G-Friend. Lovelyz. I.O.I. Gugudan. DIA. The Kpop scene is teeming with teenage girl groups right now, and sweet and hardworking though they all are, there’s something to be said for women with a bit more life experience hitting the stage.
Enter Unnies, a new girl group formed by a reality TV show Sister’s Slam Dunk. The six Unnies are: Ra Miran, Kim Sook, Hong Jinkyung, Min Hyorin, Jessi and Tiffany.
Wait, you mean, the Tiffany? Yes, Fany from SNSD is part of the project (actually she’s the maknae!) and as a recent Weekly Idol artist she needs little introduction, but the other women aren’t strangers to the limelight either.
Ra Miran is an actress with C-Jes Entertainment, best known for her supporting roles in the movies Dancing Queen, Hope and Dance Town. She’s also been in many TV dramas, most recently Reply 1988, Please Come Back, Mister and Laurel Tree Tailors.
Kim Sook, the rapper of the group, is a well-known comedienne with SidusHQ. She’s featured in movies and dramas too, most recently in a cameo in Ms Temper & Nam Jung-Gi.
Hong Jinkyung is a model, host, comidienne and actress you’ll likely recognise from the hugely popular drama My Love From the Star. She dealt with ovarian cancer around two years ago and talks about it openly on the Slam Dunk TV show.
Min Hyorin is a model, singer and actress with JYP Entertainment. She made her singing debut in 2007 with the album RinZ, but she’s also appeared in other artist’s MVs, including FT Island’s A Man’s First Love Follows Him To The Grave, and Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips.
Last but not least, Jessi is a US-born rapper, dancer and singer with YMC Entertainment. While she’s been in the music industry since 2005, she was in the public eye most recently as part of last year’s Unpretty Rapstar, where she finished as runner-up.
The idea behind the show Sister’s Slam Dunk is to make the girls’ dreams come true (within a limited budget). While some of their dreams have been fairly small-scale (like doing a makeover), Min Hyorin’s was to debut as a girl group member – hence the creation of Unnies. The TV show is both funny and revealing about what goes into making a girl group, and gives insight into the perspective of older women in the entertainment industry.
Unnies may well turn out to be one-hit wonders, but their debut single Shut Up, released earlier this month made some real chart success, and has earned a lot of support and praise from Kpop fans. Check out the MV, featuring Mr JYP himself, below.
Shut Up featuring Yoo Heeyeol