The Rise of GFRIEND
Source Music’s most successful act GFRIEND has been garnering attention since their debut with “Glass Bead” in 2015. In the two years since they entered the Korean music scene, they’ve gone through quite a few interesting situations. So what is it that makes this girl group so spectacular?
Much like fellow K-Pop group BTS, GFRIEND began their music career with a school trilogy concept that began with debut album Season of Glass, continued with Flower Bud, and ended with Snowflake. Though “Glass Bead” debuted at number 12 on Gaon’s weekly chart after its release, the group really garnered attention with a fancam of second title “Me Gustas Tu” performed on SBS, where the members kept slipping due to the rain and continued to get up and go on with the performance. Member Yuju fell about eight times and was praised for her ability to get back up on her feet and continue despite that, and many people began to admire the persistent girl group. As of today, the viral fancam has over 12 million views.
Total Domination with “Rough”
There’s no question that the rise to stardom for GFRIEND began after promotions of third title “Rough,” which by the end of its run had won the group a stunning total of 15 wins among music shows. If that wasn’t amazing enough, the girls also achieved their first triple crown on M Countdown, Music Bank, Show Champion and Inkigayo. The total ranked as number two in most wins for girl groups, just behind veteran group Apink, who had won 17 times with “Luv.” The song continued to chart exponentially well throughout 2016, even as first album LoL and title track “Navillera” released and also dominated the charts.
Changing It Up with “Fingertip”
The girls returned at the beginning of 2017 with a new sound and concept that differed from previous releases. While the preorder for The Awakening exceeded 100,000 (40% more than their previous album), the group only received two music show wins, both on The Show, for the track. Some fans were baffled given the difference in comparison to the domination that GFRIEND had shown not just with “Rough” but also “Navillera” and speculated that the possible reason for this occurring was the shift in concepts. Personally, I felt that “Fingertip” was a great release from the group and deserved more attention; however, I also share the feeling that the sudden drop in popularity was because of a negative view of the different concept, which I’m not fond of. Despite this blip on their radar, GFRIEND has continued to rack up the music show wins and gain recognition for their tenacity and their talent, both vocally and choreographically.