Many K-pop groups debut every year, with talent getting better and bigger. With various agencies training and investing in rookies each year the industry has grown from its humble beginning. Today’s artists come from one of K-pop’s most successful debut years in K-pop history, featuring the likes of K-pop legends Baby V.O.X, Jaurim, Jinusean and S.E.S debut. Today focuses on the DSP Entertainment boy group SechsKies who would not only change the K-pop industry but was the first-ever artist for agency Daesung Entertainment (now known as RBW Entertainment). Who would later host the likes of Fin K.L and Click-B alongside the likes of KARD, Mirae and April. 

Debuting in April through KMTV Music Tank with the single ‘School anthem’ later releasing their debut album ‘School Anthem’ in May. It was reported the album sold over 1.8 million copies, thrusting them into the spotlight and making them one of the industry’s premiere artists. As the album came whilst H.O.T was on hiatus.

The group would follow up the debut with a release in November with their first-ever comeback ‘Welcome to the Sechskies Land.’ Performing ‘Chivalry’ at Inkigayo in December, ending the year with a successful award ceremony as they would win Best New Artist at the Korean Music Awards.

After a successful debut year, the group would cash in on their early success making Korean music history and becoming the first K-pop group to release a movie, a high school romantic comedy titled ‘Seventeen.’ Becoming the group’s first-ever concert, held in Seoul’s Sejong Center for Performing, which would immediately sell out within five hours.

The group would conduct a Nationwide tour hosting concerts in Busan, Ulsan, Gwangju and Daegu. Which, alongside the release of their OST work on Alibaba and the 40 Thieves, would star in the musical performing for then-president Kim Dae-Jung at the Blue House on Children’s Day. 

The group would shortly follow up this success with the album, ‘Road Fighter’ and later end the year on their most successful album ‘Special.’ Including the hit song ‘Couple’ which would hit number 1 on Inkigayo, music bank and music camp. As well as the song winning a Daesang at the Seoul Music Awards and KBS Music Awards Artist of the year. Challenging rival H.O.T as the groups would be classed as ‘rivals’ with the introduction of the ‘fan wars’ due to the success of both artists during the time as H.O.T would return from hiatus. Many people credited both groups as part of the introduction to K-pop fandoms as seen today with the ‘fan war’ later covered in the drama; ‘Reply 1997.’

Ending the decade, SechsKies would tour Korea again, this time recording as they would release their first concert video from their Seoul concert on February 25, shortly after releasing a live concert album. Before following the tour with their fourth album ‘Com’Back.’ Ending the year strong by participating in the 1st Korea China Music festival and becoming one of the first-ever Korean groups at the time to perform in North Korea performing at the 2000 peace friendship music festival in Pyeongyang.

Entering the 2000s and starting the decade, SechsKies would celebrate their 1000th day through a party with fans. Following this up once again by touring at one of the Country’s most prestigious concert venues, performing at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena with tickets selling out within hours, and releasing a concert DVD.

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However, this would be the group’s last promotion, much like many first-generation K-pop groups. And after three successful years, SechsKies announced their official disbandment, with their last performance being at Dream Concert. As in an emotional goodbye, they would say goodbye to fans through the album, ‘Blue Note.’ Released in May, it would see the return of classics such as ‘Couple’ alongside the emotional ‘Bye…’ a farewell tribute to fans with the song featuring lyrics of ‘I will miss you’ and ‘I’ll be loving you forever.’

This would be it for the group until 16 years later when on the show infinite challenge, they would reunite through a guerilla concert at Seoul World Cup Stadium, with fans finding out hours before the concert. However, the concert would impressively still see around 6,000 fans fill out the arena. The concert was followed by the news that all 5 members except for Ko Ji-Yong would sign for YG Entertainment instead rather focusing on his business adventures to become a successful businessman.

Celebrating the news, SechsKies would host concerts at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena on September 10 & 11, selling out within 5 minutes. Shortly after releasing the single ‘Three Words’ which would top all 9 Korean charts. The track would also feature as part of the end-of-the-year full album ‘2016 Re-album.’ Featuring rearranged classics such as ‘Couple,’ which would once again see success in the charts.

Entering 2017, SechsKies would hold concerts in Busan, Daegu and Seoul. Selling out the 13,000-capacity Jamsil Indoor Stadium within 3 minutes. The year saw the group’s 20th anniversary and special album see global success entering the Billboard World Albums Chart.

The year also saw their Japanese debut with a Japanese version of their anniversary album alongside two fan meetings, with both selling out within minutes. Shortly, following up this Japanese success with success back home through the highly-anticipated fifth album, ‘Another Light’. Later, followed by another series of concerts held in honour of their 20th anniversary where they would perform across Korea.

Entering 2018, SechsKies would make history, releasing their second film ‘Eighteen’ becoming one of the few Korean Groups to release two films with the film screening across Korea, reportedly selling over 90% of tickets Nationwide. Ending the year with the withdrawal of member Sunghoon after a series of scandals, leading to the rearrangement of songs due to Sunghoons crucial part in the group’s vocals. 

This formation change would lead to the group transitioning after a long wait, the group would release their next album ‘All for You’ in 2020. Shortly followed by a series of tv appearances such as 3 days 2 nights and three meals for four. Their latest release in 2021 is through the single ‘Don’t look back.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nc_3Mq8K2w

Overall, the impact of this group on K-pop is incredible as one of the longest-active K-pop groups SechsKies have achieved a lot over the years and making records. With many songs still popular today, the achievements of this group have led the way for many artists to recreate. Their reformation and continued success show the resilience of this great group. Let’s hope these legends keep going and treat us to another great release in 2023.

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Writer and former radio presenter, into Korean rock and indie bands and all things Korean entertainment.