Annyeong! If you aren’t a K-Pop fan and you follow or read my blog for another reason, I realize that you probably don’t know anything about who I’m talking about in my reviews and rants. Well, have no fear! I’m starting a new category/series…Bands for Noobs. For this Bands for Noobs, I’ll be introducing popular South Korean boy band…EXO! Since the band is officially split into two sub-groups, I’ll be reviewing both only EXO-K in this blog post and EXO-M in the next.
EXO made their name in 2012 with two singles What is Love and History and then with their Mama debut. Originally, EXO debuted with twelve members as EXO-K and EXO-M, the first releasing in Korean, the latter, in Mandarin.
There are six members who are a part of EXO-K, and while the EXO-M members originally promoted in China, EXO-K made their debut in Korea. They’ve established a huge fanbase with the name of EXO-L and have broken records and made history with their solo concerts. EXO has even performed a dome concert, and recently, have begun Japanese promotions with a short version of their 2015 repackaged album title song, Love Me Right.
D.O (Do Kyungsoo)
- (A.K.A) Satansoo
Kyungsoo is often known as one of EXO’s most soulful voices. He is often named as one of the ‘main’ or ‘lead’ vocalists in EXO. He is known for his short stature as well as his large eyes and full lips that give him an innocent look. Aegyo is not his strong suit. He is nicknamed ‘Satansoo’ due to the fact that the members often name him as the ‘one in charge of punishment’ or ‘the one in charge of strength’. Here is an example of his voice. (Yup, that is 100% live, except for the chorus where he is singing over his own voice.)
Kai (Kim Jongin)
- (Unofficially) EXO’s Sexiest Member
Kai is often known as EXO’s (unofficial) role of ‘sexy’. Kai is often seen without a shirt on and is often associated with Taemin from SHINee due to their infamous friendship. He is seen as a dance prodigy and can be recognized as the role of ‘dancer’, though he has proven many times through his rap and his vocals, that he has earned his place in EXO for his talent, not just his face.
Sehun (Oh Sehun)
- Maknae…also, Yehet!
Sehun is known as the maknae (meaning the youngest) of EXO. He’s a vocalist, but is often heard rapping or performing the lesser parts of EXO’s songs. One of his favorite words is ‘Yehet’, which is said to have been created by Sehun himself. Sehun is often times noticed for his ‘derp’ faces. That, and his pretty rainbow hair. Due to his facial features, EXO-L often describe Sehun as the ‘diva’ of the group.
Baekhyun (Byun Baekhyun)
- Khaepsong (Mianhae…probably spelled that wrong.)
Baekhyun is another member known for his voice, especially his high notes. Like Sehun, Bakehyun is noted to have created his own trademark phrase ‘Khaepsong’. He has claimed on Chinese variety show Happy Camp that he is the role of ‘eyeline’ because he is the member usually always seen with eyeliner on. Here is an example of his voice.
Chanyeol (Park Chanyeol)
Although known as the rapper of EXO, Chanyeol has proven his singing abilities through multiple occasions as well. He is really known for his deeper voice and his ‘Dumbo-like’ ears.
Although known officially as EXO-K and EXO’s leader, Suho is also known for his singing talent as well. His members also joke that he is the ‘rich’ member, and that he always ‘swipes his card for them’. Suho has often joked in interviews and on broadcasts that he acts like the ‘Eomma’ (mother) of EXO and often chastises Sehun for being home late.
While EXO-K and EXO-M originally promoted separately, the two came together for their ‘XOXO’ album’s title track, Wolf, and later, the repackaged album, Growl. Since then, EXO-K and EXO-M have performed their title tracks as EXO with both groups working together. As a result, the M members sang small parts in the Korean release, and the K members sang small parts in the Mandarin release. This led to joint promotions, and the two sub-units promoted as EXO in both Korea and China. You can see both EXO-K and EXO-M promoting in both Korea and China through some of their broadcasts such as South Korean variety show Weekly Idol, and Chinese variety show, Happy Camp.
Each member gives something to the band, and fans have fallen in love with everything that they have to offer. You can see EXO in their music videos, uploaded through the official SMTOWN YouTube channel. Certain members have also participated in the popular web drama, EXO Next Door and member D.O (Do Kyungsoo) has acted in popular K-Drama’s such as That’s Okay, It’s Love, and Remember Me (Hello Monster) where he was praised for giving exemplary performances despite the difficulties of his characters. For example, he played an imaginary boy as a result of a Schizophrenic hallucination in That’s Okay, It’s Love, and a young serial killer in Remember Me (Hello Monster). He is also said to be filming an upcoming Korean movie as well.
So, once again, EXO-K is a sub-group of South Korean boy band, EXO. The members include D.O, Kai, Baekhyun, Suho, Sehun, and Chanyeol. The six members originally released and promoted in South Korea only, but now promote with EXO-M in China as well and have recently begun to promote in Japan. Their fanbase is known as EXO-L. EXO-L can sometimes be seen as…over the top, but don’t judge the band by their fans. Trust me, you can find some sane fans if you look hard enough. (Ahem…me.) And though EXO are often called ‘overrated’ or ‘talentless’, they have proven time and time again that they’ve deserved their awards and their fame.
By the way, my bias (my favorite in the group) is D.O, although I have a bias from both sub-groups.
Here are some examples of EXO’s songs:
(You can find any of their live performances on YouTube as well. You just have to search ‘EXO…comeback stage’ with whatever title song you’d like to hear.)
- What is Love (D.O and Baekhyun)
- Miracles in December (D.O, Baekhyun, and Chen [EXO-M])
- What If
- Baby Don’t Cry
- Love Me Right
Some other reviews I’ve done for EXO:
- EXO “Wolf” and “Growl”
- EXO “Love Me Right” Japanese Short Ver.
- EXO – Mama Album Review
- EXO and Lip Syncing