After IVE established itself as a leading girl group in the next generation of K-pop acts with three hit singles, the sextet begins the next, most international step in their career yet with the release of their next single under a brand-new label deal.
The opening lyrics to IVE’s latest track, “Kitsch,” seems prophetic as member Wonyoung opens by singing, “It’s our time.” While the new song has all the markings of a quintessential global-pop hit to stand alongside past IVE singles “Eleven,” “Love Dive” and “After Like,” “Kitsch” crucially includes the girls’ now-signature themes and lyrics of oozing confidence and self-love.
“Even our OOTD is just so like us/ When it comes to my favorite things/ Don’t judge them,” leader Yujin sings before youngest member Leeseo ends the verse with, “I live the way I want, what more do you want/ That’s my style.”
The accompanying music video plays off the similar YOLO themes of following one’s unique path as Wonyoung sings in front of a mural of herself, and the girls ferociously and playfully dance together in front of a neon sign with the phrase: “You’re So Weird, Don’t Change.” There’s even a bit of social commentary when the camera pans to a design on one of the members’ jacket back, with details boasting the phrase “Books, not guns. Culture, not violence.”
“Kitsch” is the pre-release buzz single for the group’s forthcoming full-length album I’ve IVE dropping next month. The track comes as the first step after IVE signed a worldwide deal with Columbia Records in the States. Columbia will team with IVE’s Korean label Starship Entertainment (home to Monsta X, WJSN, CRAVITY, Jeong Sewoon, and other K-pop artists) and Kakao Entertainment America (the new, U.S.-based branch of Kakao Entertainment (the media and music-distribution subsidiary under South Korean technology company Kakao).
“We’re thrilled to be embarking on IVE’s global journey with Columbia Records, a company with a rich history in pop music,” said Joseph Chang, head of Kakao Entertainment America, in a press release. “This partnership holds significant meaning for us. By strengthening the production and distribution capabilities of our music and artists in North America, we look forward to increasing the global competitiveness of Kakao Entertainment’s music business.”
After what Kakao Entertainment describes as “IVE’s North America debut,” the company pledged overseas support for its artists careers and expanding its music business globally.
Beyond Starship, Kakao Entertainment owns and distributes music multiple K-pop labels including IST Entertainment (home to popular groups like Apink, Victon, The Boyz and Weeekly), EDAM (an agency created for solo superstar IU that recently expanded by signing WOODZ), and Antenna (the label founded by musician and TV host You Hee-yeol boasting rock bands, ballad singers, entertainment hosts and more).
For international distribution outside the U.S., IVE has signed with Sony Music’s subsidiary distributor The Orchard.
IVE’s full-length album I’ve IVE (which stands for “I Have IVE,” per press release) drops on April 10 with new songs alongside “Kitsch” as well as a new single.
Check out the video for “Kitsch” below.