Since the KPOP industry is constantly churning out brand new artists, it’s easy for groups to be overlooked. It’s common in South Korea for boy/girl bands to be overshadowed by newer and younger groups. However, one noticeable group that continues to stand out over the past few years is EXO. The nine-member South Korean-Chinese group is composed of Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Chen, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun, and they are anything but your typical boy band. If you’re looking for new music to check out and you love listening to artists that aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound, with crazy amazing vocals and raps, and incredibly diverse members, then look no further: here are 5 reasons to stan EXO.
1. Their Artistry
Top tier vocalists? Amazing dancers? Fierce rapline? EXO has it all. The group is especially well known for their vocal ability. In particular, their main vocalists have received enormous praise. Chen has been nicknamed the “Ballad Prince of EXO” and is famous for his wide range and ability to sing high notes. Baekhyun and D.O. are widely loved for their vocal tones.
In addition, the group members are not only performers, but they also participate in the music-making process as well. Chen, and Baekhyun have penned lyrics for a few of the group’s songs, while Lay and Chanyeol have both composed as well as produced some tracks. The group is also known for their diverse discography; each of their albums has a distinct theme and sound, and they never repeat a concept. Some of the genres that the group have covered in their 7-year career include: electropop, hip-hop, R&B, dance, and EDM.
2. Their talent
For seven years straight, EXO have worked endlessly to further their career and share their music with their world. In this time period they have achieved so much. They currently hold the record for most music show wins, with 117 wins currently. As of 2018, they are quintuple million sellers and have sold over one million copies for each of their first 5 full length Korean albums. In 2018, they also performed at the closing ceremony of the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. EXO are the second Korean act to earn at least four charting albums on the Billboard 200, with their best ranking album (“Don’t Mess Up My Tempo”) peaking at number 23.
Baekhyun released his mini album ‘City Lights‘ in July which became the highest selling album for a solo K-Pop artist, and Kai was named Gucci’s First-Ever Korean Global Ambassador. Lay attended the 2019 Met Gala as well as the 61st Grammy Awards as a music ambassador. EXO-SC (the subunit composed of Chanyeol and Sehun) become KPOP’s best-selling subunit, breaking the album sales record that was previously held by EXO-CBX (the subunit made up of Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin). All of the members are extremely hard-working and successful both as individuals as well as inside the group, and their achievements reflect their constant strive to improve themselves and their passion for everything they do.
3. Their Philanthropy
Aside from being great performers, EXO loves giving back to the community. In 2012 the members of EXO-K (the Korean subunit of EXO) became ambassadors for South Korea’s Red Cross Youth.
In addition, the sales of the group’s winter albums have gone to UNICEF’s SMile for U campaign, which supports music education for children in Asia.
During 2016 EXO released a collaboration song titled “Dancing King”, and all the sales made from the song were donated to charity. That same year, Lay created a foundation called the “Zhang Yixing Arts Scholarship” to give out scholarships for students that attended his former middle school. He also donated to a public welfare funding project and has donated multiple ambulances for BAZAAR Stars’ Charity Night.
In 2019, Suho participated in UNICEF’s campaign For Every Child, Hope, while Chen donated money to Siheung 1% Fund, a non-profit organization that provides welfare for people in Siheung that live in poverty.
4. Their Personalities
It’s never a boring time with EXO; each of the members has a fun, vibrant personality that always keeps fans on theirs toes. Suho is an incredibly dedicated leader. Although he seems strict and serious on the outside, he is an extremely caring guy with a passion for acting, singing, and making jokes. D.O. and Xiumin are super kind and are always taking care of the other members. Chen, Baekhyun, and Chanyeol are known for being mischievous and playful, and since they are all the same age they frequently act as the mood-makers of the group. Sehun is the youngest member of the group and loves teasing the older members, while Lay is extremely funny and always knows how to make people laugh. Last, but not least is Kai, who has an amazing duality. He is a confident beast on stage, but a sweet and soft teddy bear offstage. All in all, no matter what personality you’re attracted to, there is at least one EXO member that you’re bound to fall in love with.
5. Their Relationship with their Fans
The relationship between EXO and their fans is extremely special. It is truly one of the closest and strongest bonds I have seen. Chanyeol has a tattoo that says “L-1485”. The L stands for EXO-L, which is short for EXO-Love (the name of EXO fans). 1485 refers to the date that EXO’s fanclub was first made, which was on August 5, 2014. In addition, during the group’s fifth tour titled EXplOration, leader Suho revealed a temporary tattoo during his solo stage that included not only the names of the group as well as each member, but also “EXO-L”. Whether we’re talking about permanent or temporary tattoos, the feeling of seeing your fandom inked on an artist that you love and admire is so powerful. Not to mention, many of the members are active on either Instagram or Twitter and are always interacting with their fans.
Perhaps most powerful of all is the song “Promise”. The lyrics for this song were written by Lay, Chen and Chanyeol, with Lay also participating in the production. The song’s official title in Korean is “Yakseok EXO 2014”, or “Promise EXO 2014”. The significance of the year is that 2014 was when Chinese EXO members Kris and Luhan left the group. In the song, the remaining members apologize to their fans for breaking their promise to always be together (EXO’s slogan is “We Are One”). They also ask the fans to continue to believe in them, and to trust and support them. The track is a declaration of love to their fans and shares how grateful EXO are for EXO-Ls. The lyrics talk about a promise to protect and make their fans happy, which shows the gratefulness of the group towards their fans, and demonstrates what makes the EXO-EXO-L relationship so intimate.
Although there are so many more reasons why you should love and stan EXO, these are just a few of them. So if you aren’t already an EXO-L, what are you waiting for?
If you’re an EXO-L, let us know why you love EXO, by leaving a reply in the comments down below, or tweeting us on Twitter at @thehoneypop.
Featured image source: SM Entertainment