There may be a lot of competition in K-pop when it comes to being the latest trend, but no act has dominated 2016 as much as TWICE. The girl group just celebrated their first anniversary, but they’ve already had a major impact on the Korean mainstream. Since last October, the act has raced past other new rookie groups, thanks to the success of irresistible confections “Like Ooh-Ahh” and “Cheer Up.” Affecting international relations — namely, the Taiwanese presidential election — and spurring viral trends, TWICE has been one of K-pop’s most impactful acts this year.
The outfit’s latest single, “TT,” is once again turning the spotlight towards the nine women. The melodic jam makes use of minimal trap elements to capture TWICE’s distinct style, which has enchanted fans all over the globe. There’s no better time to learn a bit about the lively group of ladies.
1. There Are Nine Members
TWICE has the most members of any group under JYP Entertainment, one of the Big Three Korean entertainment agencies. The next-largest act currently under the agency is GOT7, with seven members. (Nine appears to be a magic number for viral K-pop girl groups: Korea’s most popular all-female outfit, Girls’ Generation, also had nine members until recently.)
2. TWICE Claims to Be “One In a Million”
South Korea may be overflowing with pop acts, but TWICE’s unique calling card is holding to be true as they’re rising from amongst the latest batch of girl groups to become one of the industries most-promising acts. The group’s name is a reference to their ability to capture the attention of audiences through both their visual and sonic abilities. TWICE’s fandom is known as “Once.”
3. The Group Was Formed Through A TV Show
JYP Entertainment unveiled TWICE through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. During the series, 16 of the agency’s female trainees competed for spots in what was planned to be a seven-member girl group. Jihyo, Mina, Jungyeon, Sana, Nayeon, Chaeyoung and Dahyun were all picked for TWICE’s final line-up, but during the series finale it was revealed that Tzuyu and Momo would also be joining the group. (Eliminated Sixteen contestant Somi is currently a member of the widely-popular temporary girl group I.O.I.
4. They Are Super K-Pop Rookies
From the moment TWICE entered the unofficial K-pop Hunger Games, the group saw global success. Their debut EP The Story Begins debuted at no. 15 of Billboard‘s World Albums, chart while its follow up, Page Two, took the no. 6 spot. In a little over a year, they’ve managed to show off their charms stateside at KCON LA, disrupt East Asian politics and start a viral trend in South Korea with the phrase “shy shy shy.”
5. Their Sound Is Defined as “Color Pop”
The upbeat, quirky sound of TWICE’s songs blends many genres in an attempt to create a unique style for the group. While based in bubblegum pop, their high-energy singles have also been influenced by electronica, hip hop, jazz, rap and numerous other sounds.
6. Page Two is the Best-Selling Album By a Korean Girl Group This Year
Although 2016 still has a few months left, TWICE’s second EP is currently the most popular album in South Korea released this year by a girl group. According to JYP Entertainment, more than 160,000 physical copies were sold as fans came out to support the burgeoning act. Male acts typically dominate physical sales due to fervent, largely female, fanbases, but TWICE has been able to surpass gender and age boundaries to win over South Korean listeners.
7. They’re K-pop… But Not All of Them Are Korean
Diversity is a key factor in K-pop as a means to pursue markets outside of Korea, so only about half of TWICE’s members are native Korean. Momo, Mina and Sana are Japanese, while the group’s youngest member, Tzuyu, is Taiwanese. Although she was raised in Japan, Mina was actually born in Texas, making her the group’s only American-born member.
8. TWICE Was The Result of Some Serious Delays at JYP Entertainment
TWICE debuted last year, five years after JYP Entertainment’s prior girl group, miss A. The lengthy stretch from the K-pop megahouse was unplanned. As early as 2014, JYP announced that it would debut a new girl group. TWICE’s Jihyo, Nayeon, and Jeongyeon were all part of that group’s line-up, but the debut was canceled when two JYP trainees left the agency.
9. Each of the Members Has Her Own Branding
While not quite as typecast as the Spice Girls, the nonet has sharply determined identities that are visible through their music videos and live performances. Each visual has featured the nine in incredibly stylized outfits, creating distinct on-screen personas for the members. In “Cheer Up” and “TT,” TWICE donned costumes to highlight each of the member’s individuality.
10. Their Music Videos Are Addictive
Earlier this year, “Cheer Up” became the fastest K-pop video to achieve more than 50 million views on YouTube after reaching the milestone in less than two months. Earlier this week, “TT” overtook the title of fastest K-pop video to 10 million views, overtaking the record recently set by BTS with “Blood, Sweat & Tears” by a half hour. Between the music videos for their three singles since last October, TWICE has achieved well over 200 million views: both “Like Ooh-Ahh” and “Cheer Up” have been viewed well over 90 million views.