The Underrated South Korean “Chill-Out” R&B Genre: Colde, Crush & Jiwoo

On the surface, South Korean music is widely recognized for its pop hits by big groups like BLACKPINK, BTS, MONSTA X and Seventeen.

With an upbeat chorus, catchy lyrics, dance routines and fancy aesthetics characterizing the popular K-pop genre, K-pop has taken over the world, dominating radio stations and even making world stars of Korean idols. 

Amidst the K-pop rise to fame, it’s nice to chill out and explore different sounds. South Korean artists like Colde, Jiwoo (Anglophonic and Toronto-based artist) and Crush provide a new perspective to Korean music, introducing a chill-out genre of Korean R&B that uses slow rhythms to make mellow-sounding, relaxing songs.

This genre is hazy in its definition and bounds, often including a mix of other genres like hip-hop and combining elements of K-pop.

Colde of Former Duo OFFONOFF

Kim Hee Su, professionally known as Colde, is a South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter and producer creating R&B and hip-hop hits. Colde officially debuted in 2015 with Seo Jiho, professionally known as 0Channel, in the duo OFFONOFF on SoundCloud. In 2016 the pair joined YG Entertainment’s sub-label HIGHGRND.

During his time in the duo OFFONOFF, Colde gained recognition as a contestant in the show “Breakers” and would get the opportunity in SM station season 3’s fifth runner to release the solo song, “Loss,” on SM station’s youtube channel after winning. 

In 2018 Colde made his solo debut with his first EP “WAVE” With his solo debut, he formed a record label and entertainment agency named Wavy.

Colde now has nearly 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify and hit songs like “Your Dog Loves You” with over 30 million listens.

My favourite Colde songs include WA-R-R, Don’t Leave Me My Love, and Your Dog Loves You.

Crush’s Kdrama Soundtrack Hits

Shin Hyo Seob, professionally known as Crush, is also a South Korean Singer, songwriter, and producer creating R&B and hip-hop hits. Crush debuted in 2014 with the single “Sometimes” and was signed with Amoeba Culture until 2019 when P Nation, his current label, signed with him.

Crush is part of the unofficial group VV:D made up of friends Zion.T, Elo, Gray, and Loco. He is also part of the hip-hop crew Fanxy Child with members Zico, Dean, Millic and Penomeco.

Crush would make songs for hit Korean Dramas and Webtoons like Itaewon Class and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. He boasts well over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify and would rack in 150 million listeners on the song “Beautiful” featured in the drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God.

My favourite Crush songs include None and Let Us Go.

Toronto Based Jiwoo

Lastly, artist Jiwoo, a Canadian-South Korean singer, rapper and producer based here in Toronto! Jiwoo debuted on Soundcloud in 2015 with the song “ONLY” under the name HAYAKE. He would only debut on Spotify and mainstream platforms as Jiwoo in 2019 with his EP “Maison” under Coldes label Wavy. He diverts from the traditional Korean R&B sound but carries similar mellow vibes to English listeners, reminiscent of other R&B artists like RealestK and Chase Shakur. Jiwoo is the artist to look out for!

Jiwoo is still gaining traction in the Canadian music scene; however, he has proven that he has what it takes to make it with hit songs like “Comme Des Garçons” and “Greed” and almost 200 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify. 


Mtl. (2022, August 30). Colde (콜드) Profile and Facts (Updated!). Kpop Profiles.

Yoonglesforehead. (2022, April 1). Jeon Jiwoo (HAYAKE) Profile and Facts (Updated!). Kpop Profiles.

Potato. (2022, September 22). Crush Profile and Facts (Updated!). Kpop Profiles.

4 thoughts on “The Underrated South Korean “Chill-Out” R&B Genre: Colde, Crush & Jiwoo”

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