By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) — K-pop has seen its share of careers come full circle — ex-idols Yang Hyun-seok, Teddy of 1TYM and Choi Hyun-joon of V.O.S have successfully reoriented their careers from being center stage stars to being the producers behind the studio control panels. But what about female artists? It’s not as if the scene lacks women music savants.
Hash Tag, a new girl group, made its debut Tuesday, and what makes them different from the average run-of-the-mill K-pop act is the fact that it is the brainchild of Kan Mi-yeon, a key member of Baby V.O.X, one of the scene’s so-called “first-generation” idol groups. The seven member band held a showcase for its debut EP album “The Girl Next Door” on Tuesday at Yes 24 MUV Hall in western Seoul.
“From visuals to styling, there isn’t an area that I haven’t participated in for Hash Tag’s debut, and that’s why I’m so nervous. I haven’t done everything, but seeing them on stage I feel proud,” Kan told reporters.
The seven-member band’s first record, titled “The Girl Next Door,” holds five songs, including the lead track “Hue,” a future bass genre dance number with strong hip hop elements, the ballad “If It Rains” and the medium tempo R&B track “Hz.” An instrumental version of “Hue” is also included.
All members except for the leader Dajung are former trainees and brand new faces to the K-pop scene. Dajung competed in last year’s season one of “Produce 101.”
The band’s name is a reference to “hashtag,” a social media neologism that refers to metadata tags used to find messages with a specific theme or content on services such as Twitter or Facebook. “We named our band Hash Tag to create a big movement similar to adding hashtags on social media,” said Dajung.
All members were clearly excited by their first public performance: “I was very nervous, but now I’m reassured after a pep talk between our members before coming up on stage,” said Hyunji. Subin added, “I’m happy to be on stage at the moment.”
Kan, who hosted the media showcase, said her involvement with the team, which began with her acquaintance with the head of LUK Factory, the band’s agency, started out casually but later deepened.
“In the 20 years since my debut with Baby V.O.X, I have had a yearning to take care of new talent and help them debut,” said Kan.
The 35-year-old former star described the ladies as being “pure, passionate and confident,” while praising lead singer’s Seungmin’s vocals. “Seungmin is a talented singer. I even want to produce a solo album for her,” Kan said.
When asked about the band’s goals, the members got emotional and teared up, apparently from reflecting upon on their former trainee days. “We want to thank our families, who have waited for so long. We really want to make it in the scene,” said Dajung.
Hash Tag’s debut EP album “The Girl Next Door” is scheduled to be released Wednesday at noon.