Artist Of The Week: BLACKPINK

BLACKPINK is a quartet signed by YG Entertainment record label, one of the biggest labels in South Korea. (John Lin/Creative Commons Flickr)

For some reason, I have found a new fascination in K-pop for only one girl group in particular. BLACKPINK is a quartet a part of the YG Entertainment record label, which is one of the biggest labels in South Korea. They came into the music scene with a bang in August 2016 and have since become one of the most popular groups in K-pop.

YG Entertainment is known to produce some of the biggest names in K-pop: BIGBANG, iKON, TaeYang, 2EN1 and even PSY, just to name a few. BLACKPINK is the newest group to be added to the roster, and these girls are the first girl group to be under the YG label since 2EN1 formed back in 2009.

The group consists of four members: Jisoo is the oldest of the group and joined YG as a trainee back in 2011 until breaking out as the lead vocalist for BLACKPINK. Jennie became a part of the YG family in 2010 and featured in several songs by other YG artists back in 2013. Rosé, despite being of Korean descent, was raised in Australia until she joined YG in 2012; like Jennie, she appeared as a featured vocalist on several songs under the YG label before joining the group. Lisa, my personal favorite in the group, is the youngest and not even Korean—she’s Thai; Lisa became YG’s first non-Korean artist after being the only one inducted into YG during their tour in Thailand in 2010, eventually joining the label in 2011.

Speculation about the new group began all the way back in 2012, which shows how much planning goes into the K-pop music industry, but the official reveal of the members and group name was not released until June 2016.

BLACKPINK dropped their first EP called “Square One” in August 2016 and subsequently saw their two debut singles, “Boombayah” and “Whistle,” jump to the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively, of the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. As of April 2017, they are the fastest group to do so. “Whistle” went to No. 1 on South Korea’s Gaon Music Chart.

In November of that same year, BLACKPINK released a second EP, this one called “Square Two,” and featuring two more singles: “Playing With Fire” and “Stay.” “Playing With Fire” was the group’s second single to hit No. 1 on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart and even went on to chart in Japan, China and Canada.

I don’t know why this group caught my attention the way it did, but something about their sound just hooked me. Even if I can’t understand the language, it’s the music that you fall in love with. BLACKPINK has a mix between pop, hip-hop and trap, all bundled up into one well-produced group. It’s no surprise that all four of their songs have a collective 385 million views on YouTube and 72 million streams on Spotify.


These girls are the next big thing in K-pop, so I’m happy that I stumbled across them one day. They’ve been on hiatus since the release of “Square Two,” but a comeback is planned for BLACKPINK some time in May; I know I’ll be waiting in anticipation.


Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.