You guys were unanimous in selecting EXO-K as K-pop’s next big thing, with the boy band beating out runner-up, Juniel, by roughly 90,000 votes in our tournament to determine the K-pop act most likely to go huge in 2013. It’s a landslide victory for SM Entertainment’s latest creation, but not at all a shock one. While EXO-K didn’t promote nearly as much as their rookie rivals, B.A.P, this year, their debut EP, MAMA, was one of the highest selling K-pop releases of 2012. In fact, it’s been so successful on the charts that it can’t even be compared to other rookie acts -- the disc has actually shifted more copies than albums released by top-tier superstars like JYJ’s Junsu, CNBLUE, KARA, and even PSY himself.
Why slum it with the noobs when you can go straight to the big leagues. Right?
It’s not hard to see why EXO fever has spread so quickly. EXO-K is like a hybrid of SM’s best boy bands, carefully constructed to be the ultimate super group. They’ve got the good looks of TVXQ, the slick moves of SHINee, and the tight hooks of Super Junior. Hell, they’re so great that there’s even a Chinese version of them.
Even at this early stage in their career, EXO-K have already shown off multiple musical styles through their MAMA promotions. Buzz single, “What is Love,” is a beautifully lush ballad built around the silky smooth vocals of members D.O. and Baekhyun, the tropical dance-pop of “History” recalls some of SM’s finest earmworms, and the explosive “MAMA” breaks all the pop rules by incorporating operatic chanting and a screamo breakdown (that that, dubstep!). After all this dabbling, we’re looking forward to seeing the boys narrow down a specific concept in 2013. They’ve already slam dunked their debut, so next year is EXO-K’s chance to really take things to the next level and show that they’ve got what it takes to last the distance. And judging by their mammoth win in our tournament, you guys have every faith that they’re going to be able to do it.
Below: Five amazing EXO-K videos!