In KPOP, groups are normally formed with fixed members until their contract lasts. However, this is not the same case with After School.
After School is a South Korean girl group that is handled by Pledis Entertainment. Unlike other groups, they have an admission and graduation system. This means that there will always be a group called After School but the members can change. Some will have to leave or “graduate” and some will be added or “admitted”. Currently, the group has four active members: Raina, Nana, E-Young, and Kaeun. The group originally debuted with five members in 2009 and so far, 11 members have been officially part of After School. Let us look into the girls that have been part of After School through the years before I tell my thoughts about them.
After School Current Members’ Profile
Raina is the group’s official main vocalist. She has been participating as a singer not only for After School but for drama OSTs and collaborations with other artists as well. She is very well-versed in playing the piano and it is actually one of her hobbies. She is a member of the group’s sub-units “A.S. Blue” and “Orange Caramel”. She said that she prefers guys that are unique and intriguing.
Nana has always been my bias ever since she joined After School I’m very thankful that she is still with the group right now and like other fans, I am hoping that they will release another song in the near future. Aside from her career as an idol, she also tried her hand at acting and was part of the Korean remake of the American TV show “The Good Wife”. She also appeared in the reality show “Roommate” where she showed more of her personality.
E-Young might be the groups most musically-inclined member. She attended K-Note Music Academy and majored in Post Modern Music at Kyung Hee University. She can play the guitar, piano, cello, bass, and drums. Her addition to the group came as a surprise when she performed “Bang!” with After School during SBS’ Gayo Daejun in 2010.
Many of you might be familiar with her as one of the contestants of Produce 48. Not a lot of people actually know that Kaeun is actually a part of After School. This is because she was the last member to be added to the group and she promoted for a very short time before the group halted group activities. I was personally brokenhearted during her stint at Produce 48. When I learned that she will be joining the contest, I automatically rooted for her because I know how talented she is. She was consistently at the Top 12 on every ranking on the show. In fact, she placed first multiple times. Unfortunately, she ranked 14th during the final ranking and did not make it to the cut to debut in a project group called IZ*ONE.
After School Graduates
Lizzy is the latest graduate of the group. Pledis stated that while she is not a part of After School anymore, she will continue to promote with Orange Caramel.
UEE might be the group’s most popular member. She has appeared in a lot of Korean dramas and variety show. She actively went into the limelight after the group took a long rest. A lot of Korean’s admire her for her sexy and full thighs, earning her the nickname “Honey Thighs”.
Jungah is one of the original members of the group since debut. She graduated from the group in 2016 and two years later, she got married and is now living a happy married life.
Jooyeon is another original member of the group. Upon her graduation in 2015, she pursued a solo career in acting and appeared in a few Korean dramas.
Aside from being a part of After School, Soyoung also took part in a few Korean dramas as an actress. She was one of the original members of the group and she was the first member to graduate.
Not much is known about Bekah except that she was from Hawaii and Kahi convinced Pledis to fly her to Korea to be a part of the group. After her contract expired in 2011, she graduated from After School and went on to pursue a solo career.
Kahi is the group’s founding member and is the oldest. She had an acting stint in “Dream High 2” and was most popular as a dance mentor in the first two seasons of Produce 101 where she was seen for the first time after her departure from After School.
After school through the years
I wasn’t really following After School when they debuted. I learned about them when I came across the music video for their song “Because of You”. Back then, it was so hard to actually find a lot of information about KPOP groups as the Internet was not that advanced. It took me almost a year to finally get to know them and all those times, they have been releasing songs after songs back to back.
It wasn’t until a year after their debut that I decided to listen to their past songs and I immediately felt the vibe of Pussycat Dolls just like how the CEO of Pledis explained that their music style is heavily influenced by the American girl group. It was also the time when they released their ground-breaking single “Bang!” which is by far my most favorite song.
Actually, “Bang!” holds a special place in my heart as I was a part of a local dance cover group and we won a lot of competitions with our performance of the song.
I continued to follow the group through the years as it became easier and easier to access their activities with the state of the Internet getting better. The last thing that I heard about the group before they suddenly halted their group activities was their single “First Love”. During this time, they were more active in Japan and I’m not really a huge fan of Japanese singles.
I was actually sad that for a very long time, After School has been very inactive in the KPOP industry. They had solo promotions. UEE and Nana were in a few good Korean dramas I used to watch. Lizzy was a regular of Running Man for a few episodes (which is my all-time favorite variety show). Kaeun appeared in Produce 48 but to no avail, didn’t make the final lineup. I know that After School is older compared to the girl groups that are actively promoting right now. But, wouldn’t it really be awesome to see these legends again? They were one of the most powerful performance-based group that the industry witnessed and seeing them again would be a very amazing moment for long time KPOP fans like me. So Pledis, shall we?