[OSEN=임영진 기자] 2NE1 is ready to bring a wave of sensation.

2NE1, who made a grand comeback with their reggae influenced ‘FALLING IN LOVE’ last month after one long year since their last song, is scheduled to bring another wave of sensation in just a month with a new song titled ‘DO YOU LOVE ME’. The group’s enthusiasm was reignited by a solo debut of CL and by the domination South Korean pop music with an unusual touch of reggae. And now they are back with ‘DO YOU LOVE ME’.

2NE1 is aiming for a transformation: from female warriors with unapproachable charisma to friendly and congenial neighbors. Such traits are well portrayed in the YG’s promotion team DOUBLE PARK (consisting of DARA and BOM) and also in the making of ‘DO YOU LOVE ME’ music video. Their mischievous and comical behavior makes them ever more approachable for the fans. A fresh transformation indeed.

So just one day before the release of their new song, we are going to analyze their success potential in an easy-to-understand step we call S.W.O.T.

# S (for Strength): You believe in them when 2NE1 performs on stage

How 2NE1 positioned themselves is a little interesting. In a market where girl groups are defined as either sexy or cute, 2NE1 takes on the image of ‘charismatic’. With a dynamic and dominating attitude they take over the stage. That power is seen by many as 2NE1’s trademark and an irreplaceable trait.

The four-girl group has positioned themselves solidly as a powerful female group through their previous big hits ‘I’M THE BEST’, ‘I DON’T CARE’, ‘GO AWAY’ and ‘UGLY’.
2NE1 is also almost the only female group to steer clear of any public criticism for their provocative fashion sense, which is based on their hip-hop music style. They are bold enough to transform a designer brand scarf into a stage costume – nothing holds them back from wrecking something so expensive for their performance. Such attitude earned them the description ‘a group representing an absolutely unique style’ in the music world.

# W (for Weakness): they stay experimental rather than mainstream

This year, CL made a debut with a traditional hip-hop song ‘THE BADDEST FEMALE’ while 2NE1 made an attempt at a reggae hip-hop music ‘FALLING IN LOVE’, a genre that is hardly tried by South Korean artists. They experimented different things. CL’s ‘THE BADDEST FEMALE’ appeared especially fresh to music lovers, but she had to face the fact that the genre was quite unfamiliar to many. CL covered in bling-bling accessories and baggy hip-hop outfit definitely looked great, but the fans needed time to adjust to the new genre.

‘FALLING IN LOVE’ that followed was reggae and hip-hop influenced, which was even more staggering for the public. Even American Billboard and MTV commented that they encountered a new sound, thanks to 2NE1. Their music was fresh and unique to the global audience as well. As this shows, 2NE1 always aimed for provocative surprise and a different attempt to anyone else. They were much more focused on experimenting rather than staying mainstream.

But the latest song, written and composed by YG’s main producer Teddy, is a bubbly and fun song just perfect for summer. It is safe to say that this time they are maximizing the mainstream aspect. Going mainstream, for 2NE1, is more than enough to bring another wave of sensation because they already set themselves apart from any other artists.

# O (for Opportunity): Female artist power

A current trend in music charts proves the season is dominated by female artists. On Melon, one of the largest music websites in South Korea, F(x)’s ‘RUM PUM PUM PUM’ is ranking between #1 and #2 on real-time chart. F(x) is followed by Crayon Pop’s ‘BAR BAR BAR’ and Ailee’s ‘U&I’, along with A Pink’s ‘NO NO NO’. Brown Eyed Girls’ ‘KILL BILL’ and Davichi’s ‘MISSING YOU TODAY’ are within top 10 as well.

The only common aspect of these artists is not just that they are female. Another important point is that they all have a very unique color of their own. Their genres don’t overlap: F(x) is a leader in electronic genre while Crayon Pop completely sets themselves apart with the Straight-Five Engine dance. Ailee boasts such a powerful voice that she’s dubbed the South Korean version of Beyoncé. A Pink is highly praised for their performance and is called the next S.E.S.
Such trends work to the advantage of 2NE1. Music charts are becoming more and more advantageous to female artists, and 2NE1’s idiosyncrasy makes their identity stand out even more. There’s huge room for success. They are all prepared: sweeping across MBC’s Show! Music Center and Mnet’s M Countdown with ‘FALLING IN LOVE’ last July was perfect for reigniting their popularity.

# T (for Threat): Fierce competition among girl groups

The current music market is an opportunity, but at the same time it could become a threat. There’s even a phrase “theme war”, which indicates that being ‘differently’ sexy or charismatic is the focus of girl groups. Moving away from traditional ‘sexy’ or ‘charisma’ is what girl groups are aiming for. Many girl groups are now going after the idea of ‘strong female’, which could work as a disadvantage to 2NE1, who are known for that particular notion.

So to move away from such problems, 2NE1 chose to be ‘congenial’ this time. Until now, 2NE1 would be an unapproachable group who obviously stood out as ‘stars’ among the crowd, but now they have successfully transformed themselves into congenial and friendly neighbors who would happily take a photo with you if you asked.

2NE1 appeared to be energetic on stage, but they are in fact quite introverted, which is exactly why they held back in appearing on television. But now they wish to communicate more with the fans, and thus decided to create a home-movie type music video that reveals their daily lives. They would go as far as to provide personal taxi service to the fans as part of DOUBLE PARK TV. They have indeed gone through some major changes.

The much anticipated ‘DO YOU LOVE ME’ that is to be revealed on August 7 is hinting a big change in 2NE1. The genre of the upcoming song would be similar to ‘FALLING IN LOVE’, while their promotional method is similar to that of ‘I’M THE BEST’. So beware. Don’t be too surprised by 2NE1’s transformation.

source: yg-life
re-upload by ukYGqueens

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