• Mamamoo is a South Korean girl pop band formed in 2014.
• The band members, Hwasa, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Solar, have never changed.
• They have received recognition from Billboard magazine and have performed in various shows, including “Immortal Songs 2”.
• In 2017, the band faced criticism for performing in blackface during a concert in Seoul and Busan.
• Mamamoo’s recent projects include the “Four Seasons” album series and their second full album, “Reality in Black”, released in November 2019.
Mamamoo is a popular South Korean girl pop band, formed in 2014. The band has never changed its members, so the list of its singers remains the same from 2014: Hwasa, Moonbyul, Wheein and Solar.
How was Mamamoo started?
A popular South Korean entertainment company RBW (Rainbow Bridge World), which was founded by Kim Do-hoon and Kim Jin-woo in 2010, established the girl group, which debuted in February 2014 with their single “Don’t Be Happy”, a collaboration with Bumkey, a well-known South Korean rapper and R&B singer.
While the market of K-pop music industry is very competitive, the Billboard magazine put Mamamoo in the top-5 list of new Korean bands which deserve attention: ‘With a retro-based sound that highlights their superb singing and rapping skills, it feels like only a matter of time until the cool quartet have a signature song that cements them amongst the top girl groups’, the source praised their singles “Piano Man”, “Baton Touch” and “Peppermint Chocolate”.
Subsequently their single “Mr. Ambiguous”, released in June 2014, made them shine brightly, supported by such South Korean pop stars as Baek Ji-young, K.Will, Jung Joon-young, and many others, who appeared in their music video for that single.
The same year of 2014 Mamamoo recorded the soundtrack for the drama entitled “Marriage, Not Dating”. Their single “Love Lane” got into the local charts, hitting the first lines. In 2015 the band released another EP entitled “Pink Funky”, their third EP after the successful “Hello” and “Piano Man”. From January 2015, Mamamoo became a permanent participant of the popular music program “Immortal Songs 2”; on the show, they performed such old hits as “Wait a Minute”, originally performed by Joo Hyun-mi, “Delilah”, previously sang by Jo Young-nam, and “Backwood’s Mountain”, which was earlier performed by Bae Ho.
Through 2016 to 2017, Mamamoo released two more EPs: “Memory” and “Purple”.
Controversy over Mamamoo performances in Seoul and Busan. Did they perform in blackface?
At the end of 2017 Mamamoo announced their upcoming concerts in Seoul and Busan, but their show entitled “Mamamoo Concert Moosical: Curtain Call” was highly criticized for them performing in blackface. The controversy appeared after the members of Mamamoo wore darker shade of foundations, while covering Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, trying to look more like the original performer. However, their actions were received negatively, and the producers had to cut that part of the show out of their further performances. The singers apologized in front of their audience: ‘We were extremely ignorant of blackface and did not understand the implications of our actions.
We will be taking time to understand more about our international fans to ensure this never happens again’, they stated in their official message to their fans.
“Four Seasons” project and other recent activities
In January 2018 Mamamoo announced their upcoming project: the series of music albums “Four Seasons”, which was created to uncover the hidden potential of every member of the band. In March 2018 the first EP from this project entitled “Yellow Flower” was released, and its main single, “Starry Night” charted Top 10 Mid-Year Gaon Digital Chart, holding the sixth line. The band supported their album with a live show at the SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium, located in Seoul; it’s worth mentioning that the tickets to the show were allegedly sold-out in only two minutes after the start of the sales.
In July 2018 another EP from the “Four Seasons” project, “Red Moon” was released; its main single was entitled “Egotistic”. As both the EP and the single were very successful, the Japanese company Victor Entertainment signed a contract with Mamamoo, so they released their first Japanese single “Décalcomanie” in October 2018. In November 2018 their third EP “Blues” with its main single “Wind Flower” was released, followed by the final EP of the series “White Wind” in March 2019.
In November 2019 Mamamoo released their second full album, entitled “Reality in Black”. The lead single of the LP, “Hip”, reached the fourth line in the Digital Chart, also getting to the top of the Gaon Album Chart.
In 2020 they released the Japanese version of the album, including the Japanese “Hip” edition, and their third song in Japanese, “Shampoo”.
Winning the “Queendom” TV program
From August to October 2019 Mamamoo participated in the music show “Queendom”, battling for first place with such successful bands as Park Bom, AOA, (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz and Oh My Girl – the latter were the hardest competitor for Mamamoo. After several shows and a special Finale Live Comeback Stages performance, Mamamoo won the show, getting more points in summary than any of the other music bands participating in the competition.
Moonbyul, whose real name is Moon Byul-yi, was born on 12 December 1992, in Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do South Korea.
In 2011 she entered the Paekche Institute of the Arts, studying media music and vocals. In May 2018 she released her solo single “Selfish”, which featured Seulgi from “Red Velvet” music band. On 4 February 2020 Moonbyul released her first solo EP “Dark Side of the Moon”, which included such successful songs as “Weird Day”, “Eclipse” and “Absence”.
Moonbyul has two younger sisters: Seulgi born in 1996 and Yesol in 2004. Initially, Moonbyul wanted to be a vocalist in Mamamoo, but after the final auditions it was decided that she would become the lead rapper. She worked as a choreographer for the music video “Piano Man”. Moonbyul sweats a lot, so she was even nicknamed “Black Hole” for that. Her dream is to work with Verbal Jint just once.
She writes her rap lyrics on her own; when Mamamoo performed at “Immortal Songs 2”, she included her lyrics to the song the band sang even if there wasn’t any rap in the original versions of the songs.
- Moonbyul made her appearance as Swan at “King of Masked Singer” TV program
- . Her Instagram profile is followed by more than two million fans.
- She has four tattoos.
- She likes wearing hats and blazers.
- Her official height is 5ft 5ins (1.65m), however her fans insist she is 5ft 4ins (1.634m) tall, as they know about the tendency of South Korean music companies to adjust singers’ profiles so they look more attractive. Her weight is 99lbs (45kgs).
Jung Whee-in was born on 17 April 1995, in Jeonju, North Jeolla, South Korea. After attending the same middle school her group-mate Hwasa studied in, Wheein entered Wonkwang Information Arts High School, from which she matriculated from in 2013.
- She is a fan of mukbang shows (the videos of people who are eating in front of the camera, and interacting with the audience at the same time).
- Wheein is very good at drawing.
- She has a cat named Ggomo/Kkomo, who appears in many of her videos and photos.
- Wheein appeared as a featured performer in such singles as Phantom’s “Under Age’s Song”, Standing Egg’s “Love or Like”, and DinDin’s “Tears Drops” and many others.
- She was also nominated by Gaon Chart Music Awards in the category “Artist of the Year – Digital Music”.
- Her official height is 5ft 3¾ins (1.62m), however, her fans claim her height to be around 5ft 3ins(1.58m); her weight is 95lbs (43kgs). Wheein’s official Instagram account has more than 650,000 followers.
#WHEEIN: gimme more!! pic.twitter.com/ondlww1sLf
— букавуль⁵ (@yeonjunstiddies) July 25, 2020
Ahn Hye-jin, also known as Hwasa, was born on 23 July 1995, in Jeonju, North Jeolla South Korea, the youngest of three sisters. As with Wheein, Hwasa matriculated from Wonkwang Information Arts High School. She started singing professionally when she was only 16 years old. In February 2019 Hwasa released her solo album “TWIT”.
- She likes cooking and listening to old Jazz songs, citing Rihanna as her idol, role model and inspiration source.
- She also admitted she liked Leslie Cheung, a popular Korean singer and actor, and enjoys watching movies starring George Clooney.
- She has a strong allergy to any pets, which is why she has a toy lion and treats it like her real pet.
- Her Instagram account is followed by more than two million fans.
- She is officially 5ft 3¾ins (1.62m) tall, yet her fans believe she is 5ft 3ins (1.60m) tall; her weight is 97lbs (44kgs).
Kim Yong-sun, nicknamed Solar in Mamamoo, was born on 21 February 1991, in Gangseo-gu, Seoul South Korea; she has an elder sister named Yong-hee. Solar graduated from Hanyang Women’s University in 2013. Her solo single “Spit It Out” was released in April 2020. She’s also collaborated with Eddy Kim, Hwang Chi-yeul, Kassy and Eunhyuk. Being the eldest member of the band, Solar considers herself to be Mamamoo Mom.
- Before becoming a singer, Solar wanted to be a flight attendant.
- Her favorite rapper is Lil’ Wayne.
- She appeared in the TV show “We Got Married”, paired with Eric Nam.
- Her favorite Korean dish is tteokbokki, fried rice cakes.
- She is officially 5ft 4ins (1.63m) tall, yet her fans consider her height to be around 5ft 3ins (1.61m); her approximate weight is 95lbs (43kgs).