When we look back on 2016, K-pop fans reminisce about the numerous debuts of rookie groups and how they made an impact while also changing how debuts should be done. Although there are many to list off, standouts like Astro, NCT (U, 127, and Dream), and Pentagon received the most attention. Probably the most attention-grabbing debuts, however, were Black Pink under YG Entertainment and K.A.R.D. under DSP Media.
However, there was one debuting K-pop act, a girl group, that was unique compared to others even more so than Dreamcatcher and Loona. That girl group is known as Ideal of Idol, better known as I.O.I. Unlike other rookie groups, I.O.I. consists of members of girl groups from other labels, mostly smaller ones. They consist of Lim Na Young and Zhou Jieqiong of Pledis Entertainment, Kim Chung Ha of M&H Entertainment, DIA's Chaeyeon of MBK Entertainment, Sohye formerly of RedLine Entertainment and now with S&P Entertainment, Yu Yeon Jung from Starship Entertainment, Choi Yoo Jung and Kim Do Yeon of Fantagio, Gugudan's Sejeong and Mina of Jellyfish Entertainment, and Somi of JYP Entertainment.
I.O.I. was technically an experiment or project created through the K-variety show Produce 101 in which the winning members would form a brand new K-pop girl group, which we now know is I.O.I. However, I.O.I. would have a very small shelf life in the K-pop industry as it was only going to last for one year. Sadly for K-pop fans who followed I.O.I. since they formed, their one year anniversary is coming up. As a send-off, I.O.I. will release one last song written by Woozi of Seventeen titled "Downpour."
Plans of I.O.I. releasing their final song "Downpour" were announced two days ago on Tuesday, January 17. According to Soompi, the final song went through the same voting system as their previous songs in which all 11 members had to personally choose it. They also chose to make it their final track. It is a sad melody in which rain showers are personified to express the sadness of breaking up. There is, however, a hopeful message in it too that points to meeting up again.
A follow-up by AllKpop revealed that "Downpour" was written by Woozi of K-pop boy band Seventeen. He also helped compose the song along with Won Young Yeon, Neighborhood Hyung, and Yama Art.
Eventually, "Downpour" was released later that day, with the music video uploading on YouTube. As of now, it has accumulated over 1.6 million views in two days. "Downpour" also earned an "All-Kill" in more than a day. It is ranked at number one on all eight real-time local Korean music charts: MelOn, Mnet, Bugs, olleh, Soribada, Genie, Naver, and Monkey3.
Even though I.O.I. is disbanding, the good times and memories they made over the past year will last a lifetime. Also, each members' time in I.O.I. is a viable experience to be a part of a girl group under their respective (or another) label. Take in mind their two extended plays reached single digits on rankings and sold over 75,000 copies each. Their two single albums total at over 74,000 copies sold. Finally, their digital downloads of their songs from albums totaling over 2.4 million and standalone songs totaling almost 1 million. Even contestants on Produce 101 who did not make it on the show went on to either form or help form K-pop girl groups including DIA, Pristin, and Cosmic Girls.
I.O.I. will have one final concert, titled "Time Slip." They will perform from Friday to Sunday, January 20 to 22. Afterward, I.O.I. will officially disband and the members will return to their respective labels.
[Featured Image by YMC Entertainment/CJ E&M]