2016 K-drama soundtrack: Play. Reminisce. Repeat.

The Korean wave brought us countless of memorable Korean dramas that made everyone binge watch to no end! Apart from gaining the love of International fans thru every story helmed by innovative Directors and excellent performance from actors & actresses, it offered amazing music! The diversity of artists, ranging from beloved K-pop idol groups to K-indie are enjoyed in every Korean drama OST (Original Soundtrack). I personally discovered talented singers like Ben, Hong Dae Kwang, Yoon Mi Rae and Jung Yup by simply watching K-dramas.

I have picked 10 soundtracks that will remind you of your favorite K-drama in 2016. The array of artists will be from well-known singers like Gummy to Korean Indie bands like Vanilla Acoustic. With this selection, you might find a new artist to love as well.

Descendants of the Sun: Gummy – You Are my Everything

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Let’s start with one of my favorite artist of all time. Gummy exudes every emotions through her voice that showcase warmth & love unlike any other.

“You are my Everything” ranked first on the charts among the DOTS soundtracks. It earned a well-deserved recognition from the 11th Seoul Drama Awards for Outstanding Korean Drama OST. This song is also recorded an English version. But as for me, I prefer to hear Gummy singing in Korean. Listen and be reminded of the love Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) and Yoo Si Jin (Song Joong Ki) shared in one of Korea’s phenomenal drama hit series of 2016.

Oh Hae Young Again (Another Miss Oh): Seo Hyun Jin & Yoo Seung Woo – What is love?

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Sarangi mwonde, mwonde..” This song brought the kind of LSS I don’t mind having any time of day.

Another Miss Oh is a drama you shouldn’t miss. For those who have watched it already, high-five! I can only say great things about this drama. It offered immense happiness through Oh Hae Young (Seo Hyun Jin) who loved Park Do Kyung (Eric Mun of Shinhwa), not 89% but 100%. She is the heroine who proved that she can love like she has never been hurt and dance crazily like nobody is watching. Oh Hae Young is a fierce character who is not afraid to share her thoughts honestly, even when the words hurt. She isn’t exactly a role model material. However, for those who have experienced love the way she did, Oh Hae Young is an epitome of a woman in love.

What is love, anyway? Oh Hae Young defined it in her own terms, with no limits.

Love in the Moonlight (Moonlight Drawn by Clouds): Ben – Misty Road

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I clearly remember the scene in Episode 6 where Prince Yeong rescued Ra On, just in time before she is whisk away in a foreign land. That moment was beautifully enhanced by this song! I’m happy that Ben has been gracing successful k-dramas lately with her mellifluous voice. This song is made even more special because it was produced by Jin Young of K-idol group B1A4.

Park Bo Gum is paired with Kim Yoo Jung who played as the Prince’ Eunuch. Together, they made falling in love so easy! Some of you might be discouraged to watch a Sageuk drama. But if there is a historic Korean drama that I would gladly recommend, THIS IS IT. You can immerse on watching the beauty of the Korean culture during the Joseon Era. The palace facade and gorgeous hanbok worn by the characters are just few of the things worth looking out for.

One Percent of Anything: Lee Hae In & Baek Seung Heon – I Want You bad

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Let’s have something fun through this song. The upbeat rhythm made me want to dance with it.

Lee Jae In and Kim Da Hyun are the adorable pairing of this series. They proved why chemistry is vital to make romance work. The show showered us with sweet stuff even amidst bitter separation and chaebol issues. Give this k-drama a try. Even if it’s underrated, it won’t hurt spending hours indulging on your sweet spot.

W: Ahn Hyun Jung – You and Me

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The world of Oh Yeon Joo (Han Hyo Joo) opened the mysterious door into Kang Cheol (Lee Jung Seok), who is drawn only to exist as a fictional character. I enjoyed the concept of this series and the visuals are to die for! What a great homage for the webtoon theme. Moreover, Lee Jung Seok displayed his acting prowess effortlessly. How can I resist?

Little is known of singer Ahn Hyun Jung. She is still a newbie who started singing just last year. She has released songs for other Korean dramas like Shine or Go Crazy and Love on a Rooftop, just to name a few.

Shopping King Louie: Umji (GFRIEND) – The Way

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The sweet voice of Umji from the K-Idol girl group GFRIEND can be enjoyed in this track. The song is melancholic but Umji’s angelic voice made the positive side of the song shine.

Shopping King Louie has Seo In Guk and Nam Ji Hyun to be grateful for. They showed a feel-good love story that captured the hearts of k-drama fans. There’s nothing too complicated about the plot either. If you want to have a good time during your spare break, give this one a shot. Fall in love with Louie and his quirks, with all your heart.

Doctors: Jung Ho (2MUCH) – You’re Pretty

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Jung Ho’s voice is the perfect accompaniment with the guitar strings. The combination formed a sweet serenade that I enjoyed listening to in repeat.

The drama title can speak for itself. It’s among the list of medical dramas that earned successful viewership rating. It served Kim Rae Won well, as this is his drama comeback project. He looked dashing and young here, right?! IMO, it might be due to his pairing with Park Shin Hye. Looking at them together, I didn’t even notice the age gap. Well, I choose to ignore it at least. That aside, Park Shin Hye’s character as Doctor Yoo Hye Jung made a good impression, compared to some timid heroine she has played before. This young lady is growing up to be one of Korean drama lead finest.

Cheese in the Trap: Vanilla Acoustic – My Time with You

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tvN has mastered the art to make a scene viral by choosing an amazing music to accompany it. This song was first featured in Episode 3 just when Hong Seol (Kim Go Eun) had a tough lesson to learn — not just in school but life in general. Every CITT fan waited arduously for its official release date that felt like forever. But finally listening to the song was worth the wait!

Actually the whole soundtrack of Cheese in the Trap is my kind of jam. You can listen to notable K-indie bands like Tearliner, Saltnpaper, Sweden Laundry & Cosmic Hippie. Saltnpaper in particular sang the title track “Go” that has an English version too. Check the bands I’ve mentioned and various artists like Taru & Yozoh, who were featured for the OST. They are all highly recommended. Even the instrumental tracks are love!

Reply 1988: SoJin (Girl’s Day) – Everyday with you

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This series is on a league of its own. Not only does it bring us back in time when having a beeper is a must have item, but it featured legendary Korean singers like Lee Moon Se.

“Everyday with you” has been played in numerous Korean Dramas before like Playful Kiss. Deulgukhwa (들국화) who sang the original version, is considered among the most influential K-pop artist who started their career in 1985. Their first album is revered as one of the greatest album in K-pop history. Deulgukhwa ignited the golden age of Korean rock. They deserve respect & all accolades, proving that in music, there is forever.

Jealousy Incarnate (Don’t Dare to Dream): Kwon Jin Ah – Love Me Do

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I like to end this post with something fun. Christmas is just around the corner and this song fit the season just right! If you watch this K-drama, you’ll have a Romantic Christmas too. Allow Jo Jung Seok and Gong Hyo Jin to fill it with their love.

Jealousy Incarnate is one of those K-drama that you watch for fun. It doesn’t require you to think about the mathematical statistics of love and happiness. You just have to sit back, relax, and let the story unfold. Some might find that petty arguments and jealousy are not worth your time. But no. Jo Jung Seok will show you why sometimes jealousy is needed to ignite the kind of love you didn’t know exists.

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All this time I thought that music is vital to enhance the mood and the emotions needed to complete a scene. As I become more familiar with Korean dramas, I realized the significance of music. It is used to bring meaning to the story, and it even helps in breaking the language barrier. Music gives a newer dimension that allows every viewer to see the story clearly with added beauty and depth.

I find myself always anticipating to discover new artists. It’s a delight to hear my favorite K-indie bands in every K-drama they participate in. Let the joy & the whirlwind of emotions that music brings change the way you watch Korean dramas too.

Happy listening!

Written by Sheimay Castro

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