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Stray Kids (KR: 스트레이 키즈; JP: ストレイキッズ) is an eight-member boy group under JYP Entertainment. They were formed through the competition reality show of the same name and debuted on March 25, 2018 with the mini album I Am Not.

Prior to their debut, they released a mini album, Mixtape, on January 8, 2018.

History

Pre-debut: Stray Kids and Mixtape

The sub-unit 3RACHA, composed of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, existed prior to Stray Kids. While the nine were still trainees, Bang Chan picked each member of the group himself. They then participated in Mnet's reality show Stray Kids (which was named after the group), in which they had various challenges to accomplish together in order to prove to JYP that they deserved to debut as nine, which was their wish. "Part of what sets Stray Kids apart is their heightened emphasis on self-composition[1]", and the challenges in the show reflected that, as they had to create their own songs and choreographies. They released a digital single titled "Hellevator" during the show on November 7, 2017. Though two members - Lee Know and Felix - were eliminated on the show, they were eventually given a second chance. It was announced in the last episode that the group would debut as nine.

Stray Kids released the pre-debut album Mixtape on January 8, 2018. All the songs featured on it were initially created during the reality show.

2018: Debut with I Am Not, followed by mini-albums I Am Who and I Am You

Stray Kids debuted on March 25, 2018 with I Am Not and its title track "District 9". The group announced its fandom name, STAY, on August 1st.[2] That was a few days before their first comeback on August 6 with the title track "My Pace" and the mini album I Am Who. Finally, they released I Am You on October 22. The three mini albums, the I Am series, were all released in less than a year and are all part of the same narrative cycle revolving around the theme of identity and self-discovery.[1]

2019: 'Clé' trilogy, Woojin's departure and "Mixtape : Gone Days"

Clé 1 : MIROH was released on the first anniversary of the group's debut, March 25, 2019. "MIROH" is a word Stray Kids created; 'miro' means 'maze' in Korean, and the H at the end of MIROH symbolizes either heaven or hell, meaning there are two possible places it can lead to. The album tackles the subject of surviving in a new world that might be harsh - in Stray Kids case, this new world is both celebrity and adulthood.[3]

They came back on June 19 with Clé 2 : Yellow Wood. The "Clé" and "I Am" series were then connected. For example, the city Stray Kids is looking at at the end of the music video for "I Am You" is MIROH, and the roof of Clé 2: Yellow Wood was where the music video "MIROH" has finished.

On October 27, it was announced by JYP that member Woojin had left the group and agency due to personal circumstances. As a result of that, the mini album Clé : Levanter, which was scheduled to be released on November 25, was delayed to December 9.[4] The album included the two pre-released tracks "Double Knot" and "Astronaut", and also the title track "Levanter".

Stray Kids released "Mixtape : Gone Days" less than twenty days later, on December 26. The song is about the conflict between the new generation, who wants to do things their way and be able to gain maturity on their own, and the older generations, who nags and pushes to do things like it was done in the past. The title is also a play on words, as it sounds like the Korean word "ggondae", a term for old, nosy and bossy people.[5]

2020: "Step Out of Clé", Japanese debut, "Mixtape : 바보라도 알아"

On January 14, Stray Kids announced their first English release titled "Step Out of Clé" to be released on the 24th. It contains English versions of the tracks "Double Knot" and "Levanter".[6]

On January 16, it was announced the group would be making their Japanese debut on March 18 with the release of the best album SKZ2020.[7]

On March 13, a poster for an the group's upcoming release was posted on their Twitter account. On March 19, the members teaser photos was also posted, announcing their new digital single, "Mixtape : 바보라도 알아", to be released on the 25th.[8]

Members

Member Position(s) Year(s) active
Bang Chan (방찬) Leader, Main Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Rapper, Producer 2018–present
Lee Know (리노) Main Dancer, Vocalist, Rapper 2018–present
Changbin (창빈) Main Rapper, Sub-Vocalist, Producer 2018–present
Hyunjin (현진) Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Visual 2018–present
Han (한) Main Rapper, Lead Vocalist, Producer 2018–present
Felix (필릭스) Dancer, Sub-Rapper, Sub-Vocalist, Face of the group 2018–present
Seungmin (승민) Lead Vocalist 2018–present
I.N (아이엔) Vocalist, Sub-Rapper, Maknae 2018–present
Former
Woojin (우진) Main Vocalist 2018–2019

Unit

Discography

Korean

Mini albums

Special albums

Digital singles

OSTs

  • "Extraordinary You OST Part.7" ("Neverending Story") (2019)
  • "Tower of God OST" (2020)

Other releases

English

Digital singles

Japanese

Best albums

Filmography

Reality shows

  • Stray Kids: The 9th (VLive, 2018–present)
  • Finding SKZ (Mnet, 2019)
  • Stray Kids: Two Kids Room (VLive, 2019–present)
  • CHOISKZ (VLive, 2019–present)

Talk show appearances

  • After School Club (Arirang TV, 2013–present) (eps. 310, 318, 329 and 340)
  • Idol Room (JTBC, 2018–present) (eps. 16 and 43)
  • Weekly Idol (MBC Every 1, 2011–present) (eps. 381, 401 and 428)

Concerts

Awards and nominations

Main article: Awards and nominations received by Stray Kids

Endorsements

  • Jambangee (2018)
  • Coke Caster (2018)
  • IvyClub (2018–2019)
  • Lotte Duty Free (2018–2019)
  • Pro-Specs (2018–2019)
  • Dazed Korea (2019)

Trivia

  • Stray Kids' logo is written in Bang Chan's handwriting.[9]
  • Stray Kids are highly involved in the creation of their songs. The lyrics and melodies are theirs and, according to Bang Chan, they are given a lot of freedom.[1] They are able to genuinely express themselves and to send the message they want, which is important to them. The struggles and thoughts explored in their songs often mirror those of their fans.[9]

Gallery

Main article: Stray Kids/Gallery

References

Official links

Korean

Japanese

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