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K-Pop Gears Up for Competitive February, With New Releases From Red Velvet, Block B & More
Zion.T, BTS, Twice & other top K-pop acts prep for a fierce month.
After January kicked off the year with a fair amount of music from some popular Korean acts, February is setting itself up to be the true start of the 2017 K-pop season.
Wednesday (Jan. 25) saw hip-pop boy band Block B, quirky girl group Red Velvet and R&B crooner Zion.T release teaser material for their February comebacks. Other popular acts, including BTS and TWICE, also recently announced that they’ll be dropping new music in the next month.
Zion.T and Red Velvet will begin the month, each releasing new albums on Feb. 1.
OO will be Zion. T’s first EP since the R&B artist joined The Black Label, a sub-label headed by YG Entertainment producer Teddy Park (Bigbang's "Fxxk It," Blackpink's "Whistle"), last year. The album includes eight tracks, including an instrumental version of the intro track "Cinema." Rapper Beenzino and K-pop star G-Dragon collaborated with Zion.T on the songs "Sorry" and "Complex," respectively.
Red Velvet will return with a new six-track EP, Rookie. On Wednesday, the girl group released a bright teaser video that featured a film set run by what appears to be a puppeteer. SM Entertainment, Red Velvet’s agency, revealed that “Rookie” will be a “pop dance song with funky and groovy rhythms." The group saw major success with similarly energetic songs in the past, including 2015’s “Dumb Dumb” and 2016’s “Russian Roulette.”
Block B, fronted by the popular rapper Zico, also announced plans to return in February with new music. “Yesterday” will be the follow-up to last year’s widely acclaimed “Toy.”
Two of 2016’s most popular K-pop acts are planning to release new versions of old albums: BTS will release Wings: You Never Walk Alone on Feb. 13 as a follow-up to last year’s record-breaking album Wings. After its release in October, the album became the highest-charting K-pop project ever on the Billboard 200, launching at No. 26.
TWICE will also reissue their 2016 album, Twicecoaster: Lane 1, in the second half of February. The album saw them achieve major success with the single “TT,” the follow-up to one of last year’s biggest earworms, April’s “Cheer Up.”
Other acts set to release material are rapper-producer Mad Clown, who will team up with rookie group Bolbbalgan4 for a new single on Feb. 3, and pop band Day6, who will release two new singles on Feb. 6 as part of their year-long Every Day6 project. Other popular acts confirmed to release music in February include legendary K-pop soloist BoA and idol groups Lovelyz and Monsta X.