Danny’s Top 10 K-Pop Songs of 2011

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It was interesting to see my co-host Danny’s picks for the Top 10 K-Pop songs of 2011.  I’d only met him last spring, scouting him out at KSO’s annual Korean “Gayoje” song festival, but in the several months that we’ve been hosting the Asian Invasion together, I’ve come to have a better understanding of his taste in music.  Just as I was this year and probably will continue to be a sucker for sugary-sweet bubblegum pop (Hyuna’s “Bubble Pop!” was my #1 song), Danny seems to be a sucker for catchy hip-hop and fierce female vocalists.

Have a look yourself; it will be a completely different view of 2011 than my own, (with the exception of Sistar19’s “Ma Boy” and 2PM’s “Hands Up,” which made it onto both of our lists).


10] Phantom – “Hole In Your Face”

Phantom made it in time before the year ended, and they sure left quite an impression.

9] Brown Eyed Girls – “Sixth Sense”

Arguably one of the most conceptual and literary works of K-POP this year, the Brown Eyed Girls make a comeback with a song you don’t want to miss out on (and music video).


8] Kim Bo Kyung – “Hurt”

Although not as famous as many K-POP stars, Kim Bo Kyung displays her amazing ability in this song (I’d call her the Korean Kelly Clarkson).  Her strong vocals allow her to sing high notes, while also being able to sing very low ones–for females, at least.  She is one of the most overlooked artists in the Korean music industry.

7] Zion – “Superman”

Another overlooked artist is Zion. Her ability to keep pushing the limit of pitch levels is simply astounding.  Zion’s voice will surely impress you, given the chance.


6] B1A4 – “O.K”

As one of the few “younger” boy bands to make quite an impression this year, B1A4 claimed a spot in the rankings this year because of this song.
It’s a mix of poppy-rock tunes, aimed at merging spring with early summer.


5] SISTAR19 – “Ma Boy”

With a catchy tune and attractive music video, it’s no surprise that this group made it to the top 10.  Without Hyo-rin’s solid vocals, though, this song would’ve been all dance.


4] Verbal Jint – “You Look Good ft. Brian of Black Skirts”

Verbal Jint had been in the shadows for a while, but he made his comeback with this song, which immediately secured a spot on the charts.  With Black Skirts’ Brian, this tragic love story is one to listen to and watch.


3] Simon D. – “Cheerz”

“Set your worries aside, and drink away!” Simon Dominic stresses the idea of letting go sometimes and just drinking one’s stress or problems away.  Being one of the best rappers in Korea, Simon D. presents a cheerful, and somewhat comical song.

2] 2PM – “Hands Up”

A superb summer song that was released at the perfect time of year. What other way can you share the fun with 2PM?  If you’re into bass or not, crank your speakers up and get ready to get into party mode.


1] BIGBANG – “Tonight”

Without a doubt, BIGBANG’s “Tonight” surely grabs the #1 spot on the 2011 top 10 list.  The diversity in the members’ vocals makes every part of the songs count. It’s like there’s no way to overplay this one.  Aside from the chorus, every part of the song is unique. Even the chorus, though, is given a different twist towards the end.  Enjoy one of the best song in BIGBANG history!

Danny Bensalem

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