Step Out! Hello, we are Stray Kids!
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. 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.
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", 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. 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.
2019: 'Clé' trilogy, Woojin's departure, world tour, 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. It's with the title track of that album, "Miroh", that the group received their first ever music show win, on April 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. The album included the two pre-released tracks "Double Knot" and "Astronaut", and also the title track "Levanter".
Stray Kids released "Mixtape : Gone Days" 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.
2020: "Step Out of Clé", Japanese debut, "Mixtape : On Track", Go Live, In Life, All In
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.
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.
Go Live's repackage, In Life, was released on September 14.
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.
2021: Hyunjin's hiatus, Kingdom, "Mixtape : Oh", Noeasy, "Christmas EveL", SKZ2021
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.
From April 1 to June 3, the group participated in the Mnet reality survival show Kingdom: Legendary War, 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. During the rounds, taking on various challenges, Stray Kids showcased intense performances with impressive vocals, dances and concepts. 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", 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.
On June 29, JYP Entertainment revealed that Stray Kids were working on their next comeback, which would be with all eight members. 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. 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. 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.
On October 13, Stray Kids released their second Japanese single, "Scars / ソリクン -Japanese ver.-".
2022: Oddinary, world tour, Circus
On January 7, Stray Kids announced that they would hold a fanmeeting titled 'SKZ's Chocolate Factory' on February 12 and 13. On the second day, they released a trailer for their sixth mini album Oddinary, set to be released on March 18. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart, sold more than 850,000 copies in its first week and exceeded 1.3 million stock pre-orders. It also earned the group two music show wins. Oddinary contains tracks exploring a variety of music styles from '90s hip-hop to dubstep to ballads, with themes as different as charm or vulnerability. The title track invites its listener to embrace what makes them different and suggests that being odd is actually ordinary, something that is also implied in the album's name, a portmanteau of the words "odd" and "ordinary".
They will release their second Japanese mini album Circus on June 22.
|Bang Chan (방찬)||Leader, Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Rapper, Producer||2018–present|
|Lee Know (리노)||Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist, Rapper||2018–present|
|Changbin (창빈)||Main Rapper, Vocalist, Producer||2018–present|
|Hyunjin (현진)||Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist, Visual, Center||2018–present|
|Han (한)||Main Rapper, Lead Vocalist, Producer||2018–present|
|Felix (필릭스)||Lead Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist||2018–present|
|Seungmin (승민)||Main Vocalist||2018–present|
|I.N (아이엔)||Vocalist, Maknae||2018–present|
|Woojin (우진)||Main Vocalist||2018–2019|
- 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)
- Finding Stray Kids (God Edition) (M2, 2020-2020)
- Kingdom: Legendary War (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)
- Stray Kids Unveil Tour 'I am…' (2019)
- Stray Kids World Tour 'District 9 : Unlock' (2019–2020)
- Stray Kids 2nd World Tour "Maniac" (2022)
- Stray Kids 1st #LoveSTAY "SKZ-X" (2021)
- STAYing Home Meeting (2021)
Awards and nominations
- Main article: Awards and nominations received by Stray Kids
- Jambangee (2018)
- Coke Caster (2018)
- IvyClub (2018–2019)
- Lotte Duty Free (2018–2019)
- Pro-Specs (2018–2019)
- Dazed Korea (2019)
- Shopee (2020)
- Stray Kids' logo is written in Bang Chan's handwriting.
- 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. 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.
- Main article: Stray Kids/Gallery