If you’ve ever wondered what K-pop vocal talent you may be missing out on, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best singing show solo performances from a number of my favorite vocalists in the industry.
1. Sandeul (B1A4), Like a Dandelion Spore: Now that I’m thinking about it, Sandeul may be my favorite K-pop vocalist in existence. His ability to convey emotion is simply unrivaled. This cover of a 1985 hit demonstrates his timeless singing style that can take an old classic and make it feel like the most relevant song in the world.
2. Seunghee (Oh My Girl), Whale Hunting: When Seunghee is given the chance to let loose, the results are enlightening. Voices as big as this rarely maintain such a clear, focused tone, but Oh My Girl’s main vocalist has pure innate talent that some singers work years to achieve. Her inimitable style and stage presence are also displayed in this upbeat performance.
3. Jungkook (BTS), If You: Well-known BIGBANG fanboy covered his idols on “King of Masked Singer” last year, and for me it’s easily Jungkook’s best cover of all time. The delicacy and earnestness in this performance is heart-wrenching. Sorry for the split performance—MBC for some reason didn’t upload the full live, but the TVPP upload picks up right where the MBC one left off.
4. Seulgi (Red Velvet), Turning the Pages of Memories: One of the most famous all-rounders in K-pop, Red Velvet’s main dancer Seulgi has the opportunity to belt out the full power of her vocals on this moving performance. Her incredible control shines on this cover, demonstrating once again that Seulgi truly is the full-package idol she has proven herself to be many times over.
5. Changsub (BTOB), You Inside My Memories: The fact that Changsub is technically not the main vocalist or even the lead vocalist of BTOB speaks to the group’s insane vocal depth, because this man has one of the most uniquely velvety-smooth voices in K-pop. I wish I could find the rest of this performance, but MBC has squirreled it away somewhere we may never find it—regardless, the first half is too good to skip.
6. UJi (BESTie), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: It’s a shame no one ever talks about UJi, who seriously has one of the most technically professional vocals in the industry. She lets loose on this fun cover and proves herself to be a member of the K-pop vocal elite.
7. Rosé (BLACKPINK), If It Is You: There’s something unique about the sweet richness of Rosé’s tone that you don’t always hear in BLACKPINK songs. That richness comes out in this gentle cover, where Rosé shows off her clean, charming delivery.
8. Chen (EXO), Drunken Truth: EXO’s main vocal is surely one of the most well-known and acknowledged vocalists in K-pop. So, I think, he made a conscious effort to disguise his usually higher, more narrow tone when he went on “King of Masked Singer” so no one would know who he was. While that high tone is what I most love about him, there’s something refreshingly new about the heavier, broader delivery he brings to this cover.
9. Solar (MAMAMOO), I Will Give You All My Love: Solar not only proves her out-of-this-world vocals but also her abilities as an entertainer on this performance. It’s not easy to show you’re having so much fun on stage that you get the audience to jam out with you like this while you’re wearing a mask, but Solar puts on one of the most fun performances “King of Masked Singer” ever saw.
10. Kyuhyun, Wild Flower: Former Super Junior member Kyuhyun handles every song he sings with the dignity and poise of the expert he is. This performance, however, shows off every inch of his abilities in a way that makes you wonder if he is the single best vocalist in K-pop. And, honestly, he just might be.
Listen to this playlist on YouTube here.