Apink is known for being a staple in the world of Kpop girl groups. Having survived what fans refers to as the 8 year curse, meaning the common end Kpop groups contract, that for multiple reasons often results in groups being disbanded. Apink has during the past years cemented their untouchable status, selling to a solid, large and moderately expanding fanbase despite the onslaught of new and younger girl groups. Most of the individual members having had some solo projects, most prominently main vocalist Eunjis recurring solo releases, the 2020 solo of maknae Hayoung etc the group in Kpop terms definitely seemed to have both achieved and to continue with uncommon success and longevity. The not too large number of members, group composition, continuous success as well as, as it has to be speculated, good management contributing to Apink avoiding what so many other popular groups before them have suffered. (The prime example being the continuous erosion of the girl group of girl groups: Girls Generation – who’s longevity was always at risk based on its numerous members).
Pink, Pink, Pink-Pink And other stuff.
Apink seems to have have been able to have the perfect mix of circumstances to have a long career. Having the ability to transition from the exclusively cute style of their early career like Pink Blossom, Pink Stories, Pink Doll, Pink Memory, Pink Season, Pink Luv… I think you get the picture… And going into the last couple of years releases of elegant and more mature stuff like “I’m so sick”, %% (Eung Eung) and “Dumhdurum” the consistent success of Apink is a bit of a phenomena. With fans bickering about whether Apink is 2nd or 3rd generation (I have no idea – please don’t get your underwear in a bunch) a highly loyal fan base of Pink Pandas, Apink has been a cash cow and solid success for their company.
The members of Apink have all have varied success beside the straight group activities.
Comedian & Athlete Bomi
The groups main dancer and lead vocalist is also comedian and media personality Bomi has had various media engagements, hosting popular music show Weekly Idol for two years as well as lots of outings in other shows showcasing her great athletic ability: competing in celebrity Taekwondo challenges, low-kicking hosts on comedy shows to great effect as well as showing off her throwing arm pitching the opening ball during various baseball games.
Having funny bones as well as not much inhibitions or problems appearing outside the demure box of Korean female media personalities Bomi is also well known for her astonishing gorilla impersonation and has always seemed destined for a transition into a television career of some type.
Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist
Namjoo the businesswoman
Part of an Apink sub unit together with Bomi, Namjoo is also, according to what is known outside the group, the business person of Apink. Rumoured to be investing and developing her own businesses while still in Apink it looks like the member who gets the least part of the limelight is the one most engaged in stuff outside of the group.
Vocalist, Dancer, Mukbang Queen
What happens now?
For now Apink is in an enviable position: all of their most recent releases have been resounding hits, their fanbase is large and they must obviously still be making quite a lot of money. The effort needed to make an impact with an established brand name, a good company backing seasoned performers, is comparatively small. Apink can easily perform as a 5-piece, Naeun didn’t necessarily fill a distinct role in promoting the groups releases – most of that relying on Bomi with some support from other members. The vocalists are still well represented with the whole so called “vocal line” of Eunji, Bomi and Namjoo intact. Performance wise dancing is covered as Apinks performances aren’t necessarily super complicated and Bomi and Namjoo are still carrying the scene with ease and the rest of the group being pretty solid performers too. And though Naeun certainly had the model look and aura that the Korean audience loves, all of Apink are still an extremely compelling stage presence. While it’s quite upsetting that the future of the act that got me into Kpop is uncertain I do think it’s mostly up to Apink members and their company whether they will continue at the same pace as the last 3 years or so. But I do hope they do because there has been even more upsetting news during May – more on that in the next installment of “What the heck happened? Kpop Shocks and Upsets in May”.