K-drama OSTs do more than serve as background music for television series. They are often written for particular characters and help viewers relate to the plot by adding an extra musical dimension. Over the recent decades, several original soundtracks have risen in popularity with television drama series. The songs have slowly become iconic in the minds of viewers, such as SHINee’s Stand by Me for the K-drama Boys Over Flowers, and some K-pop idols are known for lending their voices to OSTs.
Members of popular groups like BTS, SEVENTEEN, and NCT led the drama tracks this year, creating a beautiful mix of K-drama OSTs that would be enjoyed by fans of K-pop and K-dramas alike.
Starlight, Beyond My Dreams, and other outstanding K-drama OSTs of this year that one must listen to
1) With You by BTS’ Jimin and Ha Sung-woon from Our Blues
BTS’ Jimin is known for his beautiful high-pitched voice that can become both seductive (as in Filter) and emotive (as in Promise), making him the perfect person to sing this track that was the fourth OST in the 2022 K-drama Our Blues. Fittingly accompanied on With You by Ha Sung-woon, the two friends and vocalists blend their voices with various harmonies that enhance the viewing experience of the television show.
2) Love, Maybe by MeloMance from A Business Proposal
MeloMance, a well-known musical duo, won multiple awards for their K-drama OST contribution to A Business Proposal, which also featured a cameo from them. The K-drama is a light-hearted romantic comedy with high ratings on Netflix worldwide, even catching the attention of BTS’ Jung Kook, who posted clips from the show on his Instagram stories.
Love, Maybe has all the workings to become an evergreen OST with its simple yet catchy melodies that add a little pinch of fairy dust to the brilliant chemistry between the leads, taking it to the next level.
3) Starlight by NCT’s Taeil from Twenty-Five Twenty-One
Arguably one of the best K-dramas released in 2022, Twenty-Five Twenty-One had no dearth of excellent OSTs by prominent singers to accompany the well-crafted storyline and beautiful treatment of characters. However, Taeil’s Starlight earns its spot on this list of best K-drama OSTs because of how the idol’s vocals exquisitely complement the parallel growth of the characters in the television drama.
4) Beyond My Dreams by Sunwoojunga from Extraordinary Attorney Woo
If hope were a K-drama OST, it would be Beyond My Dreams from Extraordinary Attorney Woo. The show has a stellar cast, a well-thought out storyline, and some guaranteed tear-jerker moments. It follows the different trials and successes of Woo Young-woo, a lawyer on the autism spectrum who just started practicing at a law firm.
Sunwoojunga lends her voice to the song that also serves as the title track for Extraordinary Attorney Woo, transporting viewers and listeners to the world of Attorney Woo, celebratory and touching in equal measure.
5) Shining on Your Night by GOT7’s Jinyoung from Yumi’s Cells 2
When an actor in a K-drama happens to sing its OST as well, a different kind of magic is created. GOT7’s Jinyoung has displayed his skills as an actor and singer on many different occasions. However, Shining On Your Night is a robust coalescence of the two, resulting in a song that is as replayable as it is memorable.
In the second season of Yumi’s Cells, Jinyoung played the male protagonist opposite Kim Go-Eun’s Yumi, with the titular cells also making a return.
6) Melting by CHEEZE from Forecasting Love and Weather
The queen of rom-coms, Park Min-young helmed Forecasting Love and Weather with Love Alarm‘s Song Kang, while CHEEZE’s experience with K-drama OSTs adds more oomph to the show. Melting is the feeling of falling in love with someone new, and the vocalist’s soft and alluring vocals enhance the appeal even more.
7) We’ll Shine Brighter Than Any Other Star by Lee Hi from Soundtrack #1
While she is known for her heart-wrenching ballads such as Breathe, Lee Hi shines in this K-drama OST in Sountrack #1. The series seems to fall onto the cliched romantic storyline of friends-to-lovers.
However, the lead actors’ chemistry, brilliant original soundtrack, and persuasiveness of the screenplay make it an amazing watch. In particular, We’ll Shine Brighter Than Any Other Star stands out because of Lee Hi’s ability to convey emotions via her voice, with the lyrics serving as a formidable supporting cast.
8) I Mean It by Hwang In-youp from The Sound of Magic
In a show where the music furthers the storyline, K-drama OSTs become more meaningful and memorable. Hwang In-youp sings this delightful number that extols the incomparable feeling of falling for someone for the first time. I Mean It fits into the universe of The Sound of Magic, with a dreamy, fairytale-like quality that is only exacerbated by beautiful vocals.
9) Fire by MONSTA X’s Kihyun from The First Responders
The alternative rock genre track is a perfect fit for a show about first responders between a police station and a fire station. Kihyun’s energetic voice only elevates Fire, which is reminiscent of the song of the same name by BTS. However, the K-drama OST has an attitude that is distinct to itself and fits in well with The First Responders.
10) Scars Leave Beautiful Trace by Car, The Garden from Alchemy of Souls (Part 1)
Among the many historical-themed K-dramas, Alchemy of Souls stands out because of the way it is crafted. The track mentioned is among the K-drama OSTs from the show’s album, which peaked at number 18 on the Circle (formerly Gaon) Music Chart.
Scars Leave Beautiful Trace is as much about the magical elements in the land of Daeho (where the show is set) as it is about the people affected by the forbidden spell that is referenced in the title. The rock-influenced track follows the ups and downs of the journey that the characters in the show take, leaving viewers with a goosebumps-inducing melody of the song.
2023 has started strong with many K-dramas being announced to be released as the year progresses. There is scarcely any doubt that this year will also bring in multiple K-drama OSTs that will stay in the minds of the audience long after the show concludes.
Poll : Did you add any of these K-drama OSTs to your playlist?