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GFRIEND (Hangul: 여자친구; Japanese: ジーフレンド) was a six-member girl group formed by Source Music. They released their debut mini album Season of Glass on January 15, 2015 and held their debut stage on Music Bank the following day.[3]

The group's main concepts were "powerful innocent" (an innocent concept with knife-like choreography), "passionate melancholy" (an orchestral and sentimental sound) and "witch" (an ode to female empowerment).[4] The music videos following GFRIEND's signature storytelling were part of a fictional universe named "A Tale of the Glass Bead"[1], also depicted through mini books.

They officially disbanded on May 22, 2021 after their exclusive contract ended on the same day.[5]

History

2015: Debut with Season of Glass and Flower Bud

Promo for Season of Glass

In September 2014, Source Music announced the upcoming debut of their first girl group, named GFRIEND. In October 2014, pre-debut pictures featuring SinB, Umji, Yerin, Yuju, Eunha and Sowon were released. It was also revealed that the group would debut in mid-November.[6] However no new updates were provided until December 24, 2014 in which their debut was announced for January 2015.[7]

On January 5, 2015 the whole group was unveiled in multiple social media platforms, announcing their debut with a date. On January 15, 2015 the group finally released their first mini album, Season of Glass, with title song, "Glass Bead", with an accompanying music video.[8] The song is described as a bubblegum pop dance song, with a magnificent string sound, powerful beat, and emotional and flowing melody.[9] The lyrics are from the perspective of a teenage girl, who says she will not easily break despite seeming fragile like a glass bead, and will shine for the one she loves. Their debut is reminiscent to their senior girl group, Girls' Generation's "Into the New World". "Glass Bead" is the first song in the group's "school series" and represents the start of school semester and enjoying time with friends. On January 16, 2015 the group made their debut stage on Music Bank. The song was a success on multiple charts.

Promo for Flower Bud

On July 13, 2015 it was announced that the group will be making a comeback with their second mini album. On July 23, 2015 the album Flower Bud was released with title song, "Me Gustas Tu", with accompanying music video.[10]"Me Gustas Tu" means "I Like You" in Spanish, and the lyrics are about a girl's shy confession of love.[11] The song was written to emphasize the members' "bright and youthful" qualities, and features "funky" synths, guitar, and Moog bass sounds. "Me Gustas Tu" is the second song in the group's "school series" and represents a trip during summer vacation. On July 23, 2015 the group made their comeback stage on M! Countdown. The title song “Me Gustas Tu” took first place on the on some of some of major music charts. and entered other music charts in high positions. On September 5, they performed the song at an SBS Radio event in Inje, Gangwon Province, the group garnered international attention after a fan-taken video showed the group continuing performing the song even when stage floor was wet due to the rain, with members Yuju slipping and fell eight times, while SinB fell once.[12] On September 17, 2015 the group made headlines again as the only girl group to be nominated in the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards for the "Best Korean Act" category alongside boy groups B1A4, BTS, GOT7, and VIXX.[13]

2016: Snowflake and LOL

Promo for Snowflake

On January 13, a series of photos were uploaded onto the group’s official Instagram account, announcing their comeback with a caption announcing third mini album. The group's mini album was much-anticipated after the group won multiple Rookie awards. The track list was released the next day. On January 25, they released the album Snowflake with title song, "Rough", with the music video. The album was noted for its similarity in style to K-pop from the late 1990s and 2000s. The title song, "Rough", is a dance song described as lyrical, catchy, and melodic with "powerful beats and emotional lyrics". Its Korean title literally translates to "Running Through Time", and the lyrics are about a girl's desire to run through time and grow up so she can be with the one she loves. "Rough", is the final song in the group's "school series" and represents the end of a school year. The accompanying music video for "Rough" was inspired by the anime film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The group managed to grab people's attention when they went to Weekly Idol and sped up their song “Rough” twice as fast, and managed to keep up with the pace. Despite the rapid formation changes and complicated arm movements, the girls did not lose their perfect synchronization, maintaining their knife-like choreography. The album and song was critically acclaimed, topping multiple of Korea's major music charts, eventually achieving an All-Kill, and manage to grab their first music show win, eventually winning multiple music shows. By February 28, "Rough" had won a total of 15 music show trophies, with these wins, GFriend is in second place for number of wins by a girl group for a single song, behind Apink's 17 wins for "Luv".

On June 29, the group released two teaser images through their various social media accounts, announcing their comeback with their first studio album. The track list was revealed on July 5. After releasing multiple teasers, on July 11, the album LOL released, with title song "Navillera", with accompanying music video. The album name means two things, "Laughing Out Loud" and "Lots of Love", which represents the groups "playful and bubbly" and "feminine and graceful" songs in the album respectively. The song, "Navillera" is a pop-rock song with a guitar solo, the song is a reference to Cho Chi-hun's poem "The Nun's Dance" (승무 Seungmu), and is a phrase used to describe a fluttering action similar to the movement of a butterfly. Its Korean title literally translates to "You and I" and the song's lyrics describe a girl's feeling of wanting to fly like a butterfly to be with the person she loves. The album was a commercial success, with the song being critically acclaimed, topping multiple music charts, and winning various music shows, and in the end they won a total of 14 music show awards,

2017: The Awakening, Parallel, and Rainbow

Promo for The Awakening

On February 23, it was announced that the group will be making a comeback with their fourth mini album. Four days later, they released a video confirming their comeback with a girl crush concept, in contrast to the group's usual innocent image, the same day. they released their track list for the album. On March 6, they released the album The Awakening, with "Fingertip" as the title song, with the accompanying music video. The song "Fingertip" is described as a funk-driven song, propelled by electric guitar and bass, emphasizing the group’s powerful vocals. The song is reminiscent to senior girl group Girls' Generation's song "Hoot", due to the girl crush, Bond-esque concept. The song was a critically acclaimed noting the maturing of the girl group, placing high in various charts while winning various music shows.

2018: First solo concert, Asia tour, Time for the Moon Night and Japanese debut

Promo forTime for the Moon Night

On January 6 and 7, GFRIEND held their first solo concert since debut, titled "Season of GFRIEND". 6,000 tickets for the concert were sold out in three minutes. After the completion of the first solo concert, the group announced their first Asia Tour which will start at Taipei on February 28 and continue to Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. On February 23, it was announced that GFRIEND had signed with King Records and would debut in Japan in May. Their debut best album titled Kyou Kara Watashitachi wa ~GFRIEND 1st Best~ , which includes a Japanese-language version of "Me Gustas Tu", is scheduled for release on May 23.

On April 13, 2018, Source Music announced that the group would be making a comeback with a mini album on April 30. On April 16, it was revealed that the album will be titled Time for the Moon Night. "Time for the Moon Night", written by No Joo-hwan and Lee Won-jong, is the group's first title track not written by producer duo Iggy and Youngbae who composed their previous hit tracks.

On July 19, 2018, they released the special summer mini album Sunny Summer, marking their first collaboration with the producer Duble Sidekick.[14]

GFRIEND released their first Japanese single, "Memoria / Yoru (Time for the Moon Night)", on October 10.

2019: Time for Us, "Sunrise", "Flower", Fever Season, and Fallin' Light

On January 14, they released their second full-length album, Time for Us, with "Sunrise" as the title track.

On February 13, the group released their second Japanese single, "Sunrise", followed by their third single "Flower" on March 13.

On July 1, GFRIEND released their seventh mini album, Fever Season, with "Fever" as the title track. On July 29, they announced that they would be opening a fan community on the platform Weverse in August for their global fans.[15]

On November 13, they released their first Japanese studio album, Fallin' Light.

2020: '回' trilogy

Promo for 回:Walpurgis Night

An early report revealed that GFRIEND would be making their comeback on February 3. Source Music responded they would be revealing the comeback schedule soon. On January 16, the group officially announced their comeback on Weverse.[16] Their eighth mini album titled 回:Labyrinth was released on February 3 with "Crossroads" as the title track.[17]

On July 13, they released their next mini album, 回:Song of the Sirens with "Apple" as the title track.

At midnight of October 12, a pre-order notice was posted on GFRIEND's Weverse for their upcoming album, 回:Walpurgis Night, to be released on November 9.[18] Later that same day, Source Music confirmed the group would be releasing their third full-length album and would be the last release in the '回' series.[19]

2021: Disbandment

On May 18, Tenasia reported that GFRIEND would disband and the members to go their separate ways after failing to renew their exclusive contracts with their agency.[20] Shortly after, Source Music announced through a statement on the group's Weverse that GFRIEND's exclusive contract would end on May 22.[5] On May 19, the members uploaded individual handwritten letters through Weverse addressing the disbandment and their future careers.[21] On May 22, their exclusive contract ended and they offically disbanded.

Members

Name Position(s)
Sowon (소원) Leader, Vocalist, Visual
Yerin (예린) Lead Dancer, Vocalist, Face of the Group
Eunha (은하) Lead Vocalist
Yuju (유주) Main Vocalist
SinB (신비) Main Dancer, Vocalist, Center
Umji (엄지) Vocalist, Maknae

Aftermath

On June 17, 2021, Yerin was the first member of GFRIEND to sign onto a new agency. She signed an exclusive artist contract with Sublime Artist Agency.

It was reported on August 2, 2021 that Sowon has signed with IOK Company for an exclusive contract to pursue an acting career under her real name.

Yuju exclusively signed onto Kang Daniel's agency, KONNECT Entertainment, on September 1, 2021.

Big Planet Made announced that Eunha, SinB and Umji have signed onto the agency and that they would be re-debuting as the trio VIVIZ sometime in the second half of the year.

Discography

Korean

Studio albums

Mini albums

Summer mini albums

OSTs

Japanese

Studio albums

Best albums

Singles

Digital singles


Concerts

  • GFRIEND 1st Asia Tour: Season of GFRIEND (2018)
  • GFRIEND 2st Asia Tour: Go Go GFRIEND (2019)

Japan tours

  • GFRIEND Spring Tour in Japan Bloom (2019)

Gallery

Main article: GFRIEND/Gallery

References

  1. Soompi: GFRIEND To Make Japanese Debut
  2. Soompi: GFRIEND Reveals Official Colors As They Get Ready For Comeback
  3. Allkpop: G-Friend - Season of Glass
  4. https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/k-pop/bands/article/3109677/gfriend-members-talk-about-new-album-walpurgis-night-k-pop
  5. 5.0 5.1 (KR) Weverse: 여자친구 GFRIEND 전속 계약 종료 안내
  6. iNews24: 걸그룹 여자친구, 11월 데뷔…수지 닮은 청순 외모 눈길
  7. (KR) Chosun: 다음달 데뷔 여자친구, 멤버 4명 얼굴 공개. 신비+몽환
  8. "여자친구, 데뷔앨범 하이라이트 메들리 공개..'소녀감성'"
  9. Most Viewed K-Pop Videos in America & Around the World: January 2015
  10. 여자친구(GFRIEND), 23일(오늘) Mnet '엠카운트다운'에서 신곡 '오늘부터 우리는' 최초 공개!
  11. G-Friend's Psychologically Tender "Me Gustas Tu"
  12. This Video of a K-Pop Singer Falling 8 Times in 1 Song Will Inspire You to Keep Going No Matter What
  13. 여자친구, MTV EMA 韓최우수 가수 부문 후보..'걸그룹 유일'
  14. Soompi: GFRIEND Explains Why They’re Not Focused On Chart Performance
  15. YouTube: GFRIEND Official For All Global Fans 'Weverse' Coming Soon
  16. @GFRDofficial on Twitter (January 16, 2020)
  17. Soompi: GFRIEND Reveals Details For February Comeback
  18. GFRIEND Weverse: [🔔] 回:Walpurgis Night 발매 안내
  19. (KR) Donga: 여자친구 컴백 확정, 11월 9일 정규앨범 발표 [공식]
  20. (KR) Tenasia: 걸그룹 여자친구 이별, 각자의 길 간다
  21. Soompi: GFRIEND Addresses Disbandment And Thanks Fans In Handwritten Letters

Official links

Korea
Japan


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