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New C-pop Groups that You Should Check Out

Chinese popular music or C-pop continues to dominate the charts, award shows, and more. In 2019, the Chinese music market was worth $55.3 billion and the digital music market was worth more than $9 billion. Based on the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Annual Global Music Report, China was the seventh biggest music market in 2018

Although it’s widely popular domestically, C-pop has gone beyond the borders now. Many top C-pop songs released in 2020 have done well on international music charts like the Billboard 100. In recent years, C-pop has also established an idol phenomenon with a uniquely dedicated fan culture among Chinese fans.

Many little fresh meat male idols or 小鲜肉 (xiǎo xiān ròu) have gone on to  have successful acting and solo music careers because of the idol wave in China. There are also successful Chinese members from K-pop groups who re-debut in C-pop groups, gaining more popularity.  This idol phenomenon has blown up because of the yearly idol survival show programs like iQiYi’s Idol Producer or Youth With You and Tencent Video’s Produce 101 China or Produce Camp.

With many C-pop groups debuting in 2020, here are new promising groups that you should definitely check out: 

1. THE9

The monster rookie girl group was formed on iQiyi’s Youth With You Season 2. Out of the 109 trainees on the show, 9 talented members were selected by the public. On August 10, the group released their first EP Sphinx X Mystery (斯芬克斯X谜) and their lead single, SphinX (斯芬克斯)

With their immense popularity and passionate fans called, Ninecho, the girl group had a successful debut. The EP sold over 150,000 units in less than 45 minutes and is certified triple platinum with more than 600,000 copies sold. It has also topped the charts for the Best-Selling Digital EP on QQ Music. On top of that, THE9 received over 6 notable awards in 2020, including “Artist of the Year” at Cosmo Glam Night, “Popular Female Artist” at iQiyi Scream Night, and “Idol Group of the Year” at Sina Fashion Style Awards. 



2. BonBon Girls 303 (硬糖少女303)

BonBon Girls 303 consists of 7 members who debuted on Tencent’s Chuang 2020. The popular girl group debuted their lead single, BONBON GIRLS, from the The Law of Hard Candy (硬糖定律) EP. The rising girl group’s debut was well-received by the public and had immense support from its fans called, Tangzhi. An even more amazing feat: 70,000 copies of the EP were sold within the first minute!

Bonbon Girls 303 is also the first and fastest Chinese girl group to achieve a Platinum Award EP on QQ music in 2020. What’s more, the music video had 3.8 million views on the Chinese video platform, Tencent Video, on the day of its debut. The girl group also won “Popular Group” at the Weibo Variety Awards and “Group of the Year” at Tencent Video All Star Night in 2020.


3. S.K.Y (天空少年)

S.K.Y is a seven-member boy group formed on Youku’s idol survival show, We Are Young 2020. The group debuted with a powerful track titled, Burn, from their first mini-album, OHNANA. Achieving international fame, S.K.Y. has performed on the Korean music show, SBS MTV’s The Show. The group was even part of the lineup at the Asia Song Festival. Last but not least, S.K.Y. was awarded “Idol Group of the Year” at the Sohu Fashion Awards 2020.

4. Air League Band (气运联盟)

Air League Band, also known as QYLM, is made up of five talented members who emerged from the show, The Coming One Super Band. The group debuted with an uplifting song, It’s My Life, from their upcoming EP Speed Up.

Immediately after the debut, Air League Band performed in four music festivals in China like the National Tide Music Carnival and China Cool Festival. The band is also participating in a national tour in eight different regions. Air League Band has even released a song for the comedy film, Coffee of Tea. As a crowning achievement, the band was also awarded “Popular Band” at Tencent Video All Star Night.

5. 172 Girls

172Girls is a four-member girl group, consisting of the four finalists of iQiyi’s idol survival program, Youth With You 2. The number 172 in the group’s name comes from the average height of the four members in centimeters. The group performed Enraptured (眉飞色舞) for the first time at the Tmall 618 Retail Festival Show on JiangSu TV. 

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