“BTS agency Hybe’s first K-pop girl band” is like a weighty crown. Maybe that is why this girl band’s name is Le Sserafim. The name includes an angel with six wings. It is also an anagram of “I’m fearless.”
Can the new girl group, which has debuted with Hybe’s success on its back, be a gamechanger for the K-pop music scene? The music video of the group’s debut song “Fearless” has already recorded 12.3 million views on YouTube on Tuesday in just 20 hours after the release. The group also garnered attention by recruiting Miyawaki Sakura and Kim Chae-won, two former IZ*ONE members. Hybe announced that Le Sserafim has already exceeded 300,000 albums in pre-sales. It is also noteworthy that Bang Si-hyuk, the chairman of Hybe, directly participated in the producing of the group by writing two songs.
However, contrary to high expectation, Kim Do-hyun, a pop music critic, points out that Le Sserafim is rather weak compared to Billie (Mystic Story), NMIXX (JYP), and Aespa (SM) that featured powerful music, visual images, and concept.
Cha Woo-jin, another pop music critic, analyzed that Le Sserafim’s music and visual concept do not go beyond showing a “well-respectable manner” and “high quality” song, compared to subversive lyrics of the debut album. “Such reserved attitude may have come from the group’s affiliation with global talent agency Hybe,” writes Cha, comparing Le Sserafim with (G)I-dle (Cube Entertainment), which has a slang word in its song, and Ive (Starship Entertainment).
Hybe’s first girl group was supposed to be led by Min Hee-jin, a former creative director of SM and former chief branding officer of Hybe. However, it has been confirmed that she did not join the Le Sserafim team. Min is reported to be designing another girl group that will be unveiled later this year.
Girl bands are on the rise these days. IVE, G(I)-dle, and Red Velvet are contending against super male artists, including Big Bang, PSY, Lim Young-woong, and Park Jae-beom in top K-pop song chart. “It is to be seen with enthusiasm how Le Sserafim will lead the market among the girl group boom that has returned in a long time,” said Cha.