Crayon Pop (Hangul: 크레용팝) is a five-member South Korean girl group formed in 2012 under Chrome Entertainment. The group consists of Geummi, Ellin, Way, Choa and Soyul. Crayon Pop debuted on 19 July 2012 with "Saturday Night" on their first stage debut on Mnet's M! Countdown. Although they debuted with "Saturday Night", they had already released both the Korean and Japanese music videos for their first single "Bing Bing", followed by the release of their first EP, Crayon Pop: The 1st Mini Album.
Following the release of "Bar Bar Bar", Crayon Pop's unique stage outfits and choreography drew interest and their popularity rose. "Bar Bar Bar" began to climb the Korean digital music charts, eventually reaching the upper positions of most major real time chart listings. Eight week after release, it reached number 1 on Billboard's K-Pop Hot 100 for the first time.
Crayon Pop's fifth single, "Uh-ee", was released on 31 March 2014. The music video, released on 1 April, had more than 1 million views in one day. It featured cameos from various artists such as DJ DOC's Kim Chang-ryeol, Bumkey, comedian Yoon Sung-ho, and boy group K-Much.
In June and July 2014, Crayon Pop was the opening act for Lady Gaga's ArtRave: The Artpop Ball concert tour in twelve cities across North America. Crayon Pop was the second Korean act to perform as an opening act for Lady Gaga, the first being Lee Jung-hyun in 2009.
Strawberry Milk, a sub-unit consisting of twins Choa and Way, will debut with their first mini-album on 15 October 2014.
The group was initially named Hurricane Pop and consisted of members Serang (Yang Se-hyeon), Geummi (Baek Bo-ram), Ellin (Kim Min-young), Choa (Heo Min-jin), and Soyul (Park Hye-kyeong). Serang, under the name Mari, had formerly been the leader of the disbanded girl group Coin Jackson. She left Hurricane Pop shortly before their promotions started in order to pursue an acting career. Choa's younger twin sister, Way (Heo Min-seon), was then added to preserve the group as a quintet. The group's name was changed to Crayon Pop prior to their debut. The girls' stage names were chosen by the CEO of Chrome Entertainment, although a few of the members had imput into the choice.
Soyul was the first member to become a trainee at Chrome Entertainment. She had formerly been part of a short-lived K-Pop duo with Bob Girls' Jina, called Chic'6 Muscats. Geummi, who had worked in a hair transplant clinic, was the next to join. Ellin had been referred to Chrome Entertainment by Chrome's dance choreographer, and she was accepted after her third audition. Way had prior involvement in the music industry as the main vocalist of indie band N.Dolphin. When she was originally invited to audition at Chrome Entertainment, N.Dolphin was currently promoting an album, so she recommended Choa instead. After Serang left, Way was given another chance to join Crayon Pop and she left N.Dolphin.
Crayon Pop began their promotions in Japan, using their time there to film music videos. The group released both the Korean and Japanese music videos for their single "Bing Bing" on 24 June 2012.
After multiple teasers, the music video for their debut single "Saturday Night" was released on 17 July 2012. The Japanese version, as well as an alternate version of the original with new footage were released on 24 July 2012.
Their first EP, Crayon Pop: The 1st Mini Album, was released on 18 July 2012 and included both "Bing Bing" and "Saturday Night". The girls made their official stage debut the following day on 19 July 2012, performing "Saturday Night" on Mnet's M! Countdown.
The group released their second EP, Dancing Queen, on 23 October 2012. It consisted of a new single, "Dancing Queen", and a remixed version of "Bing Bing". After seeing a performance of "Dancing Queen", Kangin and Shindong of Super Junior praised the song and group, with Shindong saying "I'd love to produce a girl group like them". Since Crayon Pop was not able to perform often on music shows, they took to the streets and promoted "Dancing Queen" with guerrilla performances. These performances often took place in extremely cold weather.
2013: Success in Japan, "Bar Bar Bar" and rising popularity:
Returning to Japanese promotions, Crayon Pop held a mini-concert on 6 January 2013 in Shibuya, Tokyo. Tickets went on sale on 11 December 2012, and sold out in under an hour. As a result of considerable demand from fans unable to purchase tickets, Chrome Entertainment announced that another Japanese concert would be held at a later date.
On 25 January 2013, Crayon Pop made an official comeback on KBS Music Bank with a remixed version of "Bing Bing", including new choreography. They appeared on MBC Show! Music Core the next day.
Having assured Japanese fans of another concert following their successful mini-concert in Tokyo, Chrome Entertainment staged a second mini-concert, this time in Osaka, on 22 February 2013.
On 8 June 2013, Crayon Pop performed a preview version of their new song "Bar Bar Bar" live for the first time. A story version music video was uploaded to YouTube on 13 June, a week before the song's digital release on 20 June. Following the release of a dance version music video on 23 June 2013, Crayon Pop drew interest despite their unique stage outfits and choreography. As of September 2014, this music video has more than 21 million views on YouTube. As "Bar Bar Bar" went viral, it began to climb the Korean digital music charts, eventually reaching the upper positions of most major real time chart listings. It managed to stay at the top of Billboard's Korea K-Pop Hot 100 chart for over a month, and ranked number 1 for the first time eight weeks after release. "Bar Bar Bar" solidified its viral status when a parody video was aired on a segment of SNL Korea on 13 August.
On 25 August 2013 Crayon Pop performed in the United States for the first time. The group performed "Bar Bar Bar" and "Dancing Queen" at KCON, which was hosted at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena from 24-25 August 2013.
Despite coming from a small company, Crayon Pop scored their first music show win on KBS Music Bank with "Bar Bar Bar" on 30 August 2013, beating EXO's Growl.
Crayon Pop's second mini-album, The Streets Go Disco, was released on 26 September. It consisted of their four previous singles and remixes of those songs. A music video for the title track, "Dancing Queen 2.0", was released along with the album. A music video for "Bar Bar Bar 2.0" had been released earlier in the month.
Due to Crayon Pop's increasing popularity, Chrome Entertainment announced that Crayon Pop would hold its first solo concert titled "1st POPCON in Seoul". As a token of appreciation, the concert was free to attend and 100%, My Name, Bumkey and The SeeYa appeared as special guests. Crayon Pop had prepared a parody video of the drama Princess Aurora, with the members playing all the parts. This video was shown at the concert, which was successfully held on 30 October 2013.
On 3 November 2013, Crayon Pop traveled to Sydney, Australia for a week to perform and to attend two fan signing events. These events took place at the Event Cinemas on George Street and the Westfield Chatswood shopping center. Before the fan signing, they performed "Bar Bar Bar" and "Dancing Queen". They appeared on ABC's Wacky World Beaters and SBS PopAsia, and did a guerilla performance in front of the Sydney Opera House. They also visited the Taronga Zoo and Hyde Park, and participated in a BridgeClimb of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The trip was sponsored by Sony Music, and they arranged a meeting between Crayon Pop and Australian singer Dami Im, who was born in South Korea and was a fan of Crayon Pop.
Crayon Pop held their second solo concert on 15 November 2013 at Zepp DiverCity, Tokyo with over 2,000 fans, 30 media outlets, and 200 representatives in the music industry attending the concert.
On 22 November, Crayon Pop collaborated with Norwegian duo, Ylvis, to perform a special stage at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Crayon Pop received their first major award, Best New Female Artist, while Ylvis won the International Favorite Artist award.
On 1 December, Crayon Pop released a music video for their Christmas single, "Lonely Christmas". They had their comeback stage on Mnet's M! Countdown on 5 December.
2014: "Uh-ee", Lady Gaga tour and Strawberry Milk debut:
On 1 February, veteran rock singer Kim Jang-hoon collaborated with Crayon Pop and released "Hero" for the "Korea Fireman Project" in dedication to firefighters who risked their lives to help others. The entire profits of the song were donated towards charities and the families of the firefighters. Crayon Pop and Kim Jang Hoon later on held a surprise concert titled "Cray-Hoon Pop" at the Gangnam M Stage, Seoul on 17 February, featuring a performance from Crayon Pop's labelmates, K-Much.
Crayon Pop performed as the opening act for Hunan TV's Lantern Festival Program on 14 February 2014, marking their debut on a TV show in Mainland China. This was Crayon Pop's second performance in Mainland China, the first being at the 23rd Qingdao International Beer Festival in Qingdao on 9 August 2013.
On 21 March, American pop star Lady Gaga announced on her Twitter account that Crayon Pop would be opening her upcoming ArtRave: The Artpop Ball in twelve cities across North America from 26 June through 22 July, along with a link to the music video of their viral hit "Bar Bar Bar". Lady Gaga had asked Crayon Pop to open all 29 concerts in North America, but they only agreed to one month because they needed to work on their first full-length album. The album, which was originally planned to be released in June, was delayed because of the Lady Gaga concert tour.
On 23 March, Crayon Pop went oversees and held their first fan meeting in Hong Kong, which was attended by more than 1000 fans and over 70 media outlets.
In late March, Crayon Pop released their fifth single album, "Uh-ee". For this comeback, the girls wore hanbok-inspired clothes, bandanas, and traditional white rubber shoes. Their label, Chrome Entertainment said, "We used Korean traditional clothing because of their comfort, practicality and uniqueness. The girls have been wearing modernized hanbok for their New Year's greeting and photoshoots, and they fell in love with it. They actively expressed that they wanted their stage outfit motif to be the traditional clothes." Kang Jin Woo of the producer team Dumb & Dumber behind Crayon Pop's "Dancing Queen" and "Saturday Night" created the title track instead of "Bar Bar Bar" creator Kim Yoo Min. Crayon Pop had a showcase on 29 March and had their first comeback stage on 3 April on Mnet's Global M! Countdown. Crayon Pop also released a video dance lesson for "Uh-ee" on 2 April, showing the most notable points of their quirky choreography.
In May 2014, Kiscover, a video discovery platform, provided a dedicated streaming channel for Crayon Pop.
On 20 June 2014, Crayon Pop released their first soundtrack, "Hey Mister", for the drama Trot Lovers. The disco-pop dance track played during the closing credits of the drama.
In June and July 2014, Crayon Pop was the opening act for Lady Gaga's ArtRave: The Artpop Ball concert tour in Milwaukee, Atlantic City, Boston, Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. For each of the thirteen concerts, they were on stage for thirty minutes, and performed all six of their singles while the music videos played behind them on projection screens. On 11 July, while in Chicago, Crayon Pop performed "Bar Bar Bar" on the WGN Morning News. On 22 July, Crayon Pop held a fan meeting in Los Angeles; this was their first fan meeting in the United States.
On 24 August 2014, Crayon Pop held their first mini live concert in Taiwan at the Taipei International Convention Center in Taipei.
On 4 August 2014, it was announced that Crayon Pop would come back with their first full-length album in September. However, a month later it was announced that their comeback would be delayed to mid-October. On 22 September, it was announced that the album would be delayed indefinitely, and a sub-unit would debut in October instead. On 25-26 September, it was revealed that Choa and Way would make up the sub-unit, and on 28 September, "Strawberry Milk" was revealed as the sub-unit's name. Their first mini-album will be released on 15 October 2014.
On 26 September, Crayon Pop released "C'mon C'mon", a soundtrack for High School: Love On. Choa had previously made her acting debut in the first episode of the drama.
In June 2013, Crayon Pop received criticism after Way used a phrase popularized on right-wing website Ilbe on Twitter. It was then discovered that Chrome Entertainment's CEO previously mentioned the website on Twitter. CEO Hwang responded by saying he was registered on many popular online communities, including Ilbe, in order to gather information about singers and girl groups. It was also stated that Way's phrase was an example of aegyo and she was not even aware of the website. However, the controversy continued and Crayon Pop was forced to drop their endorsement of internet shopping mall "Auction" after customer complaints. In January 2014, the controversy resurfaced after Ellin allegedly used the Ilbe hand sign. Chrome Entertainment later explained that Ellin was forming the letter "E" with her hand, and all the Crayon Pop members have alphabet hand signs that signify their names.
In August 2013, Crayon Pop was accused of copying the Japanese girl group Momoiro Clover Z in their use of tracksuits, name tags, and helmets. Crayon Pop responded by stating helmets were worn by other groups such as Daft Punk and 45rpm and the tracksuits were inspired by DJ DOC. They also mentioned that name tags were worn during rookies' music show rehearsals and they decided to continue wearing them during performances. That same month, Chrome Entertainment received backlash after announcing they would no longer accept fans' gifts--only monetary contributions for charity. Chrome later issued an apology, but explained that "the members felt burdened when they received expensive gifts". Chrome also released a statement dismissing rumors that the company had political backing or received funding from a chaebol.
In November 2013, the group was again accused of copying the costume of Momoiro Clover Z with their Christmas tree outfits. Chrome Entertainment responded by saying, "It is our first time learning about Momoiro Clover Z's outfit. Since we used the Christmas tree as a concept, it merely looks the same, but it's not plagiarism." Additionally, the song "Lonely Christmas" was accused of plagiarizing the opening theme for the Japanese anime Lupin the Third. Composer Kim Yoo-min responded by saying he had never heard the anime theme song, and the songs only sounded similar because they were both in the bebop genre.
In January 2014, Way was accused of pushing Girls' Generation's Sunny at the Seoul Music Awards. Chrome Entertainment responded by stating, "Way did not push Sunny's back. Ellin, who was in front of Way, pulled at her arm, and at that moment when Way's arm was extended, Girls' Generation's Sunny moved forward, making it look like she was pushed."
On 2 April 2014, "Uh-ee" was ruled unfit for broadcast by KBS because of its Japanese lyrics. A modified version of the song was resubmitted and later performed on Music Bank.
Date of Birth
(1988-06-18) 18 June 1988 (age 26)
(1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 24)
(1990-07-12) 12 July 1990 (age 24)
(1990-07-12) 12 July 1990 (age 24)
(1991-05-15) 15 May 1991 (age 23)
Spelled Gummi before 2014
On 29 September 2014, Chrome Entertainment officially announced the name of the Crayon Pop sub-unit, Strawberry Milk, composed of identical twins Choa and Way. Chrome Entertainment stated, "Ever since Choa and Way joined Crayon Pop, we always thought it would be fun to form a twin unit group... Choa and Way both like milk, so we came up with the idea of including 'milk' in the unit's name, and as strawberry milk fits the team's image, we decided to name the unit 'Strawberry Milk.'" Before the announcement, a contest was held on Facebook for fans to guess the name. The first twenty people who guessed correctly will receive an autographed album.
On 30 September, it was announced that Strawberry Milk's first mini-album, Jackpot, would be released on 15 October. The album has four songs: "OK", "Please Let Me Know", "Hello" and "Feel So Good". The title track, "OK", is an "unplugged dance number with rock sounds" and "Please Let Me Know" is a ballad written by Way, who had previously written songs as a member of indie band N.Dolphin. A music video for "OK" will also be released on 15 October. The first concept photos, depicting Choa and Way bathing in a tub full of strawberry milk, were released on 1 October. Additional photos were released the next day, showing the girls wearing strawberry-inspired dresses while holding over-sized straws and forks.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license