They’ve already been whipping up our expectations with pre-release tracks and trailers, but YG’s boys WINNER will be officially coming back on February 1.

WINNER are Kang Seung Yoon (leader), Song Min Ho, Nam Tae Hyun, Kim Jin Woo and Lee Seung Hoon.

Although some members had already appeared on TV shows, the guys were brought together as a group and put firmly into the public eye on the 2013 YG reality show Who is Next: WIN. On this show, YG trainees competed to be the label’s next big boy band. After winning all three rounds of public voting there was no doubt Team A were the victors. However, their official debut day was still some time off.

Pre-debut, WINNER were the opening act for Big Bang’s 2013 Japanese dome tour, and starred in the MV for Taeyang’s solo track Ringa Linga. They also performed on the 2014 YG Family Power tour, alongside 2NE1 and Big Bang. But it wasn’t until August 2014 they made their official debut, through a showcase and performance on Inkigayo. A ten-episode show Winner TV followed the guys as they prepared for debut.

As to be expected of a YG boy band, WINNER’s debut release performed an all-kill on the charts, and stocks in the company rose 6.57% in price. Debut track Empty and album 2014 S/S featured a lot of writing and composing credits from the boys themselves. Performing for the first time on M!Countdown, they won 1st place, the first male rookies to do so.

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After such a stellar group beginning, 2015 surprisingly saw a lot more Japanese promotions and Korean solo projects than group projects by the members. Three of them – Tae Hyun, Seung Hoon and Jin Woo – explored acting roles, while rapper Min Ho appeared on Mnet’s Show Me the Money. However, members of the Inner Circle – especially those in the UK – had some sneak peek excitement back in September when the boys were spotted in London working on something new.

And it’s something new we are getting right now! Exit Movement’s pre-release track Pricked is a duet from Min Ho and Tae Hyun, and made our Song of the Week slot last week.

Recommended watching:

Pricked audio

Exit Movement Teaser

Empty

Color Ring

Don’t Flirt (live)

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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.