Korean rookie girl groups ready to heat up music market in 2022

Seoul, Jan 13 Only less than two weeks have passed since the start of the New Year, but the K-pop scene is already busy with news of rookie girl groups getting global attention or preparing for their official debuts.

One of the hottest is Ive, which made its debut on December 1 with the single ‘Eleven’, reports Yonhap News Agency. The group is composed of six members, including Yujin and Wonyoung from IZ*ONE, the now-disbanded popular project group formed through the local cable TV channel Mnet’s audition show ‘Produce 48’.

‘Eleven’ has since racked up wins on domestic weekly TV music shows and made it onto charts across the world, including Billboard, Spotify and China’s QQ Music.

After setting a record for the most first-week debut album sales by all K-pop girl groups, Ive’s first single album of the same name had sold more than 260,000 copies as of the end of December, according to data from local music tracker Gaon.

Closely following in the footsteps of Ive is Kep1er, a girl group composed of the nine finalists of Mnet’s audition show ‘Girls Planet 999’, which aired from August to October last year.

The multinational group with South Korean, Chinese and Japanese members made its debut on January 3 with its first EP, ‘First Impact’, and broke the first-week debut album sales record set by Ive.

The album has sold more than 200,000 copies in the first week of its release with slightly more than 150,000 copies selling on the day of release, according to local album sales tracker Hanteo Chart.

The tune also topped iTunes charts of 11 countries around the world, including Japan, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, Mexico and Brazil.

Also gaining immense global attention are SM Entertainment’s latest girl group aespa and High Up Entertainment’s STAYC, both of which debuted in November 2020.

aespa instantly rose to stardom, thanks to its unique concept involving a metaverse-based universe and the members experiencing the new world along with their avatars.

The quartet, in a little over a year, has taken the K-pop industry by storm with three successive hits — singles ‘Black Mamba’, ‘Next Level’ and its first EP ‘Savage’, and grabbed a grand prize and a best rookie award at domestic year-end music awards ceremonies.

STAYC was the only K-pop act chosen as part of five notable artistes for 2022 by the global music platform Apple Music and music discovery app Shazam earlier this month.

The six-piece group established itself as a leading fourth-generation idol group last year with its hit single ‘ASAP’, followed by another popular release, ‘Stereotype’. It shared the rookie award with aespa at the annual Golden Disc Awards held in Seoul last week.

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