After nearly a year since the group’s last comeback, WM Entertainment veteran boy group B1A4 announced their return to the Korean music scene on September 25. The last time the group was in the spotlight was in November of 2016 with third studio album Good Timing, though they are now making a big impression with the announcement of their seventh mini-album, Rollin’.
Six Years on the Scene
B1A4 debuted way back in 2011 with EP Let’s Fly. In an interesting twist, WM Entertainment revealed the members via a webtoon, with many speculating that initially it would be a mixed group due to the presence of a female character. The group made various appearances not only on music shows but through variety shows as well, with one of the most significant of these starring alongside fellow rookies Block B in SBS MTV’s reality show Mash Up.
The group did not take their first win until 2013 with title track “What’s Happening?,” surprisingly beating out Lee Hyori’s pre-comeback song. It had been over a year since a boy group had gotten their first win on a music show, which added to the special and emotional moment. Success for the boys followed from here on out, with the group scheduling a world tour in 2014 in places such as China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, and even the United States. Another world tour followed in 2015, adding Mexico, Puerto Rico, South America, and even Europe to places visited, making them a fully global group.
Solo activities for the members became a regular staple in their schedules from 2015 on. Leader Jinyoung has been cast in many dramas alongside big names such as Min Hyorin and Park Bogum. CNU was cast in musical Chess alongside Jo Kwon, VIXX’s Ken, and SHINee’s Key. The three remaining members, Baro, Sandeul, and Gongchan have guested on multiple variety shows, including King of the Masked Singer and Celebrity Bromance.
The group has finally announced their anticipated return for late 2017 with mini-album Rollin’, title track composed by leader Jinyoung. The album will have three versions: Blue, Gray, and Black.
The Unique Traits
B1A4 is known as the “countryside idols” by the Korean media since every member comes from a different province far from the capital city (Jinyoung and CNU are from Chungju, Sandeul is from Busan, Baro is from Gwangju, and Gongchan is from Suncheon). In most cases, an idol group has at least one member from Seoul, so this adds a unique trait to the group. They’ve also been referred to as “blood-dols” (blood idols) in reference to their group name, which is a combination of the members’ blood types. B1A4 is also known for being incredibly charitable, to the point that the group once visited a fan’s home to take care of her sick mother. They’re known for often donating fan gifts like rice garlands to those in need of food, as well as coal briquettes to provide energy in the winter, among many other things.
There's no doubt that B1A4 is a group that has made a huge impact in the time they’ve been on the K-Pop scene and will continue to do so as long as they stick around. In a highly competitive entertainment environment, it’s always nice to see a veteran group survive this long and continue to thrive as B1A4 has.