The last group has been revealed to be TOUCH! More updates on Korean Music Wave here.
Recently there has been so many new debuts, especially girl groups like A Pink, Brave Girls, Raina, Chi Chi, just to name a few. The boys aren’t slowing down either, this month 3 groups have just debuted: Block B, X-5 and B1A4. It has also been released that a few more groups will be coming up, like SM Entertainment’s M1 and Media Line’s N-Train.
One of the biggest Kpop concerts in Singapore this year, Korean Music Wave 2011 is set to wash over the whole of local shores this July 15, with a huge number of 10 groups to perform in the 3-hour concert lineup. Huge names like Big Bang, 2NE1 have been revealed, along with FT Island, U-Kiss, The Boss, Miss A and rookie groups Dal★Shabet and X-5.
Due to last minute schedule changes, twinkle twinkle Girl’s Day was removed from the 10 and one slot was left. It was revealed that a rookie boyband will be replacing them, and since a lot of talk has been about this issue.
Definition of rookie?
Many fans have been talking about Infinite, ZE:A, Beast and Dalmatian… There’s no exact amount of time to consider a group as rookie, but in usual fan-terms rookies are those who debut in less than a year. If this is somewhat true, boy groups left to consider will be Dalmatian (Sept 2 2011), Touch (Oct 21 2010), just debutted this month – Block B, X-5 and B1A4. Not forgetting boy groups to debut before the concert in July, like M1 and N-Train.
Battle of profiles
Let’s put our focus on the groups that have just debutted this month.
Block B (“Block Bluster”)
Just last week, Block B debutted on KBS Music Bank with debut track Freeze! This seven-member group is under the company Brand New Stardom, and the group has been prepared for 2 years under the care of hip-hop producer and rapper Cho PD.
Members: Zico (Leader), Jaehyo, Taeil, B-Bomb, Park Kyung, U-Kwon, P.O (according to photo)
Debut stage: Block B showed professionalism on their very first broadcast, performing confidently and even initiated camera interaction with winks and eye contact. Zico‘s rapping was especially impressive, and many compared him to Beast’s Junhyung due to similar styles.
Vocals: The group is indeed well-versed in hip-hop and rap, with their pre-debut training with huge hiphop names like Verbal Jint and Rhymer. However this could also be their slip, as it seemed that the vocals are not as strong as rookie groups like X-5, which was born in a “vocal-focused” company (boasting of The Boss).
Dance: Block B was born a dance group. All the pre-debut dance practice videos found by netizens only showed how good the boys were at hiphop, which amazed so many netizens.
Fans: Block B’s Korean fancafe has 2080 members (at the time of writing), the most out of the rookie boy groups. Their international fanforum, International Block, has 1738 members (at the time of writing). Interestingly they already have a name for their fans – BBC (Block B Club)!
Hype: Block B is probably the most seasoned rookie boy group, with members appearing onstage before and participating in the recordings of various artists’ songs. Notably Block B’s face of the group Jaehyo was training to be a Beast member, but had to be pulled out last minute due to knee injury from over practice. Taeil was also part of MBC’s star search program “Birth Of A Great Star”, but was eliminated in the end.
It was news when Cho PD mentioned all the members had to write 100 songs throughout their training period, part of his “Creating Korea’s Eminem Project.” He also mentioned that he had advice from industry leaders SM Entertainment’s Lee Sooman and YG Entertainment’s Yang Hyunsuk.
X-5 (Xeno 5)
(It is confirmed that they’ll be performing for us for Korean Music Wave, but let’s talk about what they’ll bring for us.) Just yesterday on Music Bank X-5 debutted with debut track “Don’t Put On A Show”. The five members, each from a different region in Korea, came together under Open World Entertainment which also has Jun Jin and The Boss under their label.
Members: Ghun (Leader), Haewon, Taefung (Typhoon), Zin, Sulhu (according to photo)
Debut stage: X-5 showed off a pretty vigorous dance with all the shirt pulling and shoving of each other. What was great was their vocals were undeniably strong, from what you can hear from the MR version. The only catch was they gave off a small nervous vibe, or was it just the hand covering or the long fringe?
Vocals: As mentioned, strong for a debut performance. It’s no wonder since The Boss themselves boast of vocal talent, and maknae Sulhu was also from vocal group Xing (5th Generation) in the past.
Dance: Looking at “Don’t Put On A Show” dance, it’s got a F.Cuz “Midnight Sun” feel – 10 times the force however. Fan girls will probably take note of their soon to be famous hip-thrust dance move.
Fans: X-5 does not seem to have an active Korean fancafe, and their international following ranges from 400+ (Facebook fanpage) to 600+ (xfivestar International Forum Twitter account – forum page does not seem to be working).
Hype: X-5’s debut teasers created quite a big fuss, just because… you cannot see the members’ faces clearly! Many commented they were really excited to know how they really are. However 3 of the members debutted before, namely maknae Sulhu in Xing, leader Ghun and Haewon from trot group 3Chongsa. You have to check out 3Chongsa – their song “Let’s Go!” was such a hit in 2009. Ghun was the leader of the group too, while Haewon was the one with the “Sexy” concept – trot style!
B1A4 (Be the one, All for one)
Did we just hear screams? Just NOW, earlier on today B1A4 debutted on MBC Music Core with their track “OK“. Under WM Entertainment, the five boys were introduced to the world in a unique way that caught many’s attention.
Members: Jinyoung (Leader), Baro, Sandeul, Gongchan, CNU
Debut stage: Out of the three, this was the most most surprising one – the fanchants were so loud! It seems like B1A4 is enjoying a lot of fan support at debut. Other than that, in general there were minor glitches that could be forgiven, especially with Sandeul’s strong live vocals. Hope to see more from Gongchan, though.
Vocals: Sandeul is indeed a strong vocal; past that if compared to Block B and X-5, B1A4’s vocals and rapping will need improvement to stand out further.
Dance: The dance choreography cannot really go wrong since OK was choreographed by Prepix‘s Ill, who’s in Prepix crew, the one behind Beast‘s Shock and Soom, just to name a few. It may not be fair to compare B1A4 to Beast but in terms of the same dance style execution undeniably Beast is far ahead of them at debut.
Fans: Surprisingly B1A4 has the biggest fanbase internationally out of the trio with 2466 (at time of writing). There is much hype internationally, but in Korea they come in second after Block B at 1619 (at time of writing).
Hype: There was really not much information about them before debut as all the members are new to the industry. They were introduced via webtoon series, a pretty interesting way.. Probably with a flower-boy group concept that mixes SHINee‘s and FT Island‘s, they may steal quite a few hearts. Not to mention they have the youngest average age as a group in these three groups, with two 1991ers, one 1992er, 1993er and 1994er each.
So after all this… hopefully you have a picture of the rookie boybands hanging around at the moment! Just maybe one of these groups will be the last group for Korean Music Wave –
Who do you hope it’ll be? Leave your comments!
Sources credited to BBC Cafe, B1A4 Cafe, Daum, Soompi, Allkpop, wintersn0ww1 (MR videos) and various sources.