Long ago, one MNET reality show existed alone in harmony with all other reality shows. Then, everything changed when a group that shared its name debuted.
Okay, it really wasn’t all that long ago considering MNET’s Kingdom is only just ramping up. But there is a new boy group in town who wants to make a name for themselves using the same title. GF Entertainment’s Kingdom, not to be confused with the aforementioned survival programme, made their debut on the 18th of February this year, meaning they’re still incredibly new on the KPop scene. Whilst this also means they haven’t yet had a chance to stun us with a stream of releases, the song they chose to debut with certainly leaves its mark. ‘Excalibur’, as the name would suggest, leaned into an Arthurian theme, with the member’s introduction photos seeing them donned in armour and wielding swords. The music video when it released pushed this theme even further and wasn’t afraid to go all out with it, at least visually.
Some might say it’s a little too much, but Kingdom is in a position right now where they need to make themselves stand out and distinguish themselves. This concept certainly does that. And whilst they are going to struggle against the SEO whilst Kingdom the survival show airs, building a solid identity like this will hopefully help them endure long past the runtime of the show. However, there’s also the strong possibility that some stray fans of the show might land on Kingdom’s videos after looking for the survival show, which can only be to the group’s benefit.
Consisting of seven members (Dann, Ivan, Arthur, Mujin, Louis, Jahan and Chiwoo) the group is set to tell their own legend wherein each of the boys takes on the identity of a famous king throughout myth and history. From King Arthur as shown in this first release, to King Louis XIV of France, it’s a fascinating list of names that all have a lot of potential to inspire some great stories or aesthetics. Only time will tell who resolutely they stick to this concept. For now, the intrigue alone is enough to make them a group that’s worth keeping an eye on.
Sonically, Kingdom has gone for a grandiose, EDM style that allows for high-powered choreography and impactful vocals. The title track uses an organ to create the regal feel that the imagery from the MV reaches for. It’s sometimes offbeat, with tempo and sound changes that keep you on your toes. The six tracks on their debut mini-album, History of Kingdom Part 1 – Arthur, follow this trend whilst also adding in some new surprises and do a good job of showing their range.
If some of the members look familiar, it may be because they’ve debuted before. Dann and Arthur were members of VARSITY, under the names Seungbo and Yunho respectively. This might give more experience to lean on than the others, allowing Dann especially to take a strong position as the leader.
There are many more releases to come if their concept is followed through with. For now, Kingdom have made a strong debut with Excalibur and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next! Let us know in the comments if you’ll be keeping an eye on these kingly rookies and whether you’d heard of them before.