WINNER’s ‘Debut’… Where Did Their Potent Fandom Begin?

YG’s rookie boy group WINNER hit a home run, upon making their debut. WINNER is not only sweeping music charts based on their solid fandom, but also making all the songs in their debut album enter top places in charts, which is a difficult achievement even for top singers. Such an achievement is drawing all the more attention, as it is rather a case for popular singers, than for a rookie singer who has just made debut.

WINNER’s strong fandom that began even before their debut seems to be playing a significant role in creating such a feat. WINNER made their name before the official debut, by appearing in a survival audition show and a reality show. Their fandom built in that process is exploding now, after WINNER’s official debut.

Then, how could WINNER build such a powerful fandom comparable to that of top stars even before their debut?

# Gained favor of the public in survival-reality shows

WINNER was a team that was selected directly by the public, in cable channel Mnet’s survival show “WIN: WHO IS NEXT” last year. In the show, WINNER created an attractive drama before their debut, by presenting stories of their passion for music, as well as fierce competition against Team B. Plus, their natural appeal displayed in the process of production of the debut album, which was shown in reality show “WINNER TV”, also contributed to the establishment of the strong fandom.

Furthermore, WINNER has gained substantial stage experiences by standing on the opening stage of BIGBANG’s Japan six dome tour and 2NE1’s world tour as a guest performer, to receive attention from foreign fans. Plus, a large-scale promotion that was implemented for five weeks before the official debut also built the brand “WINNER”, successfully catching the eyes of the public with a differentiated concept which was not like that of a rookie.

# KANG SEUNG YOON from “Super Star K” & LEE SEUNG HOON from “K-Pop Star”

KANG SEUNGYOON and LEE SEUNGHOON, who came under the spotlight in Korea’s leading audition shows “Super Star K” of Mnet and “Survival Audition K-Pop Star” of SBS, respectively, also contributed to the establishment of WINNER’s fandom. KANG SEUNG YOON gained publicity when he appeared in “Super Star K Season 2” in 2010, and enjoyed popularity for his acting in situation comedy program “High Kick! 3”. He also made an official debut in summer last year, by releasing solo songs, building a fixed fandom.

LEE SEUNG HOON, who was extolled for his natural-born talent of dancing in “K-Pop Star Season 1”, also played a big role in heightening WINNER’s recognition. Since he was already famous for his talent before an official debut, he enabled WINNER to create a more familiar image toward the general public.

# High expectations for BIGBANG’s younger YG brother

People’s expectations for WINNER were further heightened, as WINNER is BIGBANG’s younger brother that is born for the first time in nine years after BIGBANG’s debut. In fact, WINNER came under a big spotlight even before their official debut, just for the reason that they are the only younger brother of BIGBANG and 2NE1. YG head Yang Hyun Suk’s expression of his confidence in WINNER also contributed to the high expectations. That resulted in big interest in WINNER and WINNER turned the interest into their fandom, through a variety of activities and performances before debut.

Now, WINNER has successfully met such expectations by filling their debut album with songs written by themselves. Title track “empty” was jointly produced by B.I and BOBBY of Team B who competed against Team A, now WINNER, in “WIN” show, with SONG MIN HO taking part in writing the lyrics. Plus, another title track “Color Ring” was produced by collaboration of KANG SEUNG YOON, SONG MIN HO, and LEE SEUNG HOON, with KANG SEUNG YOON as the main producer. While satisfying the high expectations that further heightened because of the delay of their debut with quality music, WINNER has now established themselves as singer-songwriters.

Notably, WINNER declared their differentiation from existing idol groups and went against many people’s expectation, to concentrate on music itself and fully exert their music talent with a sentimental hip-hop song as the title track. They are said to have successfully created and presented their unique color, based on a public appeal.

That is why many people are paying a keen attention to the next moves of WINNER, who is setting new records in the music scene upon their debut, based on a solid fandom and talent.

Meanwhile, WINNER will give an official debut performance in “YG Family Concert” of “AIA REAL LIFE : NOW FESTIVAL 2014” that will be held on the 15 this month at the main stadium of Jamsil Sports Complex located in Seoul.

Credits: YG-LIFE

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