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Emerging Artists Spotlight: ITZY

This week's Emerging Artists Spotlight pick is K-pop girl group ITZY.

Welcome to Emerging Artists Spotlight, a new Billboard series where we highlight a musician who has recently made his or her debut on the Emerging Artists chart. Whether they are new to the industry, or have been around for a while but are just starting to have a chart impact, the intention is to showcase where they are here and now. This week’s pick is five-piece K-pop act ITZY, who debuted at No. 34 on the chart dated August 10 following the release of their debut EP, It’z Icy.


K-pop quintet ITZY arrived on the South Korean music scene earlier this year with their debut single “Dalla Dalla,” a vibrant, addicting track all about reveling in one’s own special differences and loving oneself. Since its release in February, the song has gone on to become one of the biggest K-pop hits of the year, peaking at No. 2 on the World Digital Song Sales chart on March 2.

Now ITZY is back with their second single “Icy” and first album It’z Icy, and the new music landed them on the Emerging Artists chart, where the girl group premiered at No. 34 on the chart dated Aug. 10. Their debut on the chart can be credited to the act’s strong social media presence and growing following, landing them at No. 20 on the Social 50 chart this week too; they previously peaked on that chart at No. 19 ahead of the release of “Icy.”  

According to the group, whose members describe their identity to Billboard using words like “special,” “confident” and “unique,” the new album was inspired and motivated by the response to their first single. “Ever since our debut, we always search “ITZY” and we always read those precious letters and comments of our fans, along with the press releases that we’re mentioned in,” they tell Billboard as a group. “We’re really honored and thankful for the attention and we always motivate ourselves to be a group worthy of those words.”

While it’s only their first album, the pressure was high for ITZY to return with an impactful follow-up to “Dalla Dalla,” and Lia says that she wanted everyone to take away from this album “the fact that ITZY is a monster rookie,” while Ryujin hopes that they “leave a strong impression about our performance.” 

Hailing from JYP Entertainment, which has previously produced many popular K-pop acts and is well known for producing hit girl groups Wonder Girls and TWICE, ITZY is eager to carve out their place in the K-pop scene as it continues to become more and more popular internationally. “Many great artists before us have been representing K-pop globally, and we grew our dream watching them,” they say. “It would be an honor to represent and receive a chance to perform in front of our global fans, just like our senior (former) artists. We want to be part of the influence great music and performance.” 

“We hope everyone feels the energy that ITZY has,” says Chaeryoung. 

ITZY will perform for the first time in the U.S. later this month at KCON 2019 Los Angeles, but ahead of that appearance, get to learn a bit more about ITZY below.

Members: Yeji (19), Lia (19), Ryujin (18), Chaeryeong (18) and Yuna (15) 

Hometowns: Yeji – Jeonju, South Korea

Lia – Incheon, South Korea

Ryujin – Seoul, South Korea

Chaeryeong – Yongin, South Korea

Yuna – Suwon, South Korea

Recommended ITZY Songs: Yeji – “Icy”

Lia – “Dalla Dalla”

Ryujin – “Want It?”

Chaeryeong – “It’z Summer”

Yuna – “Cherry”

Passions outside of work: Yeji – Beauty

Lia – Shopping, Work out, Food

Ryujin – Drama, Cereal

Chaeryeong – Inner beauty

Yuna – Surfing, Swimming

What’s ITZY looking forward to next?: “We made our first appearance with ‘Dalla Dalla,’ and now we’re back with ‘Icy.’ In between, we also got a fandom name called ‘Midzy’ – meaning ‘trust’ in Korean. We’re really grateful for what happened in just six months, but we feel the need to practice and work harder, since this is only the start. We promise to be back with great music and performance, so please look forward for us!”