Boys Get Back to School With School Day Concepts!
It’s not unusual to hate school or uniforms, especially when we are students ourselves. Some of us even hate it when we have to wear uniforms to go to school. Yet, it seems like the Korean music industry can’t get enough of a group tries at least once to use a school-day concept for their album. A school-day concept is a concept where they use a school setting and the members often wear school uniforms. Additionally, they also seem to do activities that are common in school. Korean school uniforms are iconic and the concept is easy to interpret for common people, so it’s no wonder that they keep using this concept to promote a group. It’s also true that when they dance in uniforms, it can be a great look for the group.
If we think about the school-day concept, our minds may go first to EXO in the XOXO era. Even a world-class group like BTS has used such a concept for their Skool Luv Affair album, but do you know any other male groups who have ever used the concept? In this article, Channel-Korea will make a list of male groups who have gone ‘back to school’, and will give you all the details about them.
1. EXO – XOXO
For starters, let’s talk about the boy-group that’s most known for their school-day concept, EXO. They used it when they promoted their first album, XOXO. It was a big thing and fans were crazy about it because it was the first time EXO-K and EXO-M would promote as one group. They released their first group teaser, which looked like it came from a yearbook, on May 16, 2013, via the SMTOWN Facebook Page. They were seen wearing school uniforms, so we could expect their concept right away.
The next day and the day after that, they released another teaser, a group image of them wearing uniforms, and in colorful ones divided for EXO-K and EXO-M.
The individual teasers were released on May 19. This time they were seen to do activities in a school setting or common things that students do, even though they weren’t wearing uniforms. They really looked like a school team with strong personalities!
The title track was Wolf, and they didn’t wear school uniforms in the music video nor to perform live. Instead, they wore them when they promoted their repackaged edition with the track Growl. This song was said to be the turning point of EXO’s popularity. It was released on August 5, 2013, in Korean and Chinese versions. When the music video was released, everyone was amazed by the full performance in a one-shot video. Moreover, we can see them wearing grey uniforms and dancing a dashing choreography in them. Even the setting was in the basement where students sometimes gather or meet other students from a different school to have a fight in movies.
The school-day concept continued when they released a drama-version video that was divided into two parts. It was a video about school life and combined with their super-power concept. It features a girl who seems to be friends with the group members and presents a school life, with class and a fight scene with other boys from a different school. It also features other songs from the album, like Don’t Go, Heart Attack, and Baby Don’t Cry.
You can watch the drama version below!
Let’s take a look at other concept photos and a video about the making of the MV!
2. BTS – Skool Luv Affair
A year later, BTS took the school-day concept for their second EP, Skool Luv Affair. At the time, BTS was still a rookie group who had just debuted. It was the culmination of the trilogy School Trilogy, after their previous albums, 2 Cool 4 Skool and O!RUL8,2? (Oh! Are you late, too?). The trilogy tells about the happiness and dreams of teens and this time, they focused on love that blossoms in school. The album was released on February 12, 2014.
They first released a comeback trailer accompanied by RM’s rap and a colorful array of animation video on February 2, a week after they released a countdown teaser for their comeback on January 26. Then, on February 4, they released a group teaser image for the album. From that moment, fans knew what the concept would be like. Unlike EXO, they wore dark, black uniforms. They seemed to be rebellious and gave off a bad-boy vibe!
The following day, they released individual teaser images, with two photos for each member. We can feel the angst of teenagers through the photos!
On February 6, BTS released an audio preview clip for the album through a video with more teaser images.
On February 10, they released the music video teaser video for their title track, Boy In Luv. Just like the photo concept, the music video uses a school setting. We can see the boys are falling for a girl and all of them are trying to get her.
On February 11, they finally dropped the music video for Boy In Luv. It starts with showing a girl who attracts Jungkook, then RM and Suga, and makes them chase after her. Then it shows Jimin, who is cleaning the bathroom, a common punishment for the troublemaker of the school. Then there are V, who is reading a comic, and J-Hope is yawning. Then there is Jin, who is enjoying music in his earphones inside a locker but he catches a glimpse of the girl through the peephole and it leaves him distracted. When the song starts, they are in the regular uniforms without the jackets and start their moves. Just like the lyrics, the boys are trying to get the girl’s attention and trying to act tough with her. Watch the full video below!
On February 20, the boys released a dance video for Boy In Luv. Now we can see them dancing in uniforms with white shirts and black pants (and some with a black tie) in a classroom. On the other side, they also wear regular uniforms with black jackets in a darker place.
Other than the bad-boy vibe, BTS also released a teaser for their other track, Just One Day, on February 6 and finally released their full music video on April 2. The concept is much lighter than Boy In Luv, as they are all in uniforms and wearing white cardigans instead of black coats, and grey pants with blue and red striped ties. In the video, they do choreography that involves dancing with chairs.
Let’s check out their other concept photos and the making of the music video!
3. NU’EST – Face
Speaking of dancing with chairs, it is honorable to mention NU’EST and their school-day concept for their first single, Face, a couple of years before BTS used the idea. It would become their debut single and was released on March 3, 2012. Beforehand, they released individual profile pictures to introduce them to the world on January 26.
They also dropped a music video teaser for the song in a 15-second video. They look like they’re in a dark, messy classroom.
The group released individual teaser videos for each member, in uniforms and using a school setting on March 5th (Baekho), 6th (Ren and Minhyun), and later, on the 11th (JR and Aron). Finally, they released the music video on March 14 and made their official debut on March 15. They might not show a clear school-day concept for their teaser images, but in the music video they use a school setting. The first clip shows the boys are sitting on chairs, then a school boy comes into the locker room to find his locker is filled with garbage. One by one, the group members pass by the bullied boy but JR, who sees the bully push the boy, immediately comes and confronts him. In the middle, there is a breakdance part in the darkness. In the end, when the bullied boy is sitting on the ground in front of his locker, Aron comes and offers his hand.
Although NU’EST doesn’t wear regular uniforms, they emphasize the problems faced by teens in school, like bullying. If you turn the lyrics translation on, it shows that NU’EST wants to encourage the bullied ones to stand up for themselves.
4. BEAST – Beautiful and I Like You The Best
Next we have BEAST, before their re-branding as Highlight, with all six members back in 2010. After receiving so much recognition as the result of their single Fiction in 2009, BEAST released their 4th mini-album, Lights Go On Again, on November 9, 2010, with their title track, Beautiful. They released teaser images previous to the album’s release.
They didn’t take school-day concept for their album, but they did use a school setting for their relay music drama video. The music video teaser came out on November 10. We can see the boys dancing in some kind of underground or isolated room, then it shows a clip of Gikwang entering a classroom and sitting beside a girl.
The music video was released on November 25 and became the first part of the relay music drama. It starts with audiences in the underground room, like in the teaser, then we can see Doojoon as a DJ while Hyunseung dances with two other guys. Not only boys, there are girls dancing, too. Then the clip shows Junhyung, Dongwoon, and Yoseob preparing themselves and waiting for their performance. The three of them come to the dance floor and from that moment, it’s clear the scene is about an underground dance competition as the audiences bet on the group. Then the song starts and they start dancing.
After that, it is revealed that all of them (except Hyunseung and Doojoon) are normal high school students and classmates, and that’s when Gikwang comes in as the new student. They all wear regular school uniforms with the school emblem on the left side of their jackets and red-and-black striped ties for the boys and bow ties for the girls. Unlike the other five, Gikwang seems to be a nerd and a neat student. The others seem to enjoy picking on him though, while Junhyung keeps sleeping in the class. After school? They go back to the underground activities, as usual, but Junhyung hurts his arm so he can’t dance for a while. Then a girl comes in, if she seems familiar, you’re not wrong because it’s Naeun from APink, before she was debuted. It turns out that Gikwang is also a dancer and joins the competition. Afterwards, the tension between Junhyung and Gikwang grows stronger.
A year later, the second part of the relay music drama was released on September 25, 2011, with another song from the album I Like You The Best. It starts off from the first part’s ending. Unlike the first part, the second one gives off a more serious and intense atmosphere. There is flashback of Junhyung with the girl and a reveal about Gikwang’s health condition. In this video, we can see Junhyung, Yoseob, and Dongwoon get themselves into trouble when they try to hurt Gikwang because Junhyung feels that he is intimidated by him. We will see more of them interacting in school.
From the two music videos, BEAST tried to focus on high school life either in class and after school activities, and for them it’s underground dance competitions. It also shows friendship and involves teenage love rivalry.