So as many of you know, I’ve been listening to K-pop since the beginning of this year, and I’m stuck on it like glue. It’s the only type of music I will listen to, for now at least. But, I’ve been a little rusty since the semester started. I never have any time to listen to more K-pop groups (I still don’t have the time). But two weekends ago, I was able to listen to some groups when I had the chance. Though I only got through two groups, I immediately fell for this one group called B1A4.
B1A4 are a South Korean boy band that has been around since 2011. The group consists of five members: Jinyoung, CNU, Sandeul, Baro, and Gongchan. I don’t know what it is I like so much about them, but when I watched several interviews and performances, they came off as humble. Maybe it’s because they’re not signed to one of the Big 3 (SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment) in South Korea. They’re signed to a smaller agency, WM Entertainment.
Plus, their image doesn’t come off as flashy or out there. A lot of people online have stated that they’re music and image is underrated. I have to agree with them because I can see it; by the way they talk and act.
Now, I’m not trying to disrespect other South Korean boy bands out there, but they are one of the most underrated K-pop groups I’ve seen so far. I think being signed to a small agency helps their image. WM Entertainment is a very small agency, which only contains two artists: B1A4 and Oh My Girl.
The music is also very different from other groups. I think it’s because they don’t too much with it. It’s very simple and smooth. I also think it’s because they’re comfortable with their sound. One of the songs that I fell in love with was, ‘What’s Happening?’ I can’t get that song stuck out of my head. It’s really catchy and fun at the same time. Some of their songs like, Beautiful Target, Tried to Walk, Baby Goodnight, Solo Day, and Sweet Girl are also great.
Another reason why I like this group is because they haven’t done anything problematic to offend me. One of the problems in K-pop is cultural appropriation. Numerous K-pop idol groups have been guilty of cultural appropriation. Even one of my favorite groups who I talked about in my first column, Big Bang, have been guilty of cultural appropriation. So far, B1A4 hasn’t done anything stupid or offensive…yet. I’m hoping it stays that way.
In every K-pop group, you have a bias. It’s basically your favorite member in the group. I’m not sure if I have a bias for this group yet, but I think it’s between Baro and CNU. I’m still trying to distinguish each member by their voices. The one member’s voice I can recognize is Baro’s, since he’s the rapper of the group.
Out of all of their music videos, I think I like Tried to Walk, Solo Day, and Sweet Girl. The video for Tried to Walk was beautifully shot, while Solo Day has a more laid-back, humorous story line. With their videos, I noticed how they don’t try to do so much, which is a good thing. I like how they put some humor into their work. I think that’s what made me like them so much.
B1A4 is one of those groups that are listed as underrated, which I can appreciate because it speaks through their image and music. Most of the smaller entertainment agencies in South Korea do well with their artists, despite not being as big as the Big 3.
I think one of the reasons why they come off so likeable is because their agency treats them like normal people, instead of seeing them as idols. I also like how their career wasn’t rushed since their coming from a small/medium company. I think they’re doing fine as a K-pop idol group, while they’re in their 5th year since their debut.
It’s really refreshing to see some smooth K-pop groups than the in-your-face groups. I would say that this group isn’t your typical K-pop group. I don’t think they need to change anything because it seems the boys are happy and comfortable with where they are. So I’m wishing B1A4, Oh My Girl, and WM Entertainment success in the future.
If you want to see the video for Tried to Walk, click here.