Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri. Since debuting in 2014, Red Velvet's meteoric rise to becoming one of the premier K-pop groups of their generation is nothing short of legendary. Their names are synonymous with a host of hits, powerful performances and defining moments in their careers. In the ever-growing world of K-pop, there is something unique and different about Red Velvet that sets them apart and gives them a decisive edge. How do they "Power Up", you ask? Let's take a look at the five key areas that have earned Red Velvet the title "Nation's Pride".
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The ladies of Red Velvet have a deep discography and it's full of bops. "Red Flavor" is not only their signature song, but also a decade-defining classic and summer staple. "Peek-A-Boo" and "Bad Boy" are equally outstanding, with hooks so snappy they could be anglers. What sets Red Velvet's music apart is the band's willingness to take risks - their catalog is a treasure trove of experimental sounds and sensational vocals. "Zoo", with its bizarre animal sounds that pretend to be percussion, is just awesome. “Dumb Dumb” rolls on with a barrage of pop melodies, even the verses sound like a chorus. The breadth of their repertoire includes a variety of genres, ensuring a song to suit everyone's musical tastes.
Red Velvet's distinct double concepts are an art form of their own. You have their "Red" side which is colorful, girly, and upbeat - uptempo pop songs perfect for long summer days and pool parties, and you have their "Velvet" side - feminine, understated, with an emphasis on R&B sophistication that pairs well in fall and winter. And instead of being locked into a single musical category such as "cute" or "girl crush", Red Velvet continues to give us layers, incorporating a multitude of images into their music videos. "RBB (Really Bad Boy)" is a one-part thriller, a one-part Monster Mash. "Peek-A-Boo" features the quintet as seductive vampires waiting for a large pizza with extra toppings (tipping not included). Red Velvet shows great style, effortlessly balancing sound and image with a wink and a nod.
It would be remiss not to mention the band's phenomenal singing and dancing talents. All are fabulous singers and dancers in their own merit, which is especially evident on the stages where they combine a steady voice and quick movements with showmanship. The announcements on "RBB" are the equivalent of vocal gymnastics, so impressive and precise that it takes multiple listens to notice them all. Their speed is also evident on "Zimzalabim" which sees Red Velvet spit out lines with apparent ease. Watch their energetic flash mob dance practice to the same song and find out why their choreography is so engaging and immediately captivated fans.
The work that Red Velvet put into their music and performances hasn't been in vain either. They have accumulated many notable achievements including Golden Disc New Artist Award in 2015 and Mnet Asian Music Award for Best Female Group in 2017. In 2019, they won Song of the Year for “Umpah Umpah” at the Asia Artist Awards, and Stage of the Year at the Soribada Best K-Music Awards. Eleven of their thirteen albums have topped the Gaon Album Chart in South Korea. Ten of their singles reached the Top 5 on the Gaon Digital Chart, and two of them - "Red Flavor" and "Power Up" - reached No. 1 upon release. With the release of the ReVe Festival Trilogy last year, Red Velvet became the first girl group in history to reach No. 1 on the iTunes Albums Chart in the United States three times in a calendar year. Considered one of the leading girl groups in K-pop today, but also one of the K-pop groups in general, Red Velvet has built up a diverse and loyal fanbase around the world. Their fame is such that in 2018 they were even invited to perform in North Korea, making them the seventh idol group to perform there, and the first since 2003. In October of the same year, the quintet received the honorable mention from the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism at the Korean Popular Culture and Art Awards ceremony for their contribution to the promotion of K-pop in the world.
On April 26, 2017, the 1000th anniversary of Red Velvet since their inception, the group unveiled their name with much excitement and fanfare. ReVeluv", a portmanteau of Red Velvet and the mutual love shared between the ladies and their fans, and rêver, in French "rêver", symbolizing how ReVeluvs have made Red Velvet's dreams come true. As they have writing on their official Instagram post to commemorate this special moment, "let's love and cherish each other for a very long time! Whether meeting his fans at concerts, meet-and-greets, or live chats, Red Velvet always makes sure ReVeluvs have their hearts full.
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