Nine months ago, when SM Entertainment debuted Red Velvet, my only reaction was, the company’s concepts (or process of conceptualization) need some serious revamp because back then, most of what they have been releasing (comeback albums and music videos) seemed more like products of a machine that accidentally blew up instead of SM’s renowned resident geniuses.
But perhaps it all comes down to taste, because the music video of Red Velvet’s debut song “Happiness” still attracted 16 million viewers on YouTube:
Throwback to August of 2014, I remember not giving a single damn about the new SM girl group—well I guess I did because I checked out the group’s first music video—but after seeing (or more like acquiring the judgement) that there’s nothing new about ’em except their color-coded strands, I did not proceed to the next step of “Becoming part of a K-pop fandom 101” anymore, which was to research more about the group.
Then eight months passed, Best of Best in the Philippines (BOB) happened, and then the next thing I knew, my sister, my cousin, and I were already teasing each other with “La la la la, La la la la~”
Nope, I did not watch BOB. (
I was supposed to cover it for work but nature decided I should be swept off my feet, and so I did get swept off my feet, and then it meant good bye to concert coverage for me). But when I saw quite a lot of positive feedback about the group on my Facebook news feed and Twitter timeline, I kind of got curious and then that’s when I did the research. I went to YouTube, then I saw “Ice Cream Cake” (ICC), then I haven’t stopped Red Velvet-ing since then.
I have to be honest. This one really did the trick for me:
I did not like the song at first (there’s a lot of “I did not” in my Red Velvet story really), but because I was very pleased with the fact that FINALLY, SM dropped its obsession with boxed music video locations, I watched ICC again and again and again and I haven’t really stopped.
To a self-proclaimed SM critic like myself, It’s one thing to see that the girls look nice in blonde hair, and it’s completely another to witness SM revive its almost gone-with-the-wind creativity. Well done on this one SM, well done!
And now we go to what happened to me after I explored more of what the group has to offer.
My sister and I agree that there’s something pleasant and promising about Red Velvet. These girls are blessed that they were given a good concept for their first mini album, but we think SM is also blessed because there’s really something special about this group that they debuted. If Red Velvet will continue to receive good project concepts and if the members’ personalities will continue to grow, and their attitude about work be better and genuine, they might just become the next big thing in the K-pop music scene (girl group category).
You can say that this is a fearless forecast, baseless even, but I guess that’s how you will really sound when you get enchanted by the charm of a naturally attractive group. You see, for the longest time, I’ve been trying to explore K-pop girl groups. I’ve been wanting to see if at least one will make it to my list, other than my queens, but none have made it as far as Red Velvet is doing now. For what it’s worth, I know the members by face and by name already—no matter what hair color they are in!
My thoughts on the girls
Now this may be inaccurate, given that it’s only been days since I started exploring them, but let me share some of my thoughts and impressions about the girls of Red Velvet. (I’ll be doing this in chronological order, with the last being my number one).
Irene (배주현/Bae Joohyun)
It was the eldest member, Irene (23), who first captured my attention in the ICC music video. I thought she looked lovely. But now, I kind of get this feeling that she’s quite unsure about herself (self confidence issues I guess?) because she’s too conscious of the camera.
I think her real charm will show more if she will be natural and just let things go.
Yeri (김예림/Kim Yerim)
Yeri seems to be candid and I love it that she smiles a lot. She is the youngest member by the way, only 16 years of age, and she only joined the group back in March of this year.
When she laughs, her inner child shows.
Joy (박수영/Park Sooyoung)
Back when I still didn’t know their names, I refer to Joy (18) as “the Red Velvet member who looks like a gumiho.” I’m not sure where’s that coming from, but if I am to defend my words, I guess it’s because of her unique and exotic beauty that I think of Joy as a supernatural being. (And just an honest question, don’t you get reminded of Shin Minah when she smiles?!)
But anyway, if the group is to name a member who’s choding (child-like), I’m guessing they’ll pick Joy as the best representative!
Seulgi (강슬기/Kang Seulgi)
This girl, Seulgi (21), reminds me of Girls’ Generation’s leader, Kim Taeyeon. Apart from the fact that they kind of look alike, Seulgi seems boyish yet very passionate about singing. It’s not that I have something against Korean girls who do aegyo a lot, but I appreciate it that Seulgi doesn’t.
Wendy (손승완/Son Seungwan)
Wendy (21), to me, is the member with “the ethereal beauty.” That might sound exaggerated to some, but I was smitten when I saw this scene from the “Ice Cream Cake” music video:
However, I didn’t see her as my “Red Velvet bias” at first because as I mentioned, I was more into Irene back then. But when I saw how natural she is in front of the camera, ugh, my loyalty shifted! Her face makes her look girly and lady-like, but watch her speak, then you’ll be proven otherwise. And there’s nothing negative about that at all, because in fact, her care-free attitude and her confidence make her even more charming.
Looking forward to more
To be very honest, I didn’t see this one coming—me becoming fond of SM’s nine months old girl group, Red Velvet. But since it’s there, I mean the fondness that effortlessly sneaked its way inside my system, I guess the best that I can do about it is nurture it and see what’s more in store for me in this new yet emerging fandom. Though I don’t see myself fangirling hard for this group, (when I say hard I mean to the extent that I check fan-owned sites about them every day—as what I did with TVXQ!), I will definitely be looking forward to their next projects and I will surely enjoy those as long as SM keeps up the good work.
Anyway, as of now, everything that’s in here is all that I know about Red Velvet, but who knows? The next time that they come here, I might just find myself grabbing a front row seat to their show. 😉