Popular K-Pop Sub-units

Mehak Sharma, New Delhi

As K-Pop fans, we love to see our favourites collaborating with different artists which not only helps them to gain more attention but also increases the scope of showcasing their individual styles. Moreover, the excitement doubles when they team up with members to form a sub-unit.

Picture Credits: Wikipedia

The list of sub-units is incomplete without mentioning the legendary boy group Super Junior. The very first official sub-unit in K-Pop was Super Junior: K.R.Y comprising Kyu-hyun, Ryeo-wook, Yesung, that debuted in 2006 by releasing two original songs titled as The Night Chicago Died and The One I Love. Let’s take a look at some of the popular sub-units of K-Pop groups.

Video Credits: SMTOWN

The purpose of forming a sub-unit could differ from group to group and depends on the circumstances as well. Few of them could be broadly stated as following:

To try a different concept or genre

Majority of the sub-units are different from the main groups. Be it on the basis of style, genre or concept. For example, Orange Caramel was a sub-unit of After School and most probably it would be hard to guess because the main group and sub-unit had different concepts. After School had a sensuous concept whereas Orange Caramel had beguiling songs. This sub-unit consisted of three members: Nana, Raina, and Lizzy. The group made their debut in 2010, with the song Magic Girl. Furthermore, Super Junior-T came up with Trot music which was again a different genre from their parent group. Hence, sub-units provides the room for experimentation as well.

Video Credits: PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

To promote in other countries

Korean artists do not only promote in South Korea. They tend to focus on countries like China and Japan as well. The K-Pop groups usually debut with Japanese/Chinese single or by forming a sub-unit. Sub-units like Super Junior-M and WayV (4th sub-unit of K-Pop group NCT) were formed specifically to focus on China’s music market.

Video Credits: SMTOWN

To keep the group active

Every Korean male has to complete his mandatory military service and K-Pop idols are no exception to it. Usually the members are of different ages and they enlist in different years. But the group has to keep itself active. For the same reason, rest of the members can continue as a group or can form a sub-unit for the time being. The recent comeback of the K-Pop group BtoB 4U (Sub-unit of BtoB) is a perfect example. The group comprises of 6 members but BtoB 4U consists of 4 members. The rest of the members are currently serving the military. They debuted on November 16, 2020 with the EP Inside and Show Your Love as the title track which were much different than the rest of the BtoB songs.

Video Credits: BtoB

Here are some more sub-units to look at:

JJ Project

A duo consisting of JB and Jin-young, JJ Project was formed by JYP Entertainment and debuted with the single Bounce in May 2012. Later on they debuted as a part of GOT7 in 2014. Their last release was in 2017 with the album Verse 2 with Tomorrow, Today as the lead song. The album provided variety of genres like Rock, Pop and Hip-Hop.

Video Credits: JYP Entertainment

INFINITE-H

Dong-woo and Hoya’s duo received a lot attention during INFINITE’s concert which was even before their official debut as a sub-unit. Finally in 2013, they debuted with EP Fly High and the song Special Girl was chosen as the promotional track and charted immediately after the release. In 2015, the duo made comeback after two years with their second EP, Fly Again with Pretty as the lead single.

Video credits: Woolliment

NU’EST-W

W in NU’EST-W stands for waiting. As the group was waiting for their 5th member; Min-hyun to finish promotions with Wanna One, rest of the members came back as a sub-unit. This unit holds a very special place in the heart of fans as NU’EST finally got their first win with Where You At after years of hard work. From top notch songs and concepts to aesthetically pleasing music videos, NU’EST-W came to an end with Min-hyuns return. The sub-unit has released three EPs: W, Here followed by Who, You and Wake,N.

Video Credits: PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT

VIXX-LR

Leo and Ravi debuted as a duo in 2015 with the album titled as Beautiful liar having Beautiful Liar as their lead song. As expected from the concept kings, The music video was amazingly made with remarkable storyline. Heavenly vocals of Leo and Ravi’s astonishing rap skills doesn’t fail to give us chills. Later on a 2nd mini album Whisper was released in 2017 with Whisper as the promotional track followed by a compilation album Complete LR.

Video Credits: RealVIXX

SNSD-TTS and SNSD-OH!GG

Girls’ Generation-TTS or Girls’ Generation-TaeTiSeo is the first sub-unit of Girls’ Generation formed in 2012. It is composed of three Girls’ Generation. The sub-unit has released three extended plays: Twinkle, Holler, and Dear Santa. Their debut album Twinkle was released in 2012. It was the first album by a Korean artist to rank number 1 on the Billboard World Albums’ chart.

Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG is the second sub-unit of K-Pop group Girls’ Generation. Oh!GG officially debuted in September 2018 with the single Lil’ Touch and a B-side titled as Fermata alonf with its instrumentals.

Video Credits: SMTOWN

There are many more sub-units like Exo-SC, Sistar19, To Heart and the list goes on. Each of the sub-units whether mentioned or not, has significantly contributed to their parent group as well as to the K-Pop music scene. We hope this article helped you explore some of the amazing and popular sub-units of the K-Pop.

Tell us about your favourite sub-units in the comments section below.

46 Comments Add yours

  1. Anushka Gupta says:

    💕💕💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      ❤️❤️

      Like

    2. shwets007 says:

      Out of all these Subunits SNSD’s ones are my favorite. I wish they make a comeback soon!
      And I liked how all the subunits’ details were given.

      Like

  2. itsdiyajain says:

    Literally love each group you mentioned ^_^ great article!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 🥰

      Like

  3. anishanath says:

    I have not heard all the songs but really the subunits are dynamic and awesome. I have heard Orange Caramel and The one I love is awesome. I really think these sub units should release more songs in future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Oh yes we need a comeback 💙

      Like

  4. hallyufan135 says:

    I really didn’t know about all the groups mentioned in the article. Only few of them I knew. It’s really informative, I’ll try to listen the songs of sub groups 😍😍

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Like

  5. Loved reading about sub units, didn’t know much about them till now💗👌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙❤️

      Like

  6. saumya7897 says:

    Well written article ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Like

  7. I didn’t know much about these subunit’s mentioned in the article, glad to know about them. Also, I love that song Tomorrow, Today by JJ Project.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really loved this article. Well written 👏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. rupalikujur says:

      Really enjoyed reading this article ☺️ I haven’t heard songs of a few subunits yet. Will definitely check them out :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mehaksharma2803 says:

        Yes sure.. they all are worth a shot 💙

        Like

    2. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙❤️

      Like

  9. Very well written article! Loved reading about the groups. I hadn’t heard of some of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Give them a try and thank you 💙

      Like

  10. kylemyoxin78 says:

    Ahhhh bring back memories of these sub units. One of my favourite is jj project. So well written.💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      There’s definitely something about JJ project.. hits home ❤️

      Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    Enjoyed this thoroughly..I definitely need to check the ones I haven’t. Well written 🤩💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 🥰🥰

      Like

  12. Very well researched and informative article! Loved how you included my fav sub-units❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙❤️✨

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jasmine says:

    ‪Enjoyed reading this article, so well-explained the concept of K-Pop sub-units👏🏻👏🏻‬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙❤️

      Like

  14. Smriti. L says:

    I didn’t knew that there were so many K-pop Sub-units 🙌 great article 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Like

  15. anshika varma says:

    Loved the article and your writing 💙💓💜..So informative and your knowledge regarding the same is commendable… looking forward to reading more articles by you .
    Lot’s of love 💕🌼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Your support is must 🥺❤️

      Like

  16. This shows that the writer is fully aware of what he/she is writing about, knew all groups and the differ concepts they present . It was informative to be honest as i didn’t knew that some of very known kpop groups ( old generation) has too sub – units .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Like

  17. Ashley Kumar says:

    Suddenly all those iconic songs are on repeat in my head 😭💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Mood ❤️🥺

      Like

  18. Nice article✌️ very well written

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Like

  19. khiroda06 says:

    Got to know so many subunits 💙 well written article ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  20. ekta1927 says:

    Wayv is my favourite sub-unit😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍. I really love their song regular. Bro visuals are so killing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      WayV is awesome ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  21. suhasini17 says:

    BtoB 4u and JJ project are my personal favorite. am adding the others to list too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mehaksharma2803 says:

      Thank you 💙❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Preeti says:

    so many sub units and so many favorites ahh i really liked the article, well written

    Liked by 1 person

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