“Cupid” by Fifty Fifty (stylized as FIFTY FIFTY) has turn out to be the little Ok-pop music that would. Launched by impartial label Attrakt (stylized as ATTRAKT), the irresistibly bouncy lament on fashionable love has grown right into a crossover phenomenon on the again of natural social media virality, intelligent advertising and marketing and a “Twin Model” in English. Up to now, “Cupid” has peaked at No. 4 on Spotify’s World 200 and on YouTube’s World High Songs chart, and No. 41 on the Billboard Scorching 100. And that’s earlier than Warner Data, who not too long ago picked up the banger for North America, takes it to radio.
So the place did Fifty Fifty and their seemingly unstoppable hit come from? As a way to compete with main energy gamers like HYBE and YG Leisure, Attrakt — beneath the steering of Ok-pop svengali Sung-Il Ahn (referred to as SIAHN) — tore up the rulebook. Realizing they lacked the monetary assets and company infrastructure of their rivals, the indie label opted for innovation.
Siahn, the founding father of a artistic content material improvement group referred to as the Givers, was approached by Attrakt to assist begin a woman group. “The corporate was not outfitted to provide an idol group, so I started offering consulting providers,” the music govt, who later was appointed co-CEO of the label, tells Selection. “CEO Chun promised me his full help once I advised him that we would wish to vary nearly the whole lot.” And alter the whole lot he did.
Below his steering, Attrakt overhauled all areas of planning and manufacturing together with “expertise discovery and coaching curriculum improvement.” Fifty Fifty members Saena, Aran, Keena, and Sio accomplished their Ok-pop boot camp in 2022 and had been hand chosen for stardom. As a substitute of slotting the group right into a pre-selected sound (as is frequent in Ok-pop), Siahn tailor-made the music to Fifty Fifty’s particular person strengths.
“We targeting growing every member’s distinctive traits and bettering their weaknesses,” Siahn says. “We prioritized growing a novel identification for the group throughout the planning part, which led us to seek out music that will showcase every member’s particular person fashion.” There was a acutely aware resolution to keep away from typical Ok-pop tropes and developments, and as a substitute concentrate on basic pop music with relatable messaging.
“My focus was on the music itself, reasonably than any particular fashion or style,” Siahn says of “Cupid,” which he additionally co-wrote and produced. “The members had a constructive response once I performed it for them, which inspired me to start out engaged on the undertaking immediately.” Whereas artists and producers typically have little or no interplay within the Ok-Pop world, Fifty Fifty had been concerned from the start.
“I spent loads of time speaking with the members and gauging their response to the music,” Siahn continues. “The ultimate results of ‘Cupid’ may have been totally totally different in the event that they didn’t prefer it.” The group not solely beloved it, but additionally related with the subject material. “I imagine that Fifty Fifty’s distinctive colour comes from the heartfelt feelings that the members categorical by their music, reflecting their experiences and progress as artists and human beings.”
With “Cupid” within the can, Attrakt additionally needed to assume exterior the field when it got here to advertising and marketing. Once more they turned to Siahn and The Givers. “We actively sought methods to focus on the group’s distinctive qualities,” the group’s mastermind says. This concerned a filming mini-documentary that has amassed thousands and thousands of views on YouTube and, maybe most significantly, an English-language model (dubbed the “Twin Model”) that blew up on TikTok after followers tinkered with the tempo.
Whereas English-language variations of Ok-pop songs are more and more frequent, they’re often rolled out after the unique and continuously really feel like an afterthought. That’s not the case right here. “The ‘Twin Model’ is extra centered on the music and message, expressed by a barely totally different mixing fashion and association,” Siahn says. “The rationale we named it the ‘Twin Model’ is that the 2 songs are similar in some facets, however totally different in others.”
“To achieve individuals of various cultural backgrounds, we selected to advertise each variations on the identical time,” Siahn continues. It turned out to be an impressed transfer because the virality of the ‘Twin Model’, notably on TikTok, caught the eye of Warner Data. “We’re delighted that Fifty Fifty is at the moment receiving their full promotional help,” Siahn says. “Our sincerest thanks exit to everybody at Warner for his or her distinctive effort.”
What does Siahn in the end put the music’s success right down to? “The sped-up variations on social media platforms, along with the English model, performed a significant function in propelling the music to viral standing,” he says. “The music’s world enchantment was additionally strengthened by the huge quantity of UGC produced by followers and listeners worldwide. Above all, the music’s message, which the members conveyed with sincerity by music, resonated with individuals of all ages.”
When requested if Ok-pop has probably peaked exterior of Asia, Siahn takes a macro view. “Defining Ok-pop is a subject of debate, with differing views on whether or not it’s a style or a phenomenon of fandom tradition,” he muses. “From the angle of a Ok-pop artist, I imagine that efforts to reach the worldwide market will persist, and there shall be quite a few triumphs sooner or later.” He pauses so as to add: “Maybe Fifty Fifty is likely one of the many success instances, don’t you assume?”