Sisa Journal recently published a huge feature on SNSD, describing their progression from humble beginnings to their overwhelming global success. Take a deep breath because this is gonna be a long read.
Although “Into the New World” was a powerful debut, no one predicted SNSD to reach the “world-star” status it currently holds. At the time, the girls were merely a relief for the male audience tired of the boy bands’ dominance of the music market. Right away, the girls faced a tremendous challenge: in September of 2007, the Wonder Girls released their hit single, “Tell Me“. The Wonder Girls were a group that had already been promoting for several months, and their single rocketed them into international fame, as students, police officers, and even soldiers participated in the “Tell Me” dance craze. With the nation hit with the “Wonder Girls Syndrome”, SNSD was dismissed as a B-level girl group.
In 2008, Wonder Girls defined K-Pop as “Nobody” and “So Hot” dominated the charts. Although SNSD garnered many male fans with their cute and innocent concept, the girls were not yet considered nationally popular.
2009 became the year to remember. As the Wonder Girls prepared for their American debut, SNSD dropped “Gee” after a long hiatus. “Gee” became the second bomb after “Tell Me” that ignited the “Girl Group Era”. All over Korea, people were doing the “crab dance”. Amateurs and critics alike praised the song, which eventually earned the title, “Best Song of the Year”. With “Gee” as a launching point, SNSD became the most prominent of the wave of girl groups debuting in 2009. Both males and females across all generations learned to love the group.
However, SNSD were unable to recreate the craze that “Gee” had brought. “Tell Me Your Wish” showed a more mature side to the girls, but the song did not prove as much of a milestone as the previous single. When “Oh!” dropped in early 2010, critics wondered if it was the end to SNSD‘s popularity. Having debuted with a cute image that gradually moved on to a mature concept, SNSD was thought to be unable to have any more room for a creative comeback.
Despite the various fears, the girls had a successful Japan debut with “Tell Me Your Wish“, demonstrating their persistence with their latest single, “Hoot“.
So how was SNSD able to do this?
The absence of the Wonder Girls may have been a contribution, but most importantly, SNSD‘s own skills were the defining factors. Their abilities are overwhelming. While Taeyeon, Jessica, Seohyun, Tiffany, and Sunny demonstrate vocal talent, the girls also show exceptional dancing skills. Individual charms definitely contributed as well. For example, when Yuri performed alongside solo singer, Son Dambi, many people commented how Yuri overshadowed the senior with her charisma. Jessica and Sunny were also variety stars, while Yoona worked as an actress. Above all, SNSD were the best entertainers. In any environment, if SNSD appeared, the atmosphere got brighter. These many advantages made the girls stand out among the numerous girl groups.
SNSD were also able to overcome international barriers because they had songs that were easy to sing and dance along to. “Gee” became a song everyone could dance to when it came out in the clubs [lol], and was covered via Youtube in South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and more.
What do you guys think? Do you agree on the factors of success for the girls, or were there alternate reasons for their achievements? When did their popularity start declining, if it even did decline at all? Share your thoughts below!
Also, hateful remarks of other groups will not be tolerated.