After what seems like a decade, iKON finally made their debut this year under YG Entertainment. Setting out to be an ‘icon’ in South Korea, iKON are a seven-member hip-hop group. The members are: B.I (leader), Kim Jinhwan, Bobby, Song Yunhyeong, Koo Junhoe, Kim Donghyuk and Jung Changwoo.
Part of the group was first introduced to the public through the 2013 reality programme competition ‘Who is Next: Win’. In this show, two groups, ‘Team A’ and ‘Team B’ battled it out for an opportunity to debut under YG Entertainment. ‘Team A’ were triumphant, and debuted as the group WINNER which left many viewers saddened that ‘Team B’ would be left behind. However, it was soon revealed that the group would also eventually debut due to their high popularity and the good reception they received from viewers.
Though the group’s formation was not yet entirely complete, all the members were already training under YG Entertainment for many months and multiple members had already made appearances on television before. B.I worked previously with MC Mong. Koo Junhoe competed in the 2011 series of ‘K-Pop Star’ and Jung Chanwoo was a child actor.
Whilst work continued on the group behind the scenes, viewers were still given the chance to keep up with a couple of the members when Bobby and B.I took part in ‘Show Me the Money 3’ – a reality programmes pitting rappers against each other. Both rappers released songs through the programme which gave fans another taste of their talents.
The full group line-up was not finalised until the programme ‘Mix and Match’ was aired. Fan meetings in Korea and Japan followed and the group performed as the opening act for their label mates BIGBANG on their 2014-15 tour of Japan.
Even after all this activity separately and as a group, people had to wait until September of this year for their proper debut. Their debut album – entitled ‘Welcome Back’ – was split into two parts ‘Debut Half Album’ and ‘Debut Full Album’ released in October and November respectively. Members B.I, Bobby and Koo Junhoe were all active in the production and composition of the album.
Finally the following release of the debut single and MV ‘My Type’ was met with huge success. The debut concert ‘SHOWTIME’ also sold out completely. Promotions for the group in Japan have also begun, with their Japanese fan-meetings entitled “FAN MEETING 2015 IN JAPAN – iKONTACT’ last month with 26,600 iKON fans (A.K.A iKONics) in attendance.
With such a long-awaited debut, the members must feel a sense of relief for the fact that that they have been so successful. With multiple music show wins under their belt already, it will be interesting to see how the future pans out for iKON.
Are you a fan of iKON?
Here are a few of their MVs/songs:
iKON Debut Concert – SHOWTIME: B.I – ‘BE I’
‘Mnet SHOW ME THE MONEY 3: Bobby – ‘BOUNCE”