Rookie Watch (PART 5)

It has been a hot minute since my last rookie watch. To be honest, I have not been keeping up with these rookie groups. There have been so many debuts in the past few years, and I have only gotten busier as time goes by. Also, it takes a lot to grab my attention and make a good impression these days. Many of the songs in the KPOP industry seem to follow repetitive trends that have made me lose interest. However, there have been a few groups that have caught my eye in the past year. I will briefly talk about some of these groups below:

ITZY (JYP Entertainment)

This girl-group has been highly anticipated. I recognized some of the members from the “Stray Kids” reality show. I also remembered Chaeryeong from “Sixteen,” also known as the show that made TWICE, and Ryujin from “Mix Nine,” also known as the show that broke the public’s trust in YG Entertainment.

Even though their debut has been speculated for a while, it was still sudden for me when they released their teasers. Their debut song is “Dalla Dalla,” which has already won several awards on music shows.

While I loved the colourful and spontaneous music video, it took me a few listens to like the song. The song is all over the place. It is almost like it is going through an identity crisis and does not know what genre or tempo is wants to be. First, it starts off as your typical girl crush dance track. Then, it transformed into a cute pop concept. Suddenly, the beat changes into trap while Yeji belts out her lines. I had such a headache after my first listen. Despite this, a few days later I caught myself singing along to it like “I LOVE MYSELF (insert Korean here) … DALLA DALLA YEAH!” This always happens to me.

I have seen some of their live performances. I am not entirely impressed. They apparently still have much room for improvement, but I will definitely be looking over them as they grow. Chaeryeong is currently my favourite member with Yuna coming in at a close second. My reason for this is from 1:55 to 1:57 of the music video. Go check it out. I guarantee that your heart will flutter as mine did. 

IZ*ONE (Off the Road Entertainment)

This group was formed through the Mnet show, “Produce 48.” You can check out some of my past posts about the final lineup and show here. I have grown to love this group. Despite being put together through votes, they have great chemistry.

My favourite member is still Chaeyoung, just like her younger sister in ITZY. I still cannot believe that they are not twins. I swore they were twins while they participated in “Sixteen.”

Previously, I was not happy about Chaewon, Hyewon and Minju being added to the group. They are still my least favourite members, but now I respect their roles in the group. 

Their debut Korean single was “La Vie En Rose.” You can check out my review of it here.

Their debut Japanese single was “Suki to Iwasetai.” Just like ITZY’s “Dalla Dalla,” I loved the colourful and aesthetic music video. It took a lot more from me to like the song, but as usual, it grew on me.

I am excited about their future releases. I am curious to see what concepts they take on next. They have a bright future like most of the “Produce” groups such as I.O.I and Wanna One.

LOONA (Blockberry Creative)

STAN LOONA! – I keep seeing this everywhere. To be honest, it is getting as annoying as random ARMYs bringing up BTS in the most inappropriate places. This is coming from an ARMY like myself.

However, I am not going to deny the fact that this is an extremely talented group. I have not an avid fan, but I have been listening to their songs, and I do like most of them. They are versatile and can pull off any concept thrown at them.

Their major debut single “Hi High” was cute and bright while “Favourite” was dark and alluring. They nailed both themes and songs.

Their recent comeback, “Butterfly,” has also been a big hit. It is an artistic masterpiece. The music video was symbolic, beautiful, multicultural and meaningful. Let us not forget the synchronized choreography that they pull off flawlessly, even during live shows.

I am not familiar with all the members, but I have been drawn to Kim Lip, Jinsoul and Olivia. I will definitely be following this group in the future.

(G)I-DLE (Cube Entertainment)

This new girl group is led by “Produce 101” and “Unpretty Rapstar” reality star, Soyeon, who also happens to be my bias of the group.

I have followed them since their debut with “LATATA,” which was jaw-droppingly good. They had a strong start with a successful song and live performances. Soyeon already had stage experience and great presence. However, the other members also know how to perform well and grab the audience’s attention. “LATATA” is possibly one of my favourite debut songs ever.

They had a strong follow-up called “Hann (Remember).” This song has a similar vibe and sound to “LATATA.” It even caught the attention of my friend (who does not usually listen to KPOP) who sent me the song while proclaiming his love for it.

(G)I-DLE released their third single, “Senorita.” While it is not as good their first two songs, it is still a bop.

Other than Soyeon, I also like Minnie, who is from Thailand. I guess I have a thing for Thai idols (see Sorn, Lisa and BamBam).

Cherry Bullet (FNC Entertainment)

I know nothing about this group except that they are under the same label as FT ISLAND, CN BLUE, SF9, N.Flying and AoA.

I also know Haeyoon from “Produce 48.” She was one of my favourite vocalists on the show.

The group has many foreign members, including Kokoro, who is from Japan, and Linlin, who is from China. I wonder why those names sound so familiar? I just cannot put my finger on it.

I mean it is not like those names were already taken? What is Hello Project? What is Morning Musume? What is BEYOOOOONDS? It is all a mystery…

Jokes aside, this seems like a pretty decent group. Their debut song “Q&A” is catchy and fun. However, I am not compelled to follow this group actively. They also have a lot of members, and I feel like my brain is at capacity with the latest Hello Project and other KPOP debuts. However, if you like this group and their debut song, I encourage you to stan!

ONEUS (RBW Entertainment)

Can we talk about their debut single, “Valkyrie?” It is a hit! I have Valkyrie fever. After hearing the song for the first time, I found myself singing it in the shower. That was the beginning of the end. I am addicted to this song now.

I also liked “Last Song,” which they sang with ONEWE (formerly MAS).

I am also still learning about this group and its members. I know some of the members participated in “Produce 101” and “Mix Nine,” but I do not have a bias as yet.

That is it for this rookie watch segment! I will be releasing another part very soon! Let me know what you think about these new groups!


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