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Despite the difficulties faced by both industry veterans and rookie groups who debuted in the last few years, it’s been an amazing era for K-pop. Props especially to the newcomers on the scene who’ve really risen to the challenge and showed their best selves. If you’re interested in learning more about the rookie groups who are totally set to take over, this is for you. Here (in no particular order) are some of the next-generation heroes that are making 2022 their year! 1. Weeekly This girl group debuted in June of 2020, and their popularity has really taken off in the last year or so. With their 2021 hit “After School” and amazing stage performances that could rival much more experienced groups, Weeekly is definitely on the path to total stardom as they leave their rookie era this year. 2. TREASURE Another group that debuted in the summer of 2020, TREASURE is the long-awaited result of YG’s “Treasure Box” survival show. Since then, they’ve gained fans both in Korea and overseas. Their catchy tracks and creative performances are not to be overlooked, and there’s no doubt that their popularity is only going up this year. 3. STAYC With over 20 million YouTube views on their debut song “SO BAD” from November 2020, it’s no surprise that STAYC made this list. Their comeback tracks “ASAP” and “STEREOTYPE” also went viral both in Korea and overseas, gaining recognition from industry professionals and other K-pop artists. We can’t wait to see what’s next for STAYC! 4. P1Harmony From their flawless live performances to their hilarious social media presence, P1Harmony seems to be everywhere. They’re taking over the internet, and for a good reason! Their 2020 mid-pandemic debut didn’t stop them from gaining fans, and they’re arguably one of the most popular rookie groups internationally these days. P1Harmony is not here to play! 5. IVE You’d be hard-pressed to find a K-pop fan who hasn’t heard IVE’s first title track “ELEVEN” even though they debuted only two months ago! With an undeniably catchy sound and gorgeous performances, IVE has managed to capture the attention of the K-pop world with just two tracks. 2022 is just the beginning for these lovely ladies! 6. Xdinary Heroes The newest boy group from JYP Entertainment, Xdinary Heroes exploded onto the K-pop/K-band scene with their December 2021 track “Happy Death Day.” Their mastery of the free-spirited rock sound and powerful vocals has left their mark on the K-pop world, and there’s no doubt that all eyes will be on them in 2022. 7. Kep1er A nine-member group borne from the survival show “Girls Planet 999,” Kep1er’s debut music video “WA DA DA” already has more than 50 million views in less than a month. The mix of K-pop veterans and newly-debuted youngsters in the group make for the perfect mix, and the group’s debut album feels totally fresh. There’s a lot to look forward to for Kep1er this year! 8. CRAVITY CRAVITY is just a few months away from their two-year anniversary, which means that their rookie days are almost over. They’ve had a fantastic two years from their Best New Male Artist win at the Melon Music Awards in 2020 to their impressively diverse discography. 2022 definitely holds amazing things for CRAVITY! 9. aespa Despite their rookie status, aespa is already out here breaking K-pop records. Their track “Savage” was the only song released by a girl group in 2021 to achieve a perfect all-kill, and their debut music video “Black Mamba” was the fastest to reach 100 million views. There’s no doubt that aespa is only going to gain more popularity this year! 10. ENHYPEN Another survival show group, ENHYPEN is the result of “I-LAND.” They made their debut in November of 2020 with “Given-Taken,” which already has more than 57 million views. They won the Best New Male Artist award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards last year and had their first music show win with “Drunk-Dazed” in May. 2022 is only looking up for ENHYPEN! What groups are you looking forward to seeing more from this year? Tell us in the comments below! How does this article make you feel?
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