A Group Full of Potential: MATILDA
In the world of Hallyu where hundreds of groups debut on a yearly basis, K-Pop has become a much more competitive market than in previous years. While a group’s vocal and performing capabilities continue to play an essential role in the process of achieving fame, it has been proven that luck is just as important as these skills. Some groups unfortunately fail to receive the luck that they need, and these groups slowly fade away due to a lack of profit. At the end of the day, K-Pop is still a business.
Today, survival programs are considered a saving grace for a lot of acts that don’t make it at first. With hopes of shedding some light on their groups, numerous idols participate in these programs, but only a few of them truly succeed. One of the groups who is in the process of doing so is MATILDA, a four-membered girl group under Box Media Entertainment who recently appeared on KBS’s The Unit.
MATILDA is made up of four members: Haena, Dana, Semmi, and Saebyeol. While each of them have specific roles in the group, all members have exceptional vocal capabilities.
Haena, the group’s leader, is also the main vocalist of the group. She’s a former member of Bella and the former main vocalist of Kiss&Cry—one of 2014’s most promising female groups. She participated in Superstar K6, where she made it to the live rounds.
Other than Haena, there are two more vocalists on the team; Semmi, who is a lead vocalist, and Saebyeol who is a vocalist in addition to being the team’s maknae. The group’s main rapper is Dana, who is the daughter of Park Hakgi, a prominent singer-songwriter.
Contrary to most vocal group’s musical style being R&B, pop, and ballad-centered, MATILDA’s sound heavily revolves around Electronic Dance Music. The group has released three singles as of 2017: “Macarena,” “SUMMER AGAIN,” and “You Bad! Don’t Make Me Cry.”
Their first single, “Macarena,” is a brassy, ‘60s-infused track produced by Urban Jeonsung. The group discarded their old-school sound with their next two singles, “SUMMER AGAIN,” and “You Bad! Don’t Make Me Cry,” which were two trendy dance tracks produced by Super Changddai, who is known for 2PM’s “I Hate You” and earlier LADIES’ CODE hits.
The group’s overall vocal prowess plays a big part in the artistic identity of the group, with a lot of fans comparing them to the likes of MAMAMOO and SPICA, two groups that are known for their vocal skills. Participating in shows like Immortal Songs 2, as well as Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook, has enabled them to receive praise for their talents.
Over a year after their debut, the group participated in KBS’s idol rebooting survival show, The Unit, auditioning for the mentors in the third episode. All four members were able to go through the first round, allowing them to participate in the succeeding missions.
Haena and Semmi were considered two of the strongest vocalists on the show, which allowed them to receive some attention online. Haena, before being eliminated in the tenth episode of the show, was highly praised for her performance of MAMAMOO’s “You’re The Best,” which she performed with the likes of JOO and SPICA’s Yang Jiwon.
It was Semmi, however, who caused some real waves on the show. In the same episode where Haena was eliminated, Semmi rose 33 places from number 42 to number 9 on the rankings, allowing her to be part of the debut group for the very first time. This is due to her active participation in the production of their mission, which was a cover of JYP’s “Who’s Your Mama?”
The performance was highly acclaimed, eventually winning the mission. A week after she joined the debut group for the first time, Semmi continued to rise on the rankings and became fifth in the overall online votes for the show. Dana also showed a promising rise in the rankings, going up 16 places from number 30 to number 14. In addition to their rise in rankings, the group became one of the most searched groups on NAVER in the same week that Semmi joined the top nine.
Why is MATILDA Worth Looking Forward to?
In a sea of highly-produced groups and a highly-saturated industry, MATILDA is a much needed act that provides raw talent—in addition to their abilities to ride trends with their music. Aside from the upfront talent of the ladies, the group is also known for their pleasing and candid variety show tactics, which showcase their hard work in different fields of the entertainment world. With the amount of talent the group possesses, it shouldn’t be a problem to call MATILDA a group full of potential. Seeing as the group is currently receiving some love, 2018 is looking to be a bright year for the group.