On March 16, 2016, popular K-pop group Red Velvet released their latest comeback, a music video titled “One of These Nights.” It was a very enjoyable song with its slow pace and melodic tone. To be fair, it kind of comes off as a continuation of SM Entertainment’s foray into a new kind of rhythm and blues first heard in f(x)’s “4 Walls.”
Despite the fact “One of These Nights” is performed by a K-pop group that dominated 2015 with their hit song “Dumb Dumb,” it received mixed opinions upon its reception. One of the biggest opinions among the K-pop community is the fact “One of These Nights” is nothing like prior songs by Red Velvet. Just take a gander at songs like “Dumb Dumb” and “Ice Cream Cake,” or even songs before Yeri joined like “Happiness,” to see the difference. Even “Be Natural,” a song which is closest to “One of These Nights,” is upbeat.
Apparently, Red Velvet’s sudden change in musical direction caused some to question why they did it in the first place. For one well-known blogger in South Korea, they claim “One of These Nights” is a tribute to the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
For those who do not know about the aforementioned tragic incident, it happened on the morning of April 16, 2014, around 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m KST. Just 1.5 kilometers off the Donggeochado, Jindo County, South Jeolla Province of South Korea, the MV Sewol capsized. The cause was an “unreasonable sudden turn” to the starboard side. The situation would have been better handled if the captain and crew did not abandon ship after telling passengers to return to their cabins. Because of their negligence, 295 people out of 476 people lost their lives that day. Less than 300 of those people were Danwon High School students. The 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster is one of the biggest tragedies to happen to South Korea within this new century.
Even after almost two years have passed, many are still remembering the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster. And with Red Velvet releasing “One of These Nights” close the second anniversary of the incident, it is understandable why anyone would believe the music video pays homage to the victims of that day. KpopStarz broke down the popular blogger’s post into parts, showcasing why he or she believes “One of These Nights” is a tribute to the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
Prior to the release of the music video for “One of These Nights,” there are a lot of clues showing its connections to the 2014 Sewol Ferry Incident. In the teasers for both, Wendy (shown below) and Joy are seen with paper boats. Paper boats were made in memory of the victims of the incident.
Next, the blogger claims all five members of Red Velvet represent a certain type of person involved in the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster. Joy represents the survivors, as she is seen wearing a yellow dress (representing hope) while exiting out of a room through a window. In the music video, there is a scene where she is singled out among the others at the 1:40 mark. All the other members fade into black while she remains, symbolizing her survival.
As for the other members, there are scenes in the music video in which they end up drenched in water or submerged in water, once again representing a type of person who died that morning. Wendy represents the first to die as shown when Seulgi finds her drenched in water. Yeri, who represents the high school students who died, is sound asleep on a boat slowly filling with water. Irene represents those who followed what crew told them to do and to stay in their cabins. At the 3:40 mark, the porthole Wendy stands in front of breaks open and fills with water. This is followed by a scene at the 3:55 mark, with Wendy lying on a slanted floor (representing the slant of the ferry) with furniture floating above her meaning she is submerged. Finally, Seulgi represents those who figured out what was happening but was too late to escape. At the 1:55 mark, Seulgi is in a room by herself. She opens the door in front of her to join Wendy, Yeri, and Irene dressed in white. This represents Seulgi accepted her death and joins the other victims who have died before her.
There is a lot more the blogger covered, but it should be noted what was covered is pure speculation at this moment. Many news outlets have reached out to SM Entertainment for a statement, but one has yet to be made. Still, the music video for “One of These Nights” has a massive amount of symbolism made in plain sight, and it has caused many in the K-pop community to discuss the meaning behind it.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]