Red Velvet – Your Sweet New Obsession


With K-pop becoming more and more mainstream in recent years, there are a plethora of groups to listen to and enjoy— so what sets Red Velvet, a long-standing and revolutionary group, apart from other, newer girl groups? 


Red Velvet originally debuted as a quartet on Aug. 1, 2014, with a fifth member added on March 11, 2015. They have been managed by SM Entertainment since their debut, and the quintet currently has five albums and 13 EPs released: more than enough songs to showcase their unique concept. Red Velvet, unlike other girl groups, is a dual-concept group, meaning that all of their songs can be categorized as either having a “Red” or “Velvet” sound, hence the group’s name. Red songs are more vivid and upbeat experimental songs — “Red Flavor,” “Power Up,” and “Russian Roulette,” to name a few songs, fall into this category — whereas Velvet songs are, in comparison, more toned-down, classy, and R&B inspired — “Peek-A-Boo,” “Bad Boy,” and “Psycho” are great examples of this concept. 


The group is also known for being much more popular with young women than with men, a fact that is surprising considering the usual fanbase for girl groups is men. Some have attributed this to the fact that Red Velvet doesn’t just stick to the cute, bubbly sound that might be expected from a girl group. Their Velvet songs are perfect proof of this, as well as their more experimental and “unique” Red songs. That in itself goes to show that for them, music isn’t just about popularity — it’s an art form, and they’re dedicated to the more artsy side of things. 


Even when they’re not performing together, the members are more than able to prove their skills. Irene and Seulgi — two members of the quintet — released their duet EP, Monster, on July 6, 2020, and they are the first subunit of the group. This release was followed by two solo EPs in 2021 by members Wendy, with “Like Water,” and Joy, with “Hello,” on April 5 and May 31 respectively. Yeri, the youngest member, made her solo debut on March 14, 2022, with a solo song titled “Dear Diary.” Red Velvet is also involved in SM Entertainment’s newest “supergroup” called Girls on Top, or GOT for short. Two members — Irene and Seulgi — were chosen to feature alongside other female artists from their agency in the supergroup’s debut unit, “GOT the Beat.” GOT’s concept involves rotating units made up of female artists already signed on to SM Entertainment, so it’s expected that in the future, the other three Red Velvet members will get their chance to be featured.


With their eight-year debut anniversary rapidly approaching, it’s unlikely that Red Velvet will be disbanding any time soon. Their latest album, which was released on March 21, 2022 with the title track “Feel My Rhythm,” received over 500,000 preorders — a record for the quintet. They’re clearly still only going up when it comes to popularity, and it’s easy to see why this group is one of the sweetest groups around.