This year marks a very special milestone for one of K-Pop’s leading girl groups, the Brown Eyed Girls, who for the past decade have been wowing us with great concepts, excellent music and excitement. This is a thank you post.
It’s rare to find any musical group that has lasted for 10 years without a line-up change (to which they have earned a record for this fact), one that has been consistent in releasing material that’s full of grit and passion even after many years in the business but BEG have certainly done that and more.
For those of you who may not be aware of their history, here’s a short introduction:
Perhaps the most hands on leader of any K-Pop group, JeA is the one responsible for bringing this quartet together. Working with her label, Nega Network, JeA personally selected the other three members, almost like an Avenger’s recruitment process for the best of the best in the industry.
- Narsha was chosen after JeA remembered how talented she was back in high school.
- Underground rapper Miryo was already making a name for herself before she was offered a role in the group.
- Gain was eleminated from the auditions of Let’s Coke Play! Battle Shnhwa!, a South Korean reality show and was invited to audition for JeA and the other BEG girls.
That was it. The start of everything and after an intense three year training; perfecting their vocals and finding a style that suited them (the girls were called “Crescendo” at this point), they finally made their debut as the Brown Eyed Girls in March 2006 with ‘Come Closer’.
Initially starting off as a Faceless group – preferring to focus purely on their vocals and less on visuals or dancing performances, it was with the release of their 2009 album “Sound G” and the song Abracadabra that these women showed off their dancing skills and high concept videos.
Abracadbra (2009), by far their most popular single to date, was a huge hit in Asia and gained massive amounts of attention for its controversial video; which featured an (almost) same-sex kiss between Narsha and Gain as well as a steamy (almost) sex scene with the latter member. The chart topping track was different to the more emotive songs of their past and adopted traditional electropop sounds. The signature dance move of Abracadbra, nicknamed the “Arrogant Dance” and “Saucy Hip Move” is still iconic to this day and has been adopted by 2AM and 2PM as well as in Psy’s music video for Gentleman (which also featured Gain). Speaking of dances, Gain’s uber-sexy moves during the breakdown brought tears to men everywhere – and pushed the limits way before the likes of Hyuna and Stellar.
Sixth Sense (2011), is a dynamic and energetic song which truly highlights their vocal acrobatics and dramatic musical style. The truly adventurous track mixes an orchestra with their electropop style which merges beautifully with JeA’s powerful voice, Miryo’s rap flow and you can’t forget Narsha and Gain’s epic whistletones. The high standards of Sixth Sense carries onto the music video itself – with massive amounts of symbolism relating to freedom and oppression, the ladies are seen rebelling against the state and police, while during their solo parts they are all tied or confined in some way.
Kill Bill (2013) once again showed a different side to them. With a music video that purely tributes/parodies its namesake (the Tarantino film) and features the four ladies as rival assassins and ex-friends who attempt to kill eachother. The Old West-style of sound is a playful breath of fresh air and the highlight has to be Miryo’s spitfire rap during the bridge … or perhaps it’s the pelvic thrusting Cowboys, I’m torn.
Warm Hole (2015) brought them back into the controversial headlines with it’s provocative music video and tongue-in-cheek sexualised lyrics such as “Fire in the hole when you touch me down there.”. Despite the racy content, they still – and unapologetically, I might add – performed the vibrant 50’s throwback song on many music stations. You go girls.
Brave New World (2015) is their latest single. It’s a high concept song reminiscent of classic Michael Jackson with an added B.E.G. signature twist. It is completely hypnotic, full of energy and certainly something you can move your hips to. The music video is perhaps one of the best directed MV’s in K-Pop; with creative visuals, cross-dressing male back up dancers and beautiful landscape shots, it’s something to be admired.
Stage Name: JeA
Real Name: Kim Hyo-Jin
Position: Leader, Main Vocalist
D.O.B: September 18, 1981 (age 34)
- Began her music career in the girl group 3Point and sang on various soundtracks.
- Is also a composer and producer and worked on her own solo album released in 2013 titled “Just JeA”
- Her cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” is something you have to experience.
Stage name: Narsha
Real Name: Park Hyo-jin
Position: Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer
D.O.B: December 28, 1981 (age 34)
- Her stage name means “to fly up” in Middle Korean.
- Was part of a sub-uni named M&N with Miryo.
- Made her solo debut in 2010 with the songs “I’m in Love” and the infectious horror-inspired “Bbi R Bba Bba”.
Stage Name: Miryo
Birth Name: Jo Mi-hye
Position: Main Rapper
D.O.B: November 2, 1981 (age 34)
- Released her solo album MIRYO aka JOHONEY in 2012.
Stage Name: Gain
Birth Name: Son Ga In
Position: Vocalist, Main Dancer, Visual, Maknae
D.O.B: September 20, 1987 (age 28)
- Perhaps one of the sexiest K-Pop stars ever, Gain pretty much invented sexy.
- Has had the most successful solo career out of B.E.G, with Fxxk U (ft. Bumkey), Bloom and Paradise Lost being her most notable hits.
So there you have it, that’s the low down on perhaps a hugely underrated K-Pop girl group who still manages to release consistently great music despite being much older than the leading girls in the industry today.
Brown Eyed Girls, Fighting!