Have you heard of Brave Girls? This 4 member kpop girl group seems to be one of the "newest" kpop idol group that rose to popularity.
But wait, are they new? Their most famous song "Rollin" returned results dated both 2021 and 2017. Why? Isn't it the same song with the same lyrics and dance moves? What is happening here?
Not a new idol group
The fact is, Brave Girls is not a new korean idol group. They debuted a whopping 10 years ago and the average age of Brave Girls is 30.5 years old!
Current Brave Girls embers: Minyoung (민영), Yujeong (유정), Eunji (은지) and Yuna (유나). Their entertainment company is Brave Entertainment, helm by founder Brave Brothers.
Brave Brothers is the stage name for Kang Dong-chul, who had been producer and composer for YG Entertainment from 2004 to 2008
Image: Brave Girls wikipedia
During the course of the past 10 years, a total of 10 members have graced the line-up for Brave Girls. All the original members have already left the group by 2017.
Original Brave Girls members: Eunyoung (은영), Seo-a (서아), Yejin (예진), Yoojin (유진), Hyeran (혜란).
Close to disbandment
Korea might be known for its music industry, aka kpop idols. However, this country has more than 300 idol groups at any one time.
Only a few of these idol groups come from big entertainment agencies like SM, YG and JYP. These companies have produced idols like SNSD, Aespa, Blackpink, Twice, GOT7.
Just like Aespa, the newest SM girl group, these groups shoot to popularity immediately after debut. This is because their labels have the resources (financial and non-financial) for their promotion activities. They are also well known to international fans who look forward to new groups from these big agencies.
This makes it extremely difficult for groups who are not from big entertainment agencies to become popular.
BTS, who is under Big Hit Entertainment, faced the same situation. The internationally acclaimed group took 2-3 years for the public to be aware of them.
As such, due to the lukewarm success of Brave Girls, they have thought of disbanding the group. In fact, Yujeong and Yuna moved out of the dormitory, and the group met up on Feb 23 to discuss disbandment.
Do you believe in miracles?
Just at the verge of their disbandment, something miraculous happened.
The very next day on Feb 24, a video was uploaded on Youtube by VIDITOR changed their life forever.
This video channel specializes in mash-up of the performance videos of kpop idols and their different comments.
The one uploaded for Brave Girls is titled "Brave Girls — Rollin' (with comments)". What makes this video mash up funny and moving is the profile of the commenters.
Huge korean military fan base
Most of the performance videos in this viral video are captured from KFN show "K-Force Special Show". This is a channel by the Ministry of National Defense.
Most of the comments are from former military men.
Why is this so?
Kpop performances are regularly held at military camps as a form of entertainment to the military men.
All able bodied men in Korea are required to serve the Korean army for about 2 years. During this time, they are usually sent to obscure military camps. Visits back home are few and contact with the outside world is much reduced without internet and their mobile phones.
This makes the K-Force Special Show one of their greatest source of entertainment and motivation during their enlistment.
Performed more times than any idol groups
Well, as for Brave Girls, they are said to perform more than 72 times at the show! That is much more than any other idol groups.
The reason they performed regularly was to gain exposure and stage performance opportunities. As the Army has a limited budget, each stage performance was only given about USD $880-$1760.
Think about their travel time and expense to obscure military camps and to split it between their agencies and amongst the members.
This is the reason why famous idol groups rarely perform at military camps.
However, Brave Girls was willing to travel long hours to put up regular performances at the Army. In return, they got popular among military men.
Many can sing to their songs, they even teach the dance to their juniors!
Many military men leave nostalgic and fond memories related to the Brave Girls performances at camps.
- #1 song in the "Korean Military Billboard Chart"
- I learned this song from my seniors and taight it to my juniors in the military before I was discharged.
- This song is one of the mysteries in the ROK military. No one taught you this song except for your seniors.
- Those who served in the military since 2015 must have watched their performances a million times.
Amazing Youtube algorithm
The Youtube algorithm brought this video to the attention to many people and it soon became viral. As of today, it has garnered more than 11M views.
Many people start to dig out the 2017 Brave Girls Rollin song, and it soon rose the chart on korean streaming platorm Bugs!
This phenomenon whereby past songs become popular is similar to retro fashion. But it rarely happen in the kpop industry. The other example was Exid sudden popularity due to Hani's Up and Down fancam.
With their sudden rise in popularity, the 4 member girl group started to re-promote their Rollin past song. And got their first win at Inkigayo!
They have since recorded many wins and performed on many big programs and gone on to several variety shows.
Just next to Blackpink
According to the Korea Institute of Corporate Reputation, they have become 2nd in terms of brand value.
Brand value measures the popularity of idol groups and plays a part in determining their advertisement value. The 2nd place makes them just behind Blackpink!
What Brave Girls have taught us
Image: Brave Girls instagram
Brave Girls have endured 1854 days since their debut to become the first on a major music channel show. They have gone through hardships and setbacks, but they never gave up and did their best regardless of the performance locations.
This story has touched many people and reminded them of the importance of perseverance.
Compared to kpop groups that rose to popularity right at the point of their debut, those that have roughed it out become more humble in the process.
They understand that their popularity does not come easy and that every win is precious.
Let's continue to support Brave Girls and hope they rise to the next great heights!
Share this with a k-pop lover who doesn't know about Brave Girls yet!