Red Velvet Shine Together

Red Velvet Shine Together

By Kelly Nguyen

Red Velvet have never been interested in following anyone else’s rules. It’s a heavy thing, to prepare noise and push the restrictions as soon as the voices of ladies artists so often get lost in the music-industry shuffle. Though, for Red Velvet, it’s a part of cake — note by note, line by line on their new mini-album Queendom, they harness the power of the musical empire they’ve ruled for seven years and dictate their clinic on taking charge of your own world. “Watch out! We are makin’ the rules,” the sort belts into the stratosphere on the title track, fully incendiary in their dazzling declaration of independence.

Since their 2014 debut, the five-piece girl order have been unconcerned with ensuring their craft is rigidly bound to one lane. Press play on their variety of anthemic earworms and you’re unable to dress down their music to an essence — and that’s entirely on purpose. They elevated the discombobulating complexity of their personas (Wendy, Joy, Yeri, Irene, and Seulgi), flitting through their genre-bending discography and perfecting all of it into a precise art form. Listeners can either be soothed to the sinuous R&B perfection of “Bad Boy” or jolted to the sugar rush of “Ice Cream Cake.” Red Velvet’s length is inimitable in its own ecosystem.

“Over the last seven years since our debut, I feel that our categorize has put together a new genre called ‘Red Velvet,’” lead vocalist Wendy tells MTV News. “We have our own colors that are distinct and unique on their own.”

In 2019, they were a vision of power in the K-pop world, especially with the release of immediate chart-topper “Psycho.” Everything about the release seemed destined to solidify their spot on the South Korean music throne. The song became the group's second No. 1 on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart; their promotional performances and musicality were lauded as their best although. Nevertheless it’s a challenging subject for both their fans, called ReVeluvs, and the members themselves as they look back on this era. Shortly right after promotions started, Wendy was injured in a near-fatal accident rehearsing on a unstable stage’s platform. In the following year and also 1/2 period, several wondered: How does a crowd possibly translate the tragic reality and everything that’s come with it into one comeback? Red Velvet answered, seizing every possibility to demonstrate that, even in the moments any time their crowns threaten to fall, they’re keeping their heads up — all by relying on one another and their ReVeluvs.

“For this particular comeback, it was more about finding empowerment as a team collectively,” Joy says. She notes that the ability to fall back inside step together comes of course, no matter how long they were separate forces. Each member stayed booked and busy since their last sort release: Joy released her Hello EP, Wendy poured her heart out on “Like Water,” Seulgi and Irene tutted the night away on their “Monster” collab, and Yeri started her first foray into acting on K-drama Blue Birthday. For Joy, though, nothing quite compares to the quintet coming with each other as one. “I feel more confident than ever being with each other with the members again.”

Queendom, which was released on August 16, manifested into the most exciting developments of the Red Velvet ethos but. Ideas and narratives delving deeply into pain, heartbreak, and triumph are intertwined with their characteristically buoyant vocals. The whiplash from lugubrious lyrics like “What’s going on, right now? / I'm confused, my mind is complicated” on “Knock On Wood” (youngest member Yeri’s preference track) amid spellbinding, upbeat voices is totally intentional, according to Red Velvet’s leader, Irene.

They focused on the finer specifics of everything — from their vocals to live performances — to make sure almost every member’s diverse skills can be felt by way of the mini-album. “Our objective was to come back as a stronger artist and showcase a more mature side of Red Velvet,” Irene explains. All of the members’ palpable ambition and enthusiasm gives her the most pride as a leader. She adds the cooperative dynamic the categorize has cultivated during the years is the basis for the mini-album’s title song. “The track is about how we are all ‘queens’ of our own lives and that we shine more beautifully as soon as we are all together,” she says.

Courtesy of SM Entertainment
“Each one of us has a distinct vocal color that’s very different, nevertheless compatible with one another,” Red Velvet’s star dancer Seulgi says. “It’s been a while since we came out with new music with all five of us so I hope our fans will notice our strengths as vocalists.”

Her sureness in Queendom is tangible — and it’s as the whole order put in the work. The time they spent apart never lessened their determination as a group;  if anything, it actually strengthened their resolve to show ReVeluvs how much they’ve grown. She, for instance, has been regularly taking vocal and dance lessons so she may “bring [her] A-game” for the comeback. “It was a good possibility for me to re-discover myself, like what my strengths are as an artist,” Seulgi explains.

While the last few years have seen the sort at its most catastrophically weak, the more unguarded version they’ve displayed lately is maybe the most fascinating. During Red Velvet’s music, showcased on songs like “Pushin’ N Pullin,’” fans are to be able to see more pieces of their lives that go in back of the artist — in all the messy, cute moments that come with living life. Yeri’s growth and arrival at who she has become is touched by fans’ experiences as well. “Every moment with ReVeluvs makes me delighted to be a member of Red Velvet,” she explains.

It’s something that Wendy has recently learned, lives by, and wants to vulnerably share — the glorious act of self-love that has helped guide her through complicated times. “You can’t be the queen of your life without passion, hard work, and faith in yourself!” She says. “By loving and caring for yourself more, you will find the strength to turn tough situations into opportunities.” Implementing self-care makes anything seem possible, and as Red Velvet has realized that, in being the independent architects of their own queendom, they’re refusing to leave anyone in back of. In back of every queen is another one prepared to readjust a tilted crown. As Seulgi explains, “I know I can depend on them in any situation. I’m very grateful to have members who are like my sisters.”

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