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.