Europe’s first K-pop girl group KAACHI has come on the scene. The music video of their debut song has reached over 10 million views on YouTube in 60 days. The group, which consists of three Britons and one Korean, is making a sensation like any other major Korean idol groups. The debut of this “London’s BLACKPINK” is worth of notice.
“We’ve admired K-pop for a long time. It’s unbelievable that we’ve made a debut as a k-pop group and supported by fans,” said the members of KAACHIㅡChunseo, Dani, Nicole, Cocoㅡduring a real-time video interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday.
“I had this idea of making a European K-pop group based in London, which has great music and business infrastructure. But no one was willing to make an investment,” said Lee Hye-rim, CEO of the group’s agency FrontRow. “So I decided to do it on my own although there were only four employees at my company. Like creating an indie-band.”
In October last year, Lee accidentally found the candidates for her group. She saw Chunseo and Nicole at a dance competition and was mesmerized by their dance. The two were famous dancers in London who had been the members of K-pop cover dance group UJIN for six years. After having their friend Dani on the team, the three started training in November. Coco, who majored in Korean dance at Ewha Women’s University and earned a Master’s degree in modern dance in London, joined FrontRow as an employee and a choreographer at first but became a member of the team at the last minute.
“I had no plans of becoming a singer but I was thinking about my next steps as a performer,” said Dani. “That was when I met KAACHI.”
The name of the group came from the Korean word for “together” and the English word “value (which is translated as ‘gachi’ in Korean).” The team loves breaking prejudices. The real name of Chunseo, whose name sounds like Korean, is Ruth Gomez. She used to have a stage name called “Cheonsa,” which means angel in Korean, but changed it to Chunseo after joining the team. She even sings in Korean in their debut song, “Your Turn” instead of the only Korean member Coco.
The group is experimenting with the golden ratio of Western pop and K-pop. While pursuing the esthetics of K-pop, they try to maintain the characteristics of Londoners in their daily lives.
They try to keep up with the K-pop standard in terms of hair and makeup although there are some limitations to do so from London. The members do not live together and live on part time jobs but gather once a week at a dance studio on the Oval area to practice dancing, singing and rapping. They also take online Korean lessons together.
The four looked at each other smiling. Watching them giving one another high fives, I could see that K-pop sparkle on their faces for a short moment.