The elections are more than a mere ballot or an inked finger—it’s a historic fight for our country’s future. Because in the words of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, we have the power to change our government.
This means the responsibility of selecting the country’s next set of leaders falls in our hands. While pre-election tensions, anxiety, and jitters have been messing with our thoughts, it doesn’t hurt to boost your spirits with a curated pre-elections playlist featuring your favorite K-pop groups.
So, take a deep breath and put these K-pop songs on full blast to help you relax before the May 9 polls. Trust us, these tracks will motivate you to enter your voting precinct with a renewed spirit.
ON by BTS
“Can’t hold me down ‘cause you know I’m a fighter.” What better way to start off our playlist than ON from BTS? Powerful melody, vocal, and performance aside, the song is a strong statement to “bring on the pain” in tough times. The track is an empowering reminder from the septet to power through and move forward, no matter how hard life gets.
As If It’s Your Last by BLACKPINK
Cute, sexy, and the epitome of pop perfection, the popular BLACKPINK banger is a song about making the most out of an important day “as if it’s your last” day to live. The club anthem might be a perfect track for your next night out, but the message about living like your last is a fitting reminder of the current times.
Power by EXO
In the words of EXO, we “got the power” to make things right. The feel-good track is the serotonin boost we need in a stressful election season, as the boy group reminds us that we have the power to “throw away your fears” and “get back up again.”
PTT (Paint The Town) by LOONA
One of LOONA’s most explosive tracks, PTT (Paint The Town) is a song about redefining yourself without being trapped in the expectations of society. The call to “paint the town” in the chorus is an empowering reminder to fight for what’s right and “not stop until the sun goes up.”
Red Light by f(x)
“Be the witness of change / When everyone is being quiet in front of the rough caterpillar that is being pushed.” One of the most politically-aware songs on the list, Red Light is an ode to the 2014 Sewol Ferry disaster. The track is a direct jab at the government’s slow response to the incident, which has been confirmed by SM Entertainment producing director, Lee Sung-soo, himself.
Can’t Nobody by 2NE1
2NE1 said it best, “Can’t nobody hold us down.” The badass female quartet went off in this track as they sang about being determined to “break through and keep going”, and no one will get in their way of doing so.
Next Level by Aespa
Stress and political warfare has definitely been on the “next level” in the 2022 elections, and this megahit feels like the season’s persona. Next Level shows Aespa channeling their inner baddie as they sing about being at the top of their game to defeat the evil “Black Mamba.” So, who do you think is the Black Mamba in the elections? We may never know.
Am I Wrong By BTS
Another song from BTS, Am I Wrong is an interesting social commentary about the world “going crazy.” The song has spawned many political theories since its release, including the arrest of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the Sewol ferry tragedy, although the group said the lyrics weren’t “necessarily intentional.”
Panorama by IZ*ONE
Panorama might’ve been a “traumatic” song for IZ*ONE’s dedicated fans or WIZ*ONEs, but it also has a heartfelt message about “spreading our voices in the world.” The chorus, which talks about a “star shining in the darkness,” can be alluded to hope amid a tumultuous election season.
Hello Future by NCT Dream
Are you ready for a better future? NCT Dream sings about their “building beautiful times” in the feel-good bop Hello Future where they seemingly send a message to their future selves. While it’s unknown how the election results will turn out, we hope that it will be a “moment of love.”
Cheer Up by TWICE
Of course, we all need a pick-me-up in the form of a song before casting your vote. So, TWICE’s Cheer Up is one of the best songs to make you smile. The bright track has been used in many protests in South Korea, including activists who called for the arrest of former president Park.
Into The New World by Girls’ Generation
“The end of wandering which I was dreaming for / Being repeated in this world / Goodbye to sadness.” Into The New World has become a penchant in South Korean protests, where activists turn to the song as a source of hope. Some of the historic moments featuring Girls’ Generation’s debut track include a candlelight vigil seeking to impeach former President Park, feminist rallies, and even the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.