The year 2014 was considered by many fans to be the worst year for Hallyu, especially in K-pop. It was a year known for both departures and scandals, especially when it comes to K-pop idols in relationships. Probably the most heartbreaking moments of that year were the deaths of RiSe and EunB of Ladies’ Code. And though not directly linked to Hallyu, it was also the year when the Sewol ferry disaster happened, a tragedy that took the lives of 476 people, 325 of them being Danwon High School students.
Despite all the issues and tragedies making 2014 the first “Kpopcalypse,” it is also the year Mamamoo made their debut, which was considered one of the best debuts in K-pop history. Within their two years of existence, Mamamoo has become one of the most popular K-pop girl groups in the industry, both a task and an accomplishment given the fact they are signed to a smaller label, Rainbow Bridge World Entertainment (RBW Entertainment). Speaking of RBW Entertainment, they are a vital reason why Mamamoo is so popular. They have shown everyone they prioritize the private lives and well-being of Mamamoo members first.
Though Mamamoo is one of the most poular K-pop girl groups in the industry today, there is one member out of the four who seems to be standing out the most: Jung Whee In, who is better known by her K-pop idol moniker, Wheein. The reasons why she stands out is the fact that she was featured in numerous songs by other K-pop acts, including “Domino” by CNBLUE, and “Please Let Go” by Louie, and she collaborated in team-ups such as with Monsta X for “Ex Girl,” along with her responsibilities in Mamamoo. Finally, she participated in King of Mask Singer under the alias “Like a Half Moon.”
If that resume wasn’t enough to make Wheein stand out, we can now add being able to communicate to deaf fans to the list. Recently, Wheein touched many Moomoos (dedicated fan club of Mamamoo) when she communicated with a deaf fan with sign language.
During a fan signing event, a fan with a hearing disability started to communicate with Wheein in sign language, as reported by AllKpop. What shocked other fans in attendance, in a good way, was that Wheein was able to understand the deaf fan and she communicated back with sign language too. We do not know how well Wheein knows sign language, but it seems she and the fan carried on a conversation that was decent in length. Numerous videos and animated images have made their rounds on social media, where fans could see Wheein using more sign language with the deaf fan, and even articulating her words so that the deaf fan could read her lips. Hwasa was also noted to be very considerate towards the deaf fan too. Though she could not understand sign language, she provided a note pad for the fan to write what she wanted to say. Hwasa even gave the fan a hug.
Right now, Mamamoo is in the midst of promoting their latest K-pop comeback, an EP titled Memory. Right now, we do not know how many units of the mini-album were sold, given the fact it just released on November 7, but their title track song “Décalcomanie” has reached No. 2 on the Korean Gaon chart and sold over 167,000 digital downloads.
K-pop fans, especially Moomoos, who want to own a copy of Mamamoo’s Memory can purchase it at YesAsia. The fact that earlier this year, they released their first studio album, Melting, might by why the EP right now comes only in a standard edition.
[Featured Image by RBW Entertainment]