this”. It feels that real.


7. “I Like To Party” Jay Park

After moving to Korea I discovered something I’d never really experienced anywhere else: A never ending night-life. Seoul is the city that never sleeps! When I saw this song performed live at R16, I was sold. Previously I wasn’t a big Jay Park fan but after that performance… The dance, the lyrics, the beat. I just couldn’t stop playing it. It’s kind of become my Korean party anthem. Then there’s all that flesh in the music video. Really, who’d not love this song?! I hope I have many more nights to party all night to this track!


6. “Gone Not Around Any Longer” Sistar19

From partying to heartbreak. I heard this one on one of YouTube’s mixes and it had been a while since I’d heard a Korean slowjam that I liked. But after watching the video, listening to the lyrics, it took me back to a time in my life when emptiness was a real and depressing concept. That emotion that people never forget. Watching Hyolyn and Bora sing about it, dance to it, in such a beautiful sad way really made it hit me.


5. “N.O.” BTS

Every once in awhile we need to stand against the things in society that just aren’t right and I have mad respect for the people that do. That goes for the boys of BTS too. They wrote a debut song about following your dreams and not falling into that loop of parent-pleasing antics. Now with their second album they present this society-defying number that reaches out to the kids stuck in an education system that doesn’t always work to benefit their dreams, ability and needs. It’s all about saying no to what isn’t right for you and we can all take something back from that. Then there are the strings combined with the Hip-Hop beat, the pure white props/set that also make it visually pleasing. Such talented guys with big hearts making amazing music.


4. “Ringa Linga” Taeyang

“SWAG SWAG SWAG” That’s all that was going through my mind as I watched this video. The dancers, the outfits, the performance: perfect in so many ways that I never thought it could be. I have a very special bond to the members of Big Bang. Lately I’d been falling further and further away from that 16 year old girl who loved to sing and dance to Big Bang music in her dad’s car. This year their solo work really brought me back and reminded me why I was so inspired by them in the first place. Real talent rarely fades and it appears as if Taeyang has spent his hiatus time wisely, broadening his cultural ideals and just improving his special ability to sing/dance an audience away! A song to truly let go to.


3. “Rewind” Double K Feat. Lee Michelle

We’ve all had that moment in our lives where we’ve wanted to press the rewind button on our lives and that’s just what Double K does here. One of the better artsy hip-hop MV’s I saw in 2013. A song I could never stop playing, a song I could never dislike. The music video complements the song perfectly. It’s about knowing that time is scarce, that nothing lasts and wanting to hold onto a moment in your life so strongly, that sometimes you forget to live in it and sometimes you destroy it. Michelle’s vocals are stunning, Double K goes hard in his rap. Together they present this emotional whirlwind that I constantly don’t mind riding. One of my favourite Korean songs of all time.


2. “One Shot” B.A.P

B.A.P’s One Shot was an obsession for me in 2013. I loved the concept of giving that one shot your all, seizing the day and never giving up or in. The song had it’s metaphorical meanings that were literally portrayed through the gang violence in the music video, where one shot was all it took to start a gang war. It also has it’s plot twists and turns that makes it clever, witty and a fun narrative video to watch. The guys bring it with their intense dance routine and badass persona. What more could you want from these men?


1. “Crooked” G-Dragon

Set in London, this crazy music video screams G-Dragon! There comes a time in your life where you’ve had enough, it’s all gotten too much, the partying, drinking, heartache, and you just explode. This song is literally a licence to go mad (one I happily took when needed). The bright colours, nightlife, emotions were all things I could relate to after moving to Korea, especially last year. When you make so many friends, meet so many people who constantly walk in and out of your life like dirty underwear, it eventually takes it’s toll. You begin to realise nothing is forever and one day all “this” will come to an end. By far my favourite song of the year, sung by my favourite soloist of the year. Did I mention it was shot in London?!


So those were my top 10 Korean songs of 2013. What were your favourites? Which songs changed the game for you in Korean music? Comment below with yours.

The Playlist:

Until next year, annyeong!

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Author: Smiling Seoul

A British YouTuber who loves & lived in Korea then moved to Canada yet still craves the rush of travelling the world.

One Response to "Top 10 Korean Songs of 2013"

  1. Titi Posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    It’s hard for me to chose just ten songs, or maybe just takes a long time to pick. But one thing I’m pretty sure about, is that CROOKED is my number one favorite, too! The lyrics and the video are simply awesome. Something I can totally relate to. I’ve had my time like this. I know how it feels, and GD just sings my heart out. Amazing

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