Generally, among most in the K-pop community, the topic of having non-Koreans as members in K-pop groups can draw a negative response.
Sometimes they will be well-received like Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany and Jessica (the latter has since left the band), Amber of f(x), Somi, and Jackson of Got7. Other times, not so much such as Alex formerly of Rania (BP Rania) or EXP Edition.
With that in mind, it seemed crazy that Mnet wanted to create a reality television series in which they would create a K-pop girl group consisting of only international members (non-Koreans).
Surprisingly, it worked and the K-pop community is loving them. They recently released their debut music video Popsicle and it is easy to say they not only nailed it, but they did it in respect to K-pop.
UHSN was formed through a new variety show on Mnet called Foreign Schoolgirl. The concept of the show is to create a girl group consisting of foreigners (non-Koreans) who have a love for K-pop.
Mnet released an international call to everyone to participate and in the end, ten girls were picked for the show. Below are the ten members and the countries they are from.
- Lisu (Estonia)
- Vlada (Ukraine)
- Nada (Egypt)
- Oline (Norway)
- Mind (Thailand)
- Maria (USA)
- Deesee (Russia)
- Erii (Japan)
- Livia (Sweden)
- Luna (Poland)
Out of the members, it should be noted that both Maria and Erii either have experience on variety shows or in girl groups. Maria was on I Can See Your Voice 6 while Erii was a member of the popular Japanese supergroup AKB48.
Popsicle surprises everyone
The members of Foreign Schoolgirl went through the rigors of becoming K-pop idols for a girl group. Singing, dancing, and exercise are a part of such training but the social and language studies are probably more important in this case. The last thing any of these girls need to be in Korea is offensive or disrespectful of their culture.
After UHSN made their debut, the K-pop community took notice of just how good they are. For starters, their grasp of the Korean language is actually really good even if the verses are somewhat limited.
So far Maria from USA has the most lines or at least the most complicated lines. To be fair, she’s been in Korea for awhile in hopes of becoming the first non-Korean singer in Korean music.
Also, the music video was spearheaded by Stone Entertainment, the same agency behind all the hit songs by all the Produce show K-pop acts (I.O.I., Wanna One, etc.). In short, they knew what they were doing with UHSN and how to make them work so that everyone would appeal to them.
There is a possibility if UHSN becomes even more popular simply for becoming the first international K-pop act to succeed in the genre, they might become a legit girl group. Let’s hope that is the case because if this is what UHSN gives us at their greenest, imagine what they will give us when they are more experienced.