Chungha’s solo debut is not something that I expected to be successful. These days, female dance-pop solos usually flop on the charts, with the public preferring girl groups over soloists. Even BoA’s ballads and midtempos do better than her dancier stuff, while Taeyeon’s¬†flawless “Why” noticeably under-performed compared to her ballads.

However, Chungha’s “Why Don’t You Know” (read my review)¬†is bucking the trend. The safe-but-great trop-house track has already reached No. 16 on the Gaon chart and is climbing up Melon’s top 100 faster than Nine Muses fell off it. It’s already out-peaked all of the other Produce 101 girl groups on the charts (Pristin, WJSN, DIA, Gugudan), and by the end of the week it’ll have outsold them all too. Soon it’ll be bigger than G-Dragon’s chin implant! Next time I.O.I gets together, Chungha should start singing “why don’t you chart-art-art” to the other members.

I usually know everything, but I’m not quite sure what the secret of Chungha’s solo success is. “Why Don’t You Know” is a great song, but great songs flop all the time. Chungha also never ranked as the prettiest or most popular member of I.O.I, and her agency is smaller than Taeyang’s stature. With that said, it was smart of her to stand out as a soloist instead of being lost in a girl group like her fellow I.O.I members.

She also skipped the cute concept, which has been so overdone at this point that it’s becoming hard to tell one group from the next. With the over-saturation of cute groups, it’s no wonder that MAMAMOO and 2NE2 BLACKPINK are slaying Melon right now. Trop-house is also really big in Korea at the moment, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Chungha’s follow-up is a future-bass track.

With Chungha emerging as a real solo star, it’ll be interesting to see how BoA’s “Camo” comeback does on the charts. It’ll be her first real dance release since the “Hurricane Venus” era, so if it does well then it could be a sign that female dance solos are finally back in fashion again.

  • culchan

    I think this has less to do with the quality of the release and much much more to do with the audience’s appetite for IOI vs non-IOI product. Sure, Pristin, DIA, et al get some traction from having IOI members. But a girl group with unfamiliar non-IOI members doesn’t come off as “IOI-plus”; it comes off as “IOI-minus”.

    If IOI had a comeback, don’t you think it would slay to infinity? Somi’s debut, if it ever happens, could be her standing around scratching her butt while singing some Miss A reject off key, and it would be all-kill.

    That said, I don’t know jack about the actual dynamics in play with the Korean music sales scene; this is just my gut.

  • Pingback: LOONA's JinSoul makes a splash with "Singin' In The Rain" - arcadey()

  • KingBeaArthur

    she sounds awful on the chorus! I had to stop the song.

    • LMAO!!! It’s true, her vocals do sound bad. It’s like a song for Taeyeon sung by Hara. But the song itself is good!

  • Pez

    Might be my trop song of the year beating out leave a light on by dragonette if it wasn’t for that horrid sounding rap. Seriously, I don’t recall a song being ruined this much by a rap since heartbreaker.

    • I so agree about the rap, just awful! Will have to check out the Dragonette song.

  • Kyulkyung’s Middle Finger

    i am floored by the success of her debut tbh. how it charted higher than any of the other I.O.I members is beyond me.

    the best release post I.O.I in my opinion (for now, at least, because i am still pressed for Sohye solo that i’ve been anticipating.