The best K-pop songs of 2022, from Hype Boy to That That and Wild Flower

Here are the catchiest singles of the year, which kept music fans singing along throughout

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It has been another big year for K-pop.

In addition to big names such as Psy, Blackpink, BTS members RM and Jin and soloist B.I releasing songs, the genre's rookies, including groups such as NewJeans and Billlie, have also taken centre stage.

Here, The National looks at the best songs from a year filled with international collaborations and catchy tunes.

That That by Psy and Suga

This was Psy's big comeback track. After five years, the Gangnam Style star returned with a full album, Psy 9th.

In lead single That That, Psy reminded the world why he is considered Korean music royalty, taking centre stage with BTS member Suga. The title track soared to the top of the charts in South Korea and the US.

It currently has more than 384 million views on YouTube.

Attention by NewJeans

After making their debut in July, it was clear the five-member girl group demanded "attention" (which also happened to be the name of their debut single). NewJeans introduced a new style of tunes and choreography to the K-pop scene.

The catchy song has more than 37 million views on YouTube and showcases the multicultural five-member girl group’s unique identities.

Wild Flower by RM featuring Youjeen

BTS leader and rapper RM once again became the connecting bridge between South Korea and the rest of the world, this time through his first full solo album. features artists such asErykah Badu, Mahalia, and Anderson .Paak. After releasing Wild Flower, the song reached number one on YouTube’s global top music videos chart and currently has more than 30 million views.

The Astronaut by Jin

Before his military enlistment, BTS’s oldest member Jin dedicated The Astronaut to his fans, Army.

In his first single as a solo artist, Jin teamed up with British rock band Coldplay and Norwegian DJ Kygo.

The synth-pop track explores themes of connection and love, reflecting his affection for his fans, and currently has more than 55 million views on YouTube.

Maniac by Stray Kids

The second track and lead single from their sixth extended play Ordinary, Maniac offer an empowering message to younger generations of fans. The track, a combination of trap and electro-pop, encourages people to break free of societal norms. In addition to topping the South Korean charts, and with more than 150 million views on YouTube, it was nominated for the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards Best K-pop Video.

Pink Venom by Blackpink

The four-member group released their highly anticipated second album, Born Pink, with Pink Venom as the lead track.

The song is a mix of pop, rap and dance with traditional South Korean instruments also incorporated. The track peaked at number one on the Billboard Global 200, becoming the first to do so by a girl group. It also topped Billboard's South Korea charts. The music video currently has more than 488 million views on YouTube.

Pop! by Nayeon

Girl group Twice's lead vocalist Nayeon stepped out into the spotlight on her own for the first time in June, releasing EP Im Nayeon and lead single Pop!. With its fun, bubblegum beat, the track is full of joy and excitement. It currently has more than 161 million views on YouTube.

It was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Dance Performance — Solo at South Korea's Mnet Asian Music Awards.

BTBT by B.I featuring Soulja Boy and DeVita

B.I, also known as Kim Han-Bin, released album Love or Loved Part 1in a bid to restart his solo career after his departure from boy band iKon in 2019.

The catchy tune BTBT, a collaboration with Soulja Boy and DeVita, found success on the charts thanks to B.I's raspy and soulful voice. The RnB-style track, which is sung in English and Korean, expresses the excitement of a new relationship and a push-and-pull romance.

New Thing by Zico featuring Homies

The hit rap song with deep beats sparked most of the TikTok challenges on the platform in the last few months of the year. The track was originally created for the Korean TV competition show Street Man Fighter, but went viral after a dance challenge from the group We Dem Boyz, which featured popular bands Seventeen and Itzy.

GingaMingaYo (the strange world) by Billlie

Rising girl group Billlie’s lead single, from their second EP GingaMingaYo (the strange world) has been their breakout song. The experimental track has a vibrant beat with a catchy chorus.

Although it didn't make it onto South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart, it reached at number six on Billboard Japan Heatseekers Songs Chart.

Hype Boy by NewJeans

The list's second entry by NewJeans firmly belongs here.

Although the song came out a day after Attention, it builds upon the group's new sound of smooth vocals, an upbeat background synth and a catchy chorus. The song peaked at number one on Billboard's South Korea charts and its music video has been watched more than 47 million times.

Updated: December 29, 2022, 4:29 AM