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Sunday, September 25, 2022

[CELEB] It’s only taken nine years, but Mamamoo finally has a subunit

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A concept image for Mamamoo+'s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. The song features rapper BIG Naughty, far right. [RBW]
A concept image for Mamamoo+’s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. The song features rapper BIG Naughty, far right. [RBW]

Mamamoo, a girl group known for its diva-like image, launched its first subunit on Tuesday: Mamamoo+.

Comprised of members Solar and Moonbyul, Mamamoo+ released the single “Better” the same day, which features R&B singer and rapper BIG Naughty. The lyrics send a hopeful message of how spending time with loved ones can serve as comfort in a world of monotony.

It may come as a surprise to Moomoo, the name of Mamamoo’s fans, because while most K-pop groups debut their subunits within a few years, it took nine years for Mamamoo to do the same. The plus sign in Mamamoo+ represents a new concept in addition to the original Mamamoo, its agency RBW says, adding that it won’t confine itself to any limitations on how the subunit will present music or perform.

A concept image for Mamamoo+'s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. [RBW]
A concept image for Mamamoo+’s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. [RBW]

“Better” is more lighthearted and easygoing than Mamamoo’s previous hit songs, like “Um Oh Ah Yeh” (2015), “You’re the best” (2016), “Décalcomanie” (2016), “Yes I am” (2017), “Starry Night” (2018), “Egotistic” (2018), “Gogobebe” (2019), “Hip” (2019) and “Aya” (2020). Mamamoo, as a whole, tends to have a powerful vocal range with a girl-crush image, which explains why the group is known to have a significant proportion of female fans.
 
Solar and Moonbyul revealed through its agency how Mamamoo+ and “Better” were created. The following are edited excerpts.

Mamamoo consists of members, from left, Moonbyul, Solar, Wheein and Hwasa [RBW]
Mamamoo consists of members, from left, Moonbyul, Solar, Wheein and Hwasa [RBW]

Q. Mamamoo+ is Mamamoo’s first subunit group. What are your thoughts?

A. Solar: My biggest thought is how much I’m enjoying the process. I’m looking forward to how much we’re going to show Moomoo a new concept. I really want to make new memories with them through “Better.”

Moonbyul: I’m thrilled at how we’re able to show a different side than when we release music solo or as an entire group. I think this is an opportunity for us to show everyone our chemistry [between Solar and Moonbyul] and have a great time with Moomoo, which is why we had so much fun preparing for it.

What kind of a subunit is Mamamoo+?


Solar: Mamamoo+ is a unit project that adds new charms to Solar and Moonbyul. Like this single, we can collaborate with another artist, and this in turn can become a new concept or genre. We think it has the potential to illustrate so many different things.

A concept image for Mamamoo+'s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. [RBW]
A concept image for Mamamoo+’s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. [RBW]

Tell us more about “Better (feat. BIG Naughty).”


Moonbyul: “Better” gives listeners hope in the sense that when you spend time with people you love, anything can get better. It’s a casual song to groove to like background music for when you feel like you have too much on your mind — it’s sure to ease your mind.

Solar: We ourselves feel happier when we listen to “Better,” which is why we chose this song as Mamamoo+’s debut track. It almost felt like we were back in our rookie days (laughs). It’s airy and sweet and we felt wonderful when we were recording it too. We put emphasis on sending messages of healing to people who are going through a hard time. We tried our best to incorporate positive vibes into the song.


How did you come to collaborate with BIG Naughty? What was it like to work with him?


Moonbyul: BIG Naughty previously made a guest appearance on “Studio Moon Night” on Naver Now [a radio program show hosted by Moonbyul since 2021]. At the time we did talk about working together on a song, but I didn’t expect to collaborate on this one. It was fun shooting the music video with him; we were like bread and butter.

Mamamoo debuted with the song ″Mr. Ambiguous″ (2014) and its black-and-white music video, shown here. [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Mamamoo debuted with the song ″Mr. Ambiguous″ (2014) and its black-and-white music video, shown here. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Any future plans for Mamamoo+?


Solar: We finally announced the beginning of our subunit, and we’re planning to experiment with many different concepts. Please look forward to it. We want to thank Moomoo for giving us the courage to try out new things. Thank you always.
Moonbyul: There is so much we want to do in our subunit, and we’re going to reveal them one by one. There’s a lot to show in the future. Enjoy “Better,” and don’t go elsewhere — we’ll be back.

A concept image for Mamamoo+'s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. Here shows Moonbyul. [RBW]
A concept image for Mamamoo+’s ″Better″ (2022), which dropped Tuesday. Here shows Moonbyul. [RBW]

Moonbyul (Moon Byul-e)
 
Date of Birth: Dec. 22, 1992
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bucheon, Gyeonggi
Debut: June 2014 as a member of girl group Mamamoo
Agency: RBW
 
Moonbyul debuted through Mamamoo’s first EP “Hello” and its lead track “Mr. Ambiguous” in 2014. She typically raps while the other three members of the group, Solar, Wheein and Hwasa, sing. The group has seen steady success with songs like “Um Oh Ah Yeh” (2015), “You’re the best” (2016), “Décalcomanie” (2016), “Yes I am” (2017), “Starry Night” (2018), “Egotistic” (2018), “Gogobebe” (2019), “Hip” (2019) and “Aya” (2020). Moonbyul has also ventured out as a solo singer since 2018, releasing songs like “Selfish” (2018), “Weird Day” (2020), “Eclipse” (2020), “Absence” (2020), “Lunatic” (2022) and “C.I.I.T (Cheese in the Trap)” (2022).
 
This information was confirmed by RBW on Aug. 30, 2022.

Moonbyul in the music video for her solo song ″C.I.I.T (Cheese in the Trap)″ (2022) [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Moonbyul in the music video for her solo song ″C.I.I.T (Cheese in the Trap)″ (2022) [SCREEN CAPTURE]

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [shin.minhee@joongang.co.kr]

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