In the K-pop industry today, there are two girl groups well known for utilizing the sexy concept to their advantage. The first is EXID. After their breakout hit “Up and Down” dropped back in 2014, a track just oozing with sexuality, the five-member group consisting of Solji, LE, Hani, Hyelin, and Junghwa, have stuck to the sexy concept with their following two hit songs “Ah Yeah” and “Hot Pink.” And though it is their bread and butter, that concept was never a calculated risk for their survival.
The other girl group that is well known for using sexiness, Stellar, risked their very livelihood on it. Unlike EXID, the four-member group consisting of Gayoung, Minhee, Hyoeun, and Jeonyul, considered disbanding back in 2014 because they were not making enough to support themselves in the K-pop industry. They had no dance studio, no dorm, and they did not even have a vehicle to take them where they needed to go. As a matter of fact, Stellar admitted to “hiding in shame” whenever a popular K-pop girl group was nearby. Fortunately for them, the sexy concept used in “Marionette” (music video attached below) proved to be beneficial as the provocative lyrics and music video garnered plenty of attention. In turn, Stellar finally made a decent profit.
Eventually, Stellar would come to depend on the sexy concept especially when their next two comebacks to K-pop after “Marionette” (first with the song “Mask” followed by the song “Fool”) failed to even chart. “Vibrato” would push their sexy concept boundaries, while “Sting” eased off just a tad bit. Nevertheless, both made it on the top 100 chart.
Now, Stellar is aiming to heat things up yet again with a K-pop comeback in the summertime. However, it might be possible that their return may actually be lacking the sexy concept which made them popular in the first place.
Multiple Korean music insiders are saying Stellar is currently working on an album that is set to release in the summertime specifically in July, as reported by KpopStarz. Very little is known about the album, but it might be directly linked to their entry on Makestar, a K-pop crowdfunding site. From what is shown on their Makestar page, Stellar was aiming for a projected target amount of $8,418 to work on an album. Stellar was able to raise $35,510 which is 421.8 percent their funding goal. Ergo, the K-pop community has a lot of faith in Stellar and may expect something spectacular to be made on their behalf.
There is the possibility that the upcoming album may lack the sexy concept Stellar has become well known for. According to Korea Portal, Stellar made it known they are “paying a price” for utilizing the sexy concept and becoming sex symbols. They want to change their look into something more wholesome. Hyoeun made a statement during an interview with BNTNews International.
“We want to break away from our sexy image and show [our other charming traits] such as purity and cuteness. We will find out our own true colors.”
This time around, Stellar may be sought for their other talents besides being provocative. Earlier this year, Stellar was commended for their patience and professionalism during a live performance of their song, “Marionette.” Near the end of the song, the music backtrack starts repeating, forcing Hyoeun to sing the same line over and over again until it completely cuts off. After taking a moment to compose themselves, Stellar then finished the song a capella. A similar situation happened to another K-pop girl group, GFriend, when Yuju and SinB fell down nine times during the performance of their song, “Me Gustas Tu.” They were able to finish their song despite the dangerous conditions, and afterwards, the praise they received helped skyrocket their fame when they became “South Korea’s sweethearts in K-pop.” Though they may not earn the same title of “sweethearts,” Stellar’s commendation will surely help them achieve their goals of not being pigeon-holed to the sexy concept.
So far, the only information pertaining to Stellar’s upcoming studio album is its release window of July. More information on Stellar’s comeback shall be reported once it becomes available.
[Image via The Entertainment Pascal/Stellar Promotions for Marionette]