January 2024 Wrap Up

January 2024 Wrap-Up: The Month In Music That Was

Introduction

The first month of 2024 witnessed a vibrant and diverse Asian music scene, buzzing with a mixture of genre releases and exciting new voices. From K-Pop powerhouses making their mark to rising indie stars capturing hearts, let’s dive into the highlights that kept us hitting repeat!

 

Chart-Topping Hits

It looks like January is the month of K-Pop domination with our chart-topping hits all coming from Korea’s finest!

 

ITZY – UNTOUCHABLE (Released January 9, 2024):

ITZY returns with their fiercest title track yet, “UNTOUCHABLE.” This adrenaline-pumping anthem sees the girls declare their unstoppable confidence and determination, defying anyone to hold them back. The explosive energy of the production perfectly complements ITZY’s powerful vocals and sharp choreography, making “UNTOUCHABLE” a surefire crowd-pleaser.

 

Number of Spotify streams: 15,961,953

 

NMIXX – DASH (Released January 22, 2024):

 

NMIXX makes a bold debut with “DASH,” a genre-bending song that showcases their unique sound and versatility. The track seamlessly blends pop melodies, rap verses, and unexpected tempo changes, creating a dynamic and energetic atmosphere. With its ambitious production and confident vocals, “DASH” marks the arrival of a group poised to challenge the K-Pop landscape.

 

Number of Spotify streams: 13,541,278

 

G(I)-DLE – WIFE (Released January 16, 2024):

G(I)-DLE pushes boundaries with “WIFE,” a provocative single that redefines the meaning of the word. The song explores themes of self-ownership, independence, and challenging societal expectations. With its sultry vocals, catchy chorus, and sharp rap verses, “WIFE” is a powerful statement that sparks conversation and demands attention.

 

Number of Spotify streams: 16,888,119

 

Genre Spotlight

 

For January, Asia Live has chosen to highlight the polarizing and groundbreaking culture that is Hip-Hop. From its humble roots to its rich 50-year history to its spread globally, including Asia, Hip-Hop’s staying power will always shine. You can read more from our Behind The Music article about Hip-Hop here

 

Breakout Artists:

 

Akini Jing – Electronica Queen with Captivating Energy:

 

Akini Jing is a rising star in the electronica scene, captivating audiences with her unique blend of dance beats and atmospheric soundscapes. Her 2023 single “VILLAIN” from the album of the same name is making waves for its innovative production and mesmerizing vocals, while her electrifying live shows, brimming with immersive visuals and audience interaction, have built a dedicated fanbase. Featured in “Artists to Watch” lists by various publications, Akini Jing is poised for a breakout moment, ready to take the electronic music scene by storm.

 

ATARASHII GAKKO! – Visual Pop Quartet Redefining the Scene:

 

This vibrant Japanese quartent stands out with their distinctive visual style featuring school uniforms and bright colors. Viral music videos like “Tokyo Calling” and “Toryanse” catapulted them to international fame, while their energetic choreography and catchy tunes captivated audiences worldwide. Their recent ties with 88rising (alongside Akini Jing) further solidified their industry presence and opened doors to new audiences. Better recognize right now that they’re a cultural phenomenon ready to break boundaries and redefine the pop music landscape!

 

PLAYERTWO – Rising Hip-Hop Group with Diverse Talents:

 

PLAYERTWO’s smooth rapping, skillful songwriting, and diverse production styles sets them apart in the Filipino hip-hop scene. Their 2023 release “HAPPY ACCIDENTS VOL. 1” showcased their combined talent and potential, earning them attention from established artists and publications. Signed to a major record label Warner Music Philippines, PLAYERTWO is gearing up to break out, captivating audiences with their unique music and talent.

 

Ayumu Imazu – J-Pop Phenom with Captivating Presence:

 

Ayumu Imazu’s powerful vocals and pop-oriented songwriting resonated with audiences nationwide. From his humble days joining trainee groups like EXILE GENERATIONS and PROJECT TARO to standing on his own two feet, his boundless talent propelled him into the spotlight, garnering him a dedicated fanbase. His latest single “Obsessed” showcased his playful lyrics and captivating stage presence, solidifying his status as a rising star. Ayumu Imazu is poised to soar in the music scene, capturing hearts with his talent and genuine personality.

 

Shakira Jasmine – Pop Soul with a Global Voice:

 

Shakira Jasmine’s simple blend of pop shines through in her music, evident in her recent single “I Don’t Wanna Go Back Home.” Her sweet vocals and songwriting talent, with influences as prominent artists like Ariana Grande and IU, surely earns her a spot in the breakout artists block. Shakira Jasmine is on the cusp of a global breakout.

 

Local Gems:

We have listed 5 artists that you need to watch out for and we hope that you see them how we see them – luminaries in their own right.

 

Sarah Suhairi

 

This Malaysian singer and actress recently released a single with Alfie Zumi called “SAH” (Setia Akhir Hayat or Faithful Until The End) and it is a sweet track if you are a fan of fun romantic songs. She has been in the music industry since 2018. You can check out the rest of her music on various digital platforms! 

 

Kiingkess

 

This Malaysian singer-songwriter is slowly creeping through Tiktok and evidently, the ears of indie pop listeners. Combining R&B, rap and indie sensibilities, singles like “Internet Gf,” “1300-Text-Me-Back,” and her most recent one “Baltimore,” have garnered attention all over the region, including Australia.

 

GANGGA

 

Sweet, sweet hurting for this guy. GANGGA (or Gangga Kusuma) has made a living by showcasing his two greatest strengths – being authentic and having that vulnerability. This Jakarta-based singer-songwriter is back at it with a duet with Thai-Italian artist Valentina Ploy at the outset called Sweet Hurting and the prevalence of this type of songs with the generation that’s also prevalent (Gen Z) is firmly planted in the hearts of his fans and soon-to-be listeners.

 

Juan karlos

 

Heartache, in any language, is still heartache manifest. This time, the Filipino singer-songwriter-actor is singing it in his native language (Visayan) with his “Kasing-Kasing” (Heart) leaping out of his chest. His other hits in the Philippines are “buwan” (Moon), a bluesy  and roaringly emotional ballad unheard of in a while in a scene where P-Pop and singer-songwriters are aplenty. His band and solo efforts are well worth the listen!

 

Apekz

 

From the docks to city streets and blocks to popular music, rapper Apekz is slowly building his deck of cards with his most recent singles from last year “Meron Din Tayo,” “AsaKaBwoii,” “Battousai,” and his 2024 banger with rapper Sica titled “Blue Dreams,” a laid back jam that harkens the sound of late 90’s Flip-Hop greats like D-Coy, Sun Valley Crew, and Masta Plann.

 

Collaborations & Global Connections:

 

K-Pop’s rising stars IVE joined forces with American rapper Saweetie on a dynamic remake of Icona Pop’s 2013 hit “All Night.” This collaboration marked a bold step for both artists: IVE ventured into English-language releases, while Saweetie dipped her toes into the vibrant K-Pop scene. The song brings new life and fresh energy thanks to Saweetie’s signature rap verse seamlessly interwoven with IVE’s captivating vocals. This creative interpretation resonated with fans and media alike, garnering positive reception and propelling the song to global attention.

 

The vibrant music video featured both artists, further solidifying the connection and offering a visual treat for viewers. On social media, both IVE and Saweetie actively promoted the collaboration, fueling fan engagement and amplifying its reach. The impact of this collaboration extends beyond the single itself. It serves as a powerful testament to the growing trend of international collaborations in music, showcasing audiences’ appetite for diverse sounds and cultural fusion.

 

Looking Ahead:

 

What to expect for the following month? K-Pop’s still most definitely going to be there! We’re introducing more diversity with New Music Fridays and a surprise Artist of the Month and Behind The Music segment. March concerts and gigs? We got you covered! More album reviews? Absolutely!

 

Conclusion:

 

And that was your January 2024 Wrap-Up! As this month fades, it leaves us eagerly anticipating what February will bring. What collaborations will blossom? What fresh talents will emerge? Will K-Pop maintain its dominance, or will other genres rise to the challenge? Asia Live 365 will be your faithful guide, bringing you exclusive interviews, insightful features, and comprehensive reviews every step of the way.

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