Anyone who knows me knows that I rarely follow girl groups. If I do, it would have taken a lot of convincing and really strong arguments as to why I have to be a fan of them. In my own world, I’d like to make-believe that any group that I am a fan of is lucky enough to have me as a fan. Of course, that is just in my little world. That has nothing to do with the KPOP industry.
Speaking of girl groups, one girl group that caught my eye during their debut is a group from SM Entertainment named Red Velvet. First of all, I couldn’t help but look at them because during their debut in 2014 with the song called “Happiness”, the teaser photos and music video were just full-on colorful. Sometimes, it really looked refreshing and tasty.
To me, it would not take a KPOP fan a long time to get to know and memorize groups from SM Entertainment. The agency does a really good job at marketing and PR that their groups would just normally fit in the industry and everyone would just eventually know and appreciate them. This is why it wasn’t that hard for me to follow Red Velvet.
So far, the group has released 3 digital singles, 7 mini albums, 2 full-length albums, 1 repackaged album, 1 Japanese mini album, and 1 Japanese digital single. They won a total of 36 awards and citations in both Korean and international award-giving bodies. They also accumulated a total of 50 trophies in music shows.
Red Velvet Members’ Profiles
The group originally had four members: Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, and Joy. The fifth member, Yeri, was added when the group released their first album called “Ice Cream Cake” after the release of two digital singles that featured the four original members.
Irene was casted in 2009 through a public audition. Since then, she trained under SM and was part of the pre-debut team called “SM Rookies”. She’s actually a close friend of f(x)’s Amber back when they were still trainees. Her hobbies include dancing and cooking seaweed soup every time her fellow members celebrate their birthday.
Seulgi was the very first member of “SM Rookies” that was revealed. She is one of the many idols who attended education at Seoul School of Performing Arts. Like Irene, she was also casted through a public audition, only two years ahead in 2007. She loves playing the guitar and likes to draw on her free time. Prior to being a part of Red Velvet, she appeared in the music videos of other SM artists such as Henry’s “Fantastic” and actually collaborated with him on his song “Butterfly”.
Wendy was born in South Korea but she grew up overseas. This is why she is fluent in both English and Korean. Not many people know this but she is actually a close friend of SF9’s Zuho. In an interview, she said that her ideal type is someone who is respectful and caring. She likes someone who has a pretty laugh and who eats well; someone that resembles her dad.
Joy is from Jeju Island and she was accepted in SM Entertainment through their Global Audition in 2012. Her breakthrough appearance was in MBC’s “We Got Married” where she was in a virtual marriage with BtoB’s Sungjae. A lot of the viewers loved their tandem and many thought that they might be in a relationship in real life. Lately, she is honing her skills as an actress and has appeared in a few Korean dramas.
Yerim attended Hanlim Multi Art School, another renowned school in South Korea when it comes to performing arts. She revealed that she never wore high heels but she was forced to when the group had to dance in heels for “Automatic”. Among the members, she also has the largest number of friends, idols and normal people alike. She’s very sociable and can carry a conversation if she needs to.
Of the five members, I’d say that my favorite member would have to be Joy. I loved watching Korean variety shows and she had some solo guesting stints in popular ones like Running Man and We Got Married. She’s a really quirky girl that is free-spirited. A lot of the variety show hosts love her because she doesn’t seem to be inhibited by worries when she speaks. She actually reminds me of SNSD’s Sooyoung. They are really funny girls who don’t care about their “pretty and lady-like” images.
Sweet Facts and Thoughts
We’ve already covered some of the basics that we need to know about Red Velvet and why KPOP fans should start noticing them. From here on out, let me tell you a few cute, sweet, and amazing things that will make you a ReVeluv.
1. Their group name means something
In KPOP, agencies come up the names of the group. Most of the times, they associate it with meanings that are just really absurd and ridiculous. Rarely do we come across a group with a name that has a simple but striking meaning. Red Velvet is one of the latter. Their name actually represents the duality of the group. “Red” symbolizes the cheerful and bright energy that is present in pop and the “Velvet” represents the classy and elegant feel of RnB. This means that the group aims to capture the audience in both main genres. And so far, I would say they have succeeded. Two of my favorite Red Velvet songs are “Red Flavor” and “Bad Boy” which have really opposite genres but have equally beautiful charms.
2. Their fanbase has a lot of female members
A girl group does not normally get a lot of female fans but the opposite is true for Red Velvet. They have a lot of female fans. I think this might be because they have become brand ambassadors and females love them for representing the natural beauty of Korean girls.
3. They are a part of North Korea’s history
Everybody knows how strict and notorious North Korea is. This is why Red Velvet has made history by being the first girl group from South Korea to perform in North Korea since 2003. Talk about breaking barriers!
4. The members are more than just singers
Joy has made an appearance in dramas such as “The Liar and His Lover” with Lee Hyunwoo and “The Great Seducer” with Woo Dohwan. I’ve seen “The Liar and His Lover” mainly because of Lee Hyunwoo and I’ve noticed that while Joy may not be the best actress there is, for someone who carried the lead role for the first time and for someone who tried acting for the first time, her performance was really commendable. She fit perfectly in the role that she played and I’m glad she pushed through with it. I’m actually hoping to see more of her in dramas. I think that as she gets to be exposed in acting, her skills would improve progressively.
5. They are beyond the boundaries of South Korea
For South Korean groups, being able to collaborate with a Western artist would be a dream come true and a great achievement because this would be a sign that they are being noticed on a global scale. Red Velvet’s Wendy has achieved what many KPOP idols have been dreaming of by collaborating with John Legend for the song “Written in the Stars”. Aside from that, she also performed great soundtracks for dramas.
Red Velvet is bound for success. With their US tour right around the corner, we would be expecting a bigger recognition from the global audience. With the way things are going for the group, it looks like they will soon be releasing a much more mature music and image that will help empower women and will capture the hearts of men. I just hope that SM Entertainment takes good care of them as they are extremely talented and they already have a huge group of fans that support and love them through thick and thin.