We had a lot of debuts this year. I can’t even count how many times I thought: ‘Oh my, another group to debut this year. How to remember all of them?‘. There are groups that came out unnoticed, and groups that made an impressive debut, gaining a lot of fans all over the world.
Check out KMUSIC‘s Top 12 Rookie Groups of 2012.
Created by Cho PD, they debuted in August under Stardom Entertainment.
The girls garnered much interest prior to their debut from both domestic and international fans due to the member changes. Two of the members, Song Kwanghee and Lee Dasom, debuted as the members of Tahiti. Jucy was also an underground rapper and has already released a few tracks on her own.
Now, the girls successfully spread their outstanding vocal,powerful rapping and dancing skills into the world of K-pop. When I see EvoL’s members in their music video for ‘We’re a Little Different‘, I can’t help it but imagine them as the sexy characters in video games.
Even though, their videos didn’t gain a lot of views on YouTube, they definitely deserve to be in the top 12 Rookie Groups of 2012.
A five-member girl group under AB Entertainment, produced by hit-maker, Shinsadong Tiger.
EXID has originally debuted with six members but 2 months after their debut, three members decided to leave the group and were replaced by two new members. Despite that, EXID won the ‘Rookie Award‘ at the 20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards.
Their debut song, ‘Who’z That Girl‘ as well as their digital single, ‘Every Night’, got over 1 million views on YouTube, strengthening their position in the Korean music scene.
10. CROSS GENE
The group’s biggest advantage is its multi-nationality. Signed under Amuse Korea, CROSS GENE consists of three members from South Korea, two members from China and one from Japan. Their debut mini-album, ‘Timeless: Begin’ peaked at number 8 on the Gaon weekly album chart.
CROSS GENE held its first showcase on June 7th at the Ax Korea concert hall in front of hundreds of reporters from all over Asia. They have also promoted in Japan where they held a successful fan meeting with 1,500 participants.
The group has teamed up with Swarovski Elements for a special limited release of their album. The album was produced with a silver outbox (the standard edition had a black outbox), along with six Swarovski Elements crystals embedded into their official logo on the cover. ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’!
Signed under Jellyfish Entertainment, the same company that made famous such artists as Sung Si Kyung, Seo In Guk and Park Hyo Shin. It just had to work out.
Even though VIXX debuted during a bad time (when the three biggest agencies were promoting their artists), they made a successful debut on May 4th. They quickly gained popularity and performed overseas at the Otakon Convention in Baltimore, Maryland and at KCON 2012 in Los Angeles.
VIXX has been making waves overseas since their debut. It was reported that they have been receiving love calls from several international record labels. They have also been praised by their label-mates – Sung Si Kyung and Park Hyo Shin, for outstanding vocal skills. Member Hong Bin went even further, and was compared to Se7en by his look.
8. JJ PROJECT
JYP Entertainment‘s male duo that debuted on May with the single ‘Bounce‘. JR and JB became well known even before their debut, when they landed a role on the KBS drama ‘Dream High 2‘.
One day after its release, the music video for ‘Bounce’ was ranked #10 on iTune’s ‘Top Dance Album‘ and got over 1 million views on YouTube in just 2 days. The raising popularity of the song didn’t stop and reached #4 Most Liked, #10 Most Viewed, #7 Most Discussed and #4 Most Favorited video worldwide on YouTube . ‘Bounce’ has also reached #1 spot on all South Korea’s music charts.
They were really Born to Beat. This seven-member group has everything: great vocalist, cute maknae, outstanding dancer, guys with great bodies and one person fluent in English. And they have connotations with two well-known idol groups: B2ST and 4minute.
BTOB is first in many aspects. They are the first rookie group to held international activities in more than 2 countries. They are also the first Korean artist to receive an invitation to perform at ‘Thai Supermodel Contest 2012‘.
BTOB was praised by a producer, Teddy Riley, who is known for working with the late Michael Jackson, for their bold attempt at incorporating the New Jack Swing genre into their second mini-album ‘Press Play‘.
6. HELLO VENUS
Formed by Fantagio and Pledis Entertainment, the home-agency for NU’EST and After School, Hello Venus debuted on May 9th. Pledis explained that Hello of Hello Venus describes the group’s approachable presence while the Venus stands for the mystical quality of the girls’ concept.
The group first became known under the name Venus and was rumored to be After School’s sub-unit. But, together with their debut, we realized they are going to be totally different from After School. Hello Venus created a package with a particular charm and elegance that weren’t seen in Pledis Entertainment.
Hello Venus was nominated at Mnet Asian Music Awards in two categories: ‘Best New Female Artist’ and for the prestigious title of ‘Artist of the Year‘.
Composed of six members, C-Clown (which stands for ‘Crown Clown‘) debuted on July 18th with mini-album ‘Not Alone‘.
Coming out of Yedang Entertainment (home of Chi Chi and Rania) and working with well-known hit-makers, Shinsadong Tiger and Radoon, C-Clown definitely have what it takes to stand out in the growing crowd of K-pop male groups.
Even though their music videos didn’t managed to get over 1 million views, they surely can show off their amazing dance and singing skills.
The group, together with VIXX, MYNAME. BTOB and JJ Project, featured in MTV‘s idol real variety, ‘Diary’. Through the show, they got closer to the fans by revealing various happenings in their daily lives and their pure charms.
Before their official debut in March, all members were backup dancers for After School Blue‘s ‘Wonder Boy’ music video and were called ‘After School Boys’. Great start, isn’t it?
NU’EST attended KCON 2012 in Los Angeles and performed their biggest hits ‘Face’, ‘Not Over You‘ and ‘Action‘. They have also held performances in Singapore, Malaysia and a sold out mini concert in Japan.
Only 4 weeks after their debut, NU’EST was chosen as the ‘2012 Best Rookie Artist’ by international fans. They were also chosen as the representatives for the ‘Korean Scout Association‘, later they successfully opened for the ‘K-Dream Live‘ concert in Tokyo and then, held a fan meeting and showcase for their fans in Thailand, Australia and Singapore. That’s a lot for a rookie group!
NU’EST obtained the #1 spot for the ‘Twitter Person‘ category on search portals with the release of their second album’s teaser image. The ‘Twitter Person’ is a title for public figures that are being discussed the most at the moment in Korea on Twitter.
They bring something refreshing to the K-pop industry. By ‘something refreshing’ I mean the dubstep trademark and important messages in their songs (such as bullying in ‘Face’).
Nega Network‘s newest band. With the exception of their official music videos, all of their videos are live performances with all the three members playing instruments.
All of LUNAFLY’s songs are written by the members themselves, with a little of help from ‘music brains’, such as Kim Eana, who stands behind hits like Brown Eyed Girls‘ ‘Abracadabra‘ and ‘Sixth Sense’ and SHINee‘s ‘Hello‘. Their songs just have to be good.
While waiting for their new songs, you don’t have to be afraid of disappointment. Additionally, I’m quite sure you will like them only by looking at them. And you will immediately fall in love with them when you hear the angelic voices of Sam, Yun and Teo.
LUNAFLY has quickly gained popularity in Japan where they held their first solo live concert just two months after they debut. Their song, ‘How Nice Would it Be‘ landed 1st on Cyworld music chart and Malaysia‘s ‘988’ K-pop chart.
The most powerful and charismatic debut with song titled ‘Warrior‘. The six-member group debuted in January under TS Entertainment.
After 11 months of their ‘Warrior’ music video’s release B.A.P has managed to get over 6 millions hits on YouTube. That’s definitely a lot for a rookie group.
They received a lot of attention for breaking up with the pretty-boy image most male idols groups provide and dominating the K-pop world with a tough, bad boy image, smashing car windows, kicking up dirt and doing thing boys do. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the stage collapse when B.A.P performed ‘Warrior’ on Inkigayo.
The boys quickly gained a huge fan base and over 3,000 people attended B.A.P’s debut showcase, which was held only two days after their debut. Additionally, only in South Korea, ‘Warrior’ sold over 10,000 copies in just two days upon its release.
B.A.P received much more attention as they won the ‘Rookie of the Year‘ award at Melon Music Award and the ‘Mnet PD’s Choice Award‘ at Mnet Asian Music Awards. They were also nominated for the title of Best New Male Artist and even the most prestigious ‘Artist of the Year’.
Undoubtedly the biggest debut this year. With 23 teasers and 2 prologue songs, the twelve-member group officially debuted on April 8th. Approximately 3,000 fans from 8,000 applicants attended the group’s concert showcase that was held a hundred days after EXO released their first teaser.
EXO is divided into two subgroups to promote in both China and South Korea. They can proudly show off their amazing choreography, catchy songs, hardcore screaming and awesome rapping skills. I don’t have to mention their good looks as well as adorable personalities. Even though the members stumble over their own words during interviews, they proved that they can handle the industry’s harsh nature when their facial expressions turn 180 degrees when they hit stage with charismatic performances.
Both subgroups received a lot of praises for their debut songs ‘MAMA‘, as EXO-M‘s version of this song reached first on various Chinese online retailers and music charts. Their album was ranked number two on China‘s Sina Album Chart, number five on South Korea‘s Gaon Album Chart and number twelve on the Billboard World Album Chart. EXO – K has also made its way to various music charts and reached number one on the Gaon Album Chart and number eight on the Billboard World Albums Chart. Their music video for ‘MAMA’ got to number seven on YouTube‘s Global Chart.
Additionally, just a month after the release of their debut album MAMA, EXO has managed to surpass 100,000 copies in sales in both Korea and China.
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