NOTICE: I have decided to change this feature into a bi-weekly series. There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into these posts. I cannot possibly get it all done in one week! Thank you for your understanding!
The series continues with the idols of the “91-line”!
Idols that are part of this age group are or will be turning 26 years old (international age). This week’s idols are featured in the picture below:
Yet again, there are a lot of Korean idols within this age group. A few of my biases, such as CL (ex-2NE1), Solar (Mamamoo) and Key (SHINee) are within this group. That also includes my ULTIMATE K-POP BIAS, CNU from B1A4.
I was in shock while I was compiling this list. There were a number of idols within this group that I thought was much younger. Some of these idols include Red Velvet’s Irene, A Pink’s Chorong, NGT48’s Kitahara Rie, and Infinite’s Woohyun.
In the case of Irene, Chorong and Rie, they are in groups where many of the members are younger than them, so I automatically assumed that they were the same age as their fellow group members. It was a classic Tsugunaga Momoko and Country Girls situation.
Another idol that looks much younger than his age is Hey! Say! Jump’s Arioka Daiki. However, he did not fool me. Hey! Say! Jump has been around for a while, so they are a bit older than some of the Japanese idol groups that are currently active. They just have a lot of members with youthful looks and voices (see my ‘90s line post).
On the opposing end, there were a few idols that looked much older than 26 years old. These idols include EXILE’s Mandy, Sekai, former Wa$$Up member Nada and 9MUSES’ Hyemi.
These groups (EXILE, Wa$$up and 9MUSES) mostly had mature members and concepts. Other groups and artistes like Sistar, Anda, CL, Dal Shabet, After School and EXID also pursued similar concepts.
I would have classed EXO within the more mature concept group, however, I immediately changed my mind after experiencing a cringe-fest while watching their music video for “Power”. This is a bit off topic, but I really cannot bring myself to like that song or music video.
As I said in my 90’s line post, I often associate Hey! Say! Jump with their youthful image from years ago. I have not been keeping up with them, so I do not know much about their newer music. Also, some of my favourite songs from them are their more upbeat and endearing songs.
Despite being from the same company, Kis-my-ft2 is similar to Hey! Say! Jump. In my opinion, there is often a crossover in musical style and concept between both groups.
A Pink and B1A4 are also known for their bubbly and fun music. They have strayed from this concept a few times but the majority of their songs are vivacious and cute. This is really interesting since all the members of both groups are over the age of 20 years old. As the members get older, you would think they would pursue other concepts much like Hello Venus, Girls Generation and Dal Shabet did, however, they have stayed true to their form.
To be honest, I cannot see these two groups doing anything else. They are successful in their current state so I would not want them to change a thing. Though, the BANA in me is hoping more people support and stan B1A4. How can you resist them?
I was unsure whether to class NGT48 and SKE48 under a mature concept or not. I am not familiar with their music and the few songs I know are all different from each other in style and concept. I would probably say that these groups try out a mixture of concepts, which is a typical thing to do in the 48-family.
Other groups that have shown their versatility with a multitude of concepts and musical skills include AOA, WINNER, Mamamoo, Infinite, BTOB, MBLAQ, Red Velvet, Miss A, Girls Generation, U-KISS and SHINee.
What I also realized with this age group is that many of the groups have either faced member changes or have disbanded. The list of these group changes is pretty long and is mostly on the KPOP side. Groups like AOA, Infinite, A Pink, Girls Generation, CN BLUE, FT ISLAND and WINNER have all suffered from member losses.
U-KISS, MBLAQ, B2ST (now known as Highlight), EXO, Bestie, Dal Shabet and Wa$$up have all experienced big shake-ups in their member line ups.
Other groups like Kara, 2NE1 and Sistar have completed disbanded.
Groups like After School, EXILE, 9MUSES NGT48 and SKE48 are used to these member changes due to their graduation system.
Some of the idols within this age-line group, like Hoya (Infinite), Nada (Wa$$up), Jiyul (Dal Shabet), Nicole and Goo Hara (Kara) and Kevin (U-KISS), have left their respective groups for various reasons. NGT48’s Kitahara Rie will be graduating from her group in Spring 2018.
The point I am trying to make is, while many of these group changes are attributable to management and contract issues, a lot of it is also due to these idols wanting something new in their life. They are closing one chapter to open another. Now, I am not 26 years old as yet but I feel like the desire to grow and reach new goals is not an unusual occurrence at that age.
While the previous age line had a good mix of vocalists, dancers and instrumentalists, my list for the ’91-line consisted mostly of vocalists.
There were not many skilled dancers or rappers and there were one or two people that had acting skills that really impressed me.
However, I am not saying that this is not a talented group of people. They are definitely skilled in their fields. As many people say, skill comes with practice, age and experience, and all these idols have those qualities!
Next time, the ’92 line will be featured!