On April 9, JYP Entertainment’s girl group TWICE made their first comeback of the year with ‘What is Love?’
Despite all the wishes and requests from k-pop fans for a change in the group’s concept, they decided to pull yet another “cutesy, I-don’t-know-anything-about-love” concept. I’m not complaining, it definitely worked. They are, indeed, the queens of bubbly-ness. However, I also think that TWICE being so flexible with their looks, they can most definitely be successful with a totally different concept. In fact, they have done a few performances where they revealed a more powerful and sexier side of them, such Ariana Grande’s ‘Greedy’ performance at the 2017 KBS Song Festival. So, what is holding them back from making an entire comeback with a different concept?
*Remember this legendary performance of TWICE Maknae, Chaeyoung?
Here are 4 reasons why I think TWICE is least likely to change their concept, at least for another few years.
K-pop industry is a hard industry for a girl group to survive.
With majority of K-pop fans being female, it’s harder for girl groups to survive in the market. Female fans tend to join the fandom of boy groups, leaving the girl groups to target the niche market of male fans. This is why TWICE’s “cute and bubbly” concept is perfect, at least for now. It seems to me that JYP is trying to target and gather male fans first, since they are harder to win over, and then they will slowly lure in the female fans. In addition, it’s only been 2 years and on since their debut, they don’t need to rush into new concepts.
As long as I remember, SM Entertainment’s Girl’s Generation used the same tactic, and successfully increased the size of their fandom. Until ‘The Boys’ album in 2011, Girl’s Generation kept up with their sweetness in songs like ‘Into the New World,’ ‘Girls’ Generation,’ and ‘OH!’ However, they threw in one or two charismatic songs to prove that they can also pull off other concepts. It wasn’t until ‘The Boys,’ they changed their concept and attracted more female fans. Remember GG’s ‘OH!’ music video where the “badder” SNSD and “bubbly” SNSD had this intense standoff?
TWICE’s lyrics are very relatable
If you look at their lyrics, they are always about having feelings for someone, but not knowing how to properly express them. Some fans argue that their lyrics make girls seem rather passive and dependent about love. However, you will look around and see that most people in the real world are not that initiative when it comes to love and relationships. Especially for younger people, who don’t have a lot of experiences, it’s hard to know how to properly deal with your feelings. Like, we’ve all been there before in junior high. The butterflies in the stomach, the tingly feelings you get when you first hold your new boyfriend or girlfriend’s hands? I could never forget those feelings. In a way, TWICE speaks for all of us.
Music has different components that can influence one’s feelings, one of them being the lyrics. When it’s hard to fully express ourselves, music helps us to realize and let us know that someone knows and gets what we are going through. That’s what makes us to replay the same song over and over again. I believe this is the reason JYP stick to repetitive melodies and contents – to make people hit the replay button, over and over again.
TWICE’s current target market is Japan, in which their concept works the best.
Japan is THE country for anime. I’m sure everyone reading this article has seen TWICE’s ‘Candy Pop’ music video. It received much attention and praise, even from South Korean netizens, who tend to hold their compliments. Who remembers 2NE1’s ‘Hate You’ music video from 2011? I remember it to be the first anime music video by a well-known K-pop idol group. While it was still successful with 2NE1 being 2NE1, I personally think that TWICE’s anime music video was more successful.
I think the music video was such a success because it fit perfectly with the “cute and bubbly” concept TWICE tends to pull. TWICE knew the characteristics of Japanese animation and applied them to themselves and their music video. This ultimately allowed TWICE to gain popularity in Japan the fastest way possible, even to participate in the NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen.
TWICE is TWICE’s concept
TWICE is TWICE’s concept. I have been saying TWICE is pulling a “cutesy concept” in the article because it seems that that’s what majority of K-pop fans refer to TWICE’s concept. Do you remember their debut song ‘Like Ooh-Ahh?’ It’s not their fault they look so darn cute in everything they do. That’s just how they look. However, if you look at their outfits and the lyrics, they are portraying a group of surprisingly very confident and strong-willed girls. In my personal opinion, they tried an “edgy” concept in ‘Like Ooh-AHh’ and “cute” concept in ‘Cheer Up.’ Then, they made a decision to go with songs more like ‘Cheer Up’ and they succeeded. If it works, there’s absolutely no reason for them to explore around different concepts, until it is time to do so. It’s cute, let them do their thing.
By. Dasol Kim
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