Five of the best boy bands you’ve never heard of
We’re going worldwide with these talented pop stars.
I’m a sucker for boy bands. Entertaining, full of personality, and natural performers – what’s not to like?
Being a fan of K-pop groups like EXO and SuperM who are effectively on hiatus since members are completing their military service, I miss that rush of excitement when watching comeback performances for the first time.
Eager to feel that surge of adrenaline once again, I scoured the net for some of the best boy bands from around the world, and I was surprised to find dozens of brilliant acts.
If you’re looking for new bops to add to your Spotify playlist, check out these bands and discover some hidden gems:
1. CNCO (Latin America)
If you’re a fan of reggaeton and old school boy bands like *NSYNC, Miami-based Latino pop group CNCO will surely make your fantasies come true.
Formed in 2015, the group initially comprised of singers Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colon, Christopher Velez, and Zambiel de Jesus. Despite the controversy of Mexican-American member Joel Pimentel leaving the band in 2021, the quartet remains extremely popular in the Americas.
2. Ninety One (Kazakhstan)
Inspired by the Korean Wave, Kazakhstan’s Ninety One is the Central Asian nation’s first ever pop group, birthing the national pop genre of Qazaq-pop, or Q-pop.
This revolutionary quartet, consisting of producer-vocalist Alem, rapper Zaq, former K-pop trainee Ace, and kenzhe (the Kazakh word for maknae, or youngest member) Bala, had to overcome backlash from politically conservative factions before breaking into the mainstream music scene.
Like CNCO, the band’s leader AZ left the group in 2020. However, they have not slowed down. Ah!Yah!Mah! (2017), ALL I NEED (2018), and Bari Biled (2019) are some of their most-played tunes on Spotify among their many eargasmic productions.
3. MJ5 (India)
Hailing from Mumbai, this five-piece boy band is known for their sharp suits and coordinated outfits.
With a unique dance style influenced by popping and locking, the group gained popularity after winning India’s reality show Dancing Superstar in July 2021.
Members Himanshu Gola, Rohit Singh, Vishnu Kumar, Dennis Anthony, and R Karthik began their journey to stardom eight years ago, upon discovering a common love for Michael Jackson.
Their banger BAWAAL (2021), is a blend of Bollywood-esque beats and tropical house – perfect for those days when you can’t help but dream about trips to far-flung beaches on the other side of the globe.
4. JLS (UK)
If you’re craving for some nostalgic tunes, four-member English boy band JLS has got you covered. This veteran pop group won the hearts of fans around the world when they finished second in the 2008 edition of The X Factor.
After a seven-year hiatus, the quartet, which consists of Aston Merrygold, Oritse Williams, Marvin Humes, and JB Gill, is back with more old school sounds that are sure to bring back some good ol’ memories.
While the band’s latest single Eternal Love (2021) made longtime fans swoon once again, their 2011 synth-heavy track She Makes Me Wanna (2011), which featured singer Dev, remains their biggest hit to date.
5. ALAMAT (Philippines)
At first glance, Filipino boy band ALAMAT may seem like a K-pop group, with eye-catching hairstyles and synchronised choreography.
Their playful lyrics, which are almost exclusively in Filipino languages including Ilocano, Waray, and Cebuano, give the eight-member group a unique OPM (Original Pinoy Music) edge.
Pinoy idols Taneo, Mo, Tomas, R-Ji, Valfer, Alas, Gami, and Jao debuted in Mar 2021, and have since become one of the country’s most popular boy groups.
Fan favourites include ‘kasmala’ (2021), which feature raps, catchy melodies, and multilingual lyrics. The boys also don various Filipino ethnic costumes, making this music video one of a kind in the local pop scene.
As boy bands continue to grow and evolve, I’m excited to see what these international groups have in store. While these are some of my favourites at the moment, I’m curious to know, which underrated boy band are you a fan of?