Joseon pop, seodo band, leenalchi, ADG7
Image courtesy of NPR

Joseon pop is the latest growing trend in the Korean industry. The Hallyu wave that started by reaching Japanese and Chinese entertainment with K-pop bands like Super Junior and SNSD and K-dramas such as Boys Over Flowers and My Love from Another Star has now become a global industry.

This Hallyu Wave has a new category called Joseon Pop spreading its roots around the world. Joseon is the name of Korea’s historical dynasty that lasted over 500 years from 1392 – 1897. Most of the popular historical K-dramas are set in this period.

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What is Joseon pop?

Joseon pop refers to the combination of traditional Korean music with popular music genres. It features traditional music instruments with classic or contemporary instruments to create songs that are a soulful mixture of Gugak, Pansori, Pop, HipHop, and R&B.

The term Joseon pop came into use very recently but this phenomenon has been establishing its roots in the underground music culture across the globe since the 2010s. Surprisingly this combination is steadily and equally growing nationally and internationally.

Popular Joseon pop groups


sEODo BAND came into popularity after winning the Joseon pop TV show titled ‘Poongryu’. The show aired in September 2021 and received 3.5 average ratings beating another popular Idol TV show.

sEODo BAND mixes traditional Pansori with R&B. They are often called pioneers of the Joseon pop genre. Currently, they have one album out ‘Moon: Disentangle’ featuring popular tracks ‘Boat song’ and ‘Ganggangsullae’


Leenalchi started from the underground music scene in the nightlife of Korea and has reached a global level by featuring in the title track of Apple TV’s K-drama Pachinko starring Lee Min Ho. They started to gain popularity in the nation when they appeared in the culture promotional video ‘Feel the Rhythm of Korea’.

Leenalchi mixes folk narrative singing with upbeat pop sounds. Their song ‘Tiger comes down’ has received massive appreciation. They also featured in the Netflix documentary ‘Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream’.

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ADG7 also known as Ak Dan Gwang Chil is a multi-award-winning group. They have been active in the music scene since 2015. In 2021, they went on a tour across Europe and 12 cities across US and Canada.

ADG7 performs sacred-shamanic (ritual music) called ‘Gut’ and traditional folk music ‘Minyeo’. They created immersive performances spreading positive energy.


Jambinai is a rock band that uses traditional Korean instruments in its music. They have won multiple awards such as ‘Best Rock Song’ at the 2020 Korean Music Awards with their song ‘Onda’. Recently in 2022, they released a new album titled ‘Apparition’ which is available to stream on Spotify.

Black String

Black String debuted in London as a Korean and Jazz fusion group. They also won the 2011 Asia Pacific Song Line Music award.

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Oneus Ateez BTS
Image courtesy of RBW, KQ, and BigHit entertainment

Korea is talented at weaving its culture and making it accessible through movies, dramas, and new music. As Joseon pop is growing some of the popular K-pop bands have incorporated traditional instruments in their songs. Ateez in their song ‘The Real‘ incorporated Taepyeongso, we can hear Korean harp in Kai’s Peaches, NCT’s sticker features Hyang piri, and BTS’s IDOL featured kkwaenggwari, gakgung, and janggu. The group Oneus is known to make frequent use of various traditional instruments in their music.

It shall be interesting to see the future of Joseon pop. Until then follow Spiel Times for more latest trends in the world of music, movies, and games.

Source: Korea Herald, Wikipedia
Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.