Everything You Need To Know About One of The Most Famous and Popular South Korean Boy Bands Under SM Entertainment – EXO
EXO is a South Korean–Chinese boy band based in Seoul, with nine members: Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O, Kai, Sehun, Xiumin, Lay, and Chen. The band was formed by SM Entertainment in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music incorporates genres like pop, hip-hop, and R&B, alongside electronic dance music genres like house, trap, and synth-pop. EXO releases and performs music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. The band ranked as one of the top five most influential celebrities on the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list each year between 2014 and 2018, and have been named “the biggest boy band in the world” and the “kings of K-Pop” by the media.
EXO’s Chen Announces His Solo Debut Date and Mini-Album!
Chen was recently confirmed to be making his debut as a solo singer. This EXO member will release his solo album titled April, and a Flower. In the album, there will be a total of 6 songs, including the title song. This automatically made Chen the second EXO member who successfully debuted as a solo singer, after Lay, who had debuted as a solo singer in 2016.
Previously, on March 19th, SM Entertainment had released the first teaser photo for his album. The photo shows a view of a green mountain overgrown with tall trees. Among the trees, there is a winding path and someone can be seen walking along it.
This time, SM Entertainment released a photo that contained a series of schedules for Chen’s upcoming solo debut. In the photo, Chen’s album release schedule runs for 11 days, starting from March 22nd to April 1st, 2019.
The first schedule starts on March 22nd, which is the release of every song title that will be on the album (tracklist). In addition, SM Entertainment will also release more detailed info about Chen’s solo album on the same day.
Next, every day from March 25th to March 31st, SM Entertainment will regularly release teaser photos. While the MV teaser will be scheduled for release on March 29th, together with the 5th teaser photo.
The highlight, Chen’s MV and solo debut album will be scheduled for release on April 1st, at 6 p.m. local time. To prepare for the solo debut, the agency has opened an official website for Chen and updated the detailed information there. Pre-order album bookings were also opened on March 19th and fans can also order the album on Chen’s official website.
Baek-hyun’s Clothing Line, Privé Alliance
EXO’s Baek-hyun was confirmed to be flying to Los Angeles, United States, to attend the first fashion show of his fashion line, Privé by BBH.
Privé by BBH under the Privé Alliance brand is a fashion line that was released in 2018, which involved EXO’s Baek-hyun as co-creative director where he co-designed the released fashion collection. Until now, this fashion line has released quite a lot of fashion items with street style themes that indeed represent the style of EXO’s main vocal.
After releasing 3 collections of capsules and bags, Privé Alliance announced that they will hold their first fashion show in the form of ‘Ready to Wear Presentation’ in Los Angeles, United States. As written in the official announcement on the Privé site and social media, Baek-hyun as co-creative director will also attend this event.
“Privé Alliance will launch the latest collection at the Los Angeles fashion presentation, exclusively on February 26th, 2019. With Baek-hyun’s own special appearance, this event is expected to attract the attention of LA fashion and entertainment lovers and will also be open to the public by buying tickets.”
With the purchase of tickets for 85 USD (around Rp 1.2 million), visitors will get an entrance ticket, 1 shirt from the brand, and a gift bag.
How EXO’s Baek-hyun Put His Identity Into Privé Alliance
Baek-hyun’s wavy hair reminds me why this article exists on the Internet and not solely as a story I recount to my friends over text messages. Parted in the middle and styled to have a wet look, his auburn ends are relics of internationally beloved K-Pop band EXO’s most recent concept. His hair, for all intents and purposes, is the reason why we ended up sitting together in a cushy booth in the back corner of the dimly lit VIP section of a club on a Tuesday night. Trust me, neither of us frequents this fine L.A. establishment, located next to the Museum of Death. You won’t even catch me in a club when I’m at home in Brooklyn. To put it bluntly, I’m only in this club talking to a nice guy because he’s a member of EXO.
Back to Baek-hyun’s auburn hair, though. Like most K-Pop stars, he constantly undergoes vibrant dye jobs in hues, like pink, silver, and platinum, to fit the band’s concepts. For “Love Shot,” EXO’s latest music video, he paired his newly burgundy hair with a glimmering eye shadow of the same shade and sooty black liner. Now his look is an extremely streamlined version of this.
His current lack of makeup may be a stark contrast from the bold eye looks he typically wears on stage and in music videos, but his skin is just as dewy as ever with the help of a nearly undetectable layer of foundation. His brows are probably lightly filled in, too, but I could be reaching. If anything, Baek-hyun’s wearing the standard amount of makeup for celebrity men. Just enough to amplify his glow, not enough to make a statement.
Baekhyun’s glow is due in part to a consistent regimen; he lists toner, lotion, and moisturizer as the official order. But how many times do you wash your face, I ask, causing a couple of people in the human bubble of managers, publicists, and security guards surrounding us to laugh. Baek-hyun ignores their snickers and answers, “Two,” in English. (That’s right, double cleansing is no laughing matter.) “If I wash my face too many times, I get skin troubles,” he adds.
Baek-hyun says he hasn’t changed up the steps of his skin-care routine in L.A. or ramped up the number of sheet masks he uses. With EXO constantly traveling for concerts and events, “My skin gets used to the environment,” he says. “So wherever I am, I use the same skin-care routine.”
The Privé Connection
How did I end up interviewing Baek-hyun in a club, you ask? Let’s go back to May 2018. Baek-hyun made it onto Vogue‘s home page when he was named the co-creative director of streetwear brand Privé Alliance. Alongside Danyl Geneciran, the brand’s CEO, Baek-hyun helps create pieces that “put highlights on the basics,” Baekhyun explains to me. He later reveals that he’s surprised that almost all of his ideas have been executed.
My favorite part of Privé is how its offerings have a certain fluidity to them, much like Baek-hyun’s onstage persona. None of Privé’s shirts, jackets, and bags are confined to overtly masculine or feminine silhouettes, and the same designs are available for men and women. “It’s very important for everyone to be able to wear the clothes comfortably,” Baek-hyun explains. “Without any official communication, we agreed that [Privé Alliance] is going to be unisex.”
With the newest Privé Alliance collection launching in April, the brand invited the public to join Baek-hyun for a fashion presentation. The location: the very club we are sitting in. Although he doesn’t act like he is (he kept to himself for most of the event), Baek-hyun is undoubtedly the center of attention. He is the reason the floor below us is with filled with people from all over the world. Everyone’s here to see Baek-hyun, not the latest Privé pieces.
The Identity Connection
In hindsight, I should have anticipated Baek-hyun would present himself in this low-key manner for his first-ever solo appearance in the U.S. In Privé campaigns, he’s usually seen as he is now: natural, casual, effortlessly cool. His makeup is minimal; his natural-colored hair looks like all he did was run his hand through it; his outfits are sleek. With all this in mind, I ask him if he could dye his hair any color for the next campaign, what would it be.
This is the only question Baek-hyun didn’t answer concisely and without hesitation. “I don’t know,” he said in English. After taking a couple of seconds to think about it, he added in Korean, “I love the black,” adding “simple” in English.
This single word — simple — perfectly mirrors Baek-hyun’s personal aesthetic. “Basics, but with many little details,” he explains. “It’s like you just came out of your house, but it’s still cool.” In other words, he’s the epitome of “Oh, this old thing? I just threw it on.” I asked if he prefers to keep his hair and makeup natural and low-key, too, and he quickly replied, “yes, yes,” in Korean.
The fact that Prive’s aesthetic is similar to Baek-hyun’s is intentional. “I put my identity and myself into this collection,” he told me, echoing a line he shared when he made a brief appearance onstage before the fashion presentation commenced. The theme of the collection was his birth year, 1992, with zip-up corduroy jackets and hoodies adorned with ’92 in big text.
Another adage he repeated throughout the night was, “Be brave. Be humble.” The same words were printed all over the collared white satin shirt he was wearing, layered under a similar navy blue one. After the event, I saw people saying the look recalled EXO’s “Lotto” era, back in 2016 when his hair was styled in a similar way and he wore collared shirts with several of the top buttons undone and silver necklaces. Onyx shadow was blended all over his lids back then, though. Fans likened Baek-hyun’s look that night to a mafia boss. (Seeing those tweets made me laugh because his charm is far from disarming.) But for Baek-hyun, his outfit is more a matter of comfort. “I like how silky it feels,” he says. I go on to compare it to pajamas, which makes him chuckle.
Baek-hyun doesn’t ignore the fact that he typically presents himself with intricate details. Performing, he points out, is his go-to form of self-expression, outside of working with Privé. And let’s be real, Baek-hyun’s performances, which ooze confidence and allure, wouldn’t be the same without his stunning hair and makeup.
To borrow a word from Baek-hyun, identity — and the way we present ourselves — isn’t fixed. For example, the way my best friend describes my identity could be strikingly different from the way my sisters would. The way I dress when I’m going to get a bagel on a Saturday morning (track pants and a T-shirt) is different from how I dress for work (vintage floral dresses) or an event like this (a blue-and-white plaid suit). The way I do my colorful makeup is also evolving, too.