The K-Pop Group Who Are Breaking Gender Roles
K.A.R.D is a South Korean co-ed group formed by DSP Media. Co-ed groups are vocal groups that includes both female and male singers. In South Korea, the co-ed concept is very hard to find. Mostly, the entertainment companies prefer to make all-boy groups or all-girl groups. And co-ed groups aren’t just a rarity, they also struggle to attain the success experienced by their non-mixed gender contemporaries.
K.A.R.D consists of four members, there are Somin, Jiwoo, J.Seph, and B.M. They have two boys (rappers J.Seph and BM) and two girls (singers Somin and Jiwoo). K.A.R.D became a world phenomenon in the K-Pop’s industry because of their popularity overseas. They had already gained fans before their had even debuted.
K.A.R.D’s Debut Date
A year before their debut , K.A.R.D had already made their pre-debut project which was making them known by people all over the world. They released three pre-debut project singles (with every new release, a hidden member was also revealed). While they released the first single, the concept name of K.A.RD. surprised everyone, because it is a name that comes from each member, represented by a playing card.
About the members, firstly, Somin was previously a member of DSP Media’s Japan-based girl group Puretty, which disbanded after two years. She later joined the Kara project, and became a new member of KARA. Then, in 2015, she debuted as leader of DSP Media’s girl group April, but decided to withdraw from the group on November. J.seph trained for five years, and BM trained for four and a half years under DSP Media. Their management planned to debut them in a hip-hop duo, but later those plans changed. The last member was Jiwoo, who had trained under FNC Entertainment for two years and moved to DSP Media in 2016. She only trained for two months before debuting with K.A.R.D.
The pre-debut project singles were released on YouTube, and got more than 67 million views. Their success happened outside of South Korea, and they got attention from the international community that’s allowed them to have tours in Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and other parts of North America. Later, K.A.R.D made their official debut on July 19, 2017, with the EP Hola Hola.
K.A.R.D’s Debut Song
On December 13, 2016, they released their first project, K.A.R.D Project Vol.1, titled Oh NaNa featuring Heo Young-ji as a “hidden card”. Afterwards, on February 16, 2017, they released the second project, K.A.R.D Project Vol.2, entitled Don’t Recall. The follow-up project single “Don’t Recall” was released on February 16, 2017. The second project was more successful than the first, due to their up beat music, the meaningful lyrics, and the choreography as well. And people called them “the multitalented co-ed Korean Group”, “the on point dancer”, and many more. This was followed by an English version on March 1.
The last of the pre-debut project singles, entitled Rumor, was released on April 24. After its release, the single ranked #1 in 13 countries (Brazil, the United States, Argentina, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, El Salvador, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and Bolivia) on the iTunes main charts. K.A.R.D explained that the three songs relay a story of a couple’s honeymoon phase: Oh Nana, a breakup Don’t Recall, and the aftermath of one partner hearing rumours of the other seeing other people, and wishing they could get back together in Rumor.
K.A.R.D.’s popularity overseas led to them holding their first tour, 2017 The 1st Tour “Wild K.A.R.D” , in the United States between May–June 2017. Then, they debuted in Korea on July 19, with thier EP Hola Hola. K.A.R.D released their first mini album, which contained their previous project singles, as well as the title track Hola Hola.
While K.A.R.D are not following K-Pop’s ongoing trend, they’ve sought to mix up Hola Hola by infusing the tracks with Latin and Jamaican influences. Revisiting typical Latin inspired dance music, Hola Hola created a summery groove. The song was paired with a music video that shows the quartet enjoying warm weather in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Mexico, and Brazil while exploring and playing around. The members explained that they wanted Hola Hola’s music video to be fun for the audience to watch. Take a look at their MV debut!
K.A.R.D’s Stage Debut
They made their first official television performance on M Countdown on July 19. But before that, they held their showcase named ‘K.A.R.D Hola Hola Debut Showcase’ through Naver ‘V’ Live.
At that time, the group also revealed their official fandom name to be ‘Hidden Kard’ for their beloved fan base.
Well, after K.A.R.D’s official debut, the group are facing a new challenge which is how to gain more recognition in South Korea. But they already grateful for their achievements with international fans. Hence, K.A.RD wishes they can later get a music award based on their songs.
In September 2017, K.A.R.D held their tour again with five European stops in London, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, and Rotterdam, and five North American stops in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., New York City, Miami, San Francisco.
Recently, the group had a comeback and released their second EP, You & Me with the song You in Me serving as the title track.