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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. Formed through the competition reality show of the same name. Originally as nine, they 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 (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 this, like when 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 1.[2] This 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] It's with the title track of that album, "Miroh", that the group received their first ever music show win, on April 4. [4]

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 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 be released on December 9.[5] 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.[6]

2020: "Step Out of Clé", Japanese debut, "Mixtape : On Track", Go Live, In Life, All In

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".[7]

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.[8]

On March 13, a poster for the group's upcoming release was posted on their Twitter account. On March 19, the members' teaser photos were also posted, announcing their new digital single, "Mixtape : On Track", to be released on the 25th.[9]

The digital single "Top", consisting of the Korean versions of the opening and ending songs of the anime Tower of God, was released on May 13. The English version of the single was released on May 20, and the Japanese version on June 3.

On May 26, the first trailer for Go Live, the group's first full album, was released. The album was released on June 17 with title track "God's Menu". On August 27, the music video of "God's Menu" became Stray Kids' first music video to reach 100 million views.[10]

Go Live's repackage, In Life, was released on September 14.

Stray Kids released their first Japanese mini album, All In, on November 4. A Korean version of the album's title track was released on November 26.

The group held an online concert, Unlock : Go Live In Life, on November 22. During the show, which was two hours long, Stray Kids showcased a variety of powerful performances, accompanied with technological visual effects, for a total of 22 songs.[11]

2021: Hyunjin's hiatus, Kingdom, "Mixtape : Oh", Noeasy

JYP announced on February 27 that group member Hyunjin would go on hiatus from all activities and promotions for an undefined amount of time due to school bullying scandals. The group would promote with seven members for the time being.[12]

From April 1 to June 3, the group participated in the Mnet reality survival show Kingdom, in which they opposed five other groups in a competition of performances. Due to his hiatus, Hyunjin only appeared at the beginning of the show.[13] During the rounds, taking on various challenges, Stray Kids showcased intense performances with impressive vocals, dances and concepts.[14][15] For the last round, each group released and then performed a new original song. Stray Kids' song "Wolfgang", with the theme of "[w]olves chasing music"[15], was named after the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. On the last episode, Stray Kids were announced as the winners of the show. Thanking their fans for the win, they expressed their will to work even harder in the future and to remain humble.[16][15][17]

Hyunjin's hiatus ended at the same time that "Mixtape : Oh" was released, on June 26, and not long after, it was announced that he will be returning to activities in July.[18]

On June 29, JYP Entertainment revealed that Stray Kids were working on their next comeback, which would be with all eight members. [19] On July 22, the group released a trailer video for their second studio album, Noeasy, where they confirmed their comeback date to be August 23.[20] On August 17, Noeasy had reached 830 000 pre-orders, more than twice the number of pre-orders their previous album, In Life, had accumulated.[21] The album was released on August 23 as planned. Eight days later, the group recorded more than 1 120 000 albums sales, making them the first JYPE artist to reach the million sales milestone.[22][23]

On October 13, Stray Kids released their second Japanese single, "Scars / ソリクン -Japanese ver.-".

Members

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

Unit

Discography

Korean

Studio albums

Mini albums

Special albums

Digital singles

Collaborations

OSTs

Other releases

Japanese

Best albums

Mini albums

Singles

English

Digital singles


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)
  • Stray Kids: One Kids Room (VLive, 2019–2020)
  • Kingdom[24] (Mnet, 2021)

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

Online concerts

  • Unlock : Go Live In Life (2020)

World tours

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.[25]
  • 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.[25]

Gallery

Main article: Stray Kids/Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Forbes: Stray Kids Talk Songwriting, Career Goals And Their First U.S. Tour
  2. Soompi: Stray Kids Unveils Fan Club Name Ahead Of Comeback
  3. YouTube: Stray Kids (INTRO "Clé 1 : MIROH")
  4. Soompi: Watch: Stray Kids Takes Emotional 1st-Ever Music Show Win On “M Countdown” With “Miroh”; Performances By IZ*ONE And More
  5. Soompi: Stray Kids Announces Woojin's Departure + Delays Upcoming Album Release
  6. Officially KMusic: Stray Kids Make a Bold Statement in 'Gone Days' MV
  7. Soompi: UStray Kids Teases Release Of "Step Out Of Clé" English Version
  8. Hankyung: 스트레이 키즈, 3월 18일 일본 정식 데뷔…베스트 앨범 `SKZ2020` 발표
  9. Soompi: Stray Kids Looks Right Out Of A High School Drama In Teasers For Surprise Mixtape
  10. Soompi: Stray Kids’ “God’s Menu” Becomes Their 1st MV To Reach 100 Million Views
  11. The Jakarta Post: Stray Kids 'unlock' pandemic-hit stage with virtual concert
  12. JYP Entertainment Announces Stray Kids’ Hyunjin Will Halt All Activities
  13. Pinkvilla: Stray Kids to enter Mnet’s Kingdom for their second recording; will now join as a 7 member group
  14. The Korea Times: Stray Kids win Mnet's 'Kingdom'
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Korea JoongAng Daily: Stray Kids come out on top in final of 'Kingdom: Legendary War'
  16. NME: Stray Kids share what they learned from BtoB during their stint on ‘Kingdom’
  17. Kingdom: Legendary War Ep.1-10
  18. JYP Announces Stray Kids’ Hyunjin Will Be Returning To Activities In July
  19. Koreaboo: JYP Reveals Stray Kids Is Preparing For A Comeback With All Members
  20. Soompi: Watch: Stray Kids Announces Comeback Date In Hilarious & Epic Trailer For “NOEASY”
  21. Soompi: Stray Kids Sets Personal Record With Over 830,000 Stock Pre-Orders For “NOEASY”
  22. Forbes: Stray Kids’ Latest Album Joins The List Of Million-Sellers In Korea In 2021
  23. Soompi: Stray Kids’ “NOEASY” Becomes 1st Million-Seller Album From JYP Entertainment
  24. Soompi: Stray Kids, ATEEZ, And The Boyz Confirmed To Compete On "Kingdom"; Perform Powerful Collab At 2020 MAMA
  25. 25.0 25.1 MTV: Stray Kids on Growing Up, Taking More Creative Risks, And Dealing With Self-Doubt

Official links

Korean

Japanese


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