The Year of the Tiger, which begins on February 1, has a special significance in South Korea: Korea and Koreans are often associated with the striped feline, and tigers have become a popular symbol of Korean identity.
While tigers are common motifs in K-pop songs and appear in numerous music videos, including hits like BTS' Idol and NCT 127's Regular, songs focusing on the regal cat are few and far between.
To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, add these K-pop songs to your playlist.
Ryu Su-jeong Tiger Eyes
If you're looking to host an Omicron-appropriate party this Year of the Tiger, turn up Ryu Su-jeong's Tiger Eyes, an addictive dance track that puts the former Lovelyz member's breathy tone front and centre.
If you have your eye on some big goal for the Year of the Tiger, this song could be your anthem.
SuperM Tiger Inside
If you're looking for a literal anthem of the Year of the Tiger, SuperM's Tiger Inside from 2020 is a must, full of energy and intensity that will inspire a year that is similarly so.
"Rewrite a brand new life ever since the beginning," declares band member Mark.
Leenalchi Tiger Is Coming
While Leenalchi is more alternative than what is typically considered K-pop, their hit Tiger Is Coming is energetic and refreshing, blending 21st century pop sensibilities with South Korean musical and storytelling traditions.
Groovy and compelling, Tiger Is Coming is a unique listen to kick off your Year of the Tiger.
Hoshi of Seventeen Tiger Power
There are two things you have to know about this member of Seventeen. First, Kwon Soon-young's stage name Hoshi is derived from a Korean term meaning "tiger's gaze", or horangi shiseon.
Second, he is obsessed with tigers, and is known for his catchphrase horanghae, which combines the Korean words for "tiger" (horangi) and "love" (saranghae). The laid-back Tiger Power is a perfect listen for anyone looking for a chill sort of year.
Ravi Bum featuring Chillin Homie, Kid Milli
Ravi (from Vixx) is broadening his range, and this fusion of hip-hop and traditional Korean music is a show of strength. Traditional singers and instruments are blended in the dynamic chorus.
Bum, another Korean term for the striped cat, is as dynamic and invigorating as one can hope a new year will be.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.