November 15th kicked off the beginning of awards season for the K-music scene with the Asia Artist Awards taking place in Seoul. Amongst the nominees for the Best New Artist award was KARD, the co-ed K-Pop group that had two highly successful North American tours earlier this year. The group kicked off their career with a catchy, highly recognizable tropical sound that carried through the majority of their releases through their debut.
The appeal to an American audience was vast, and KARD took off in popularity to a degree that other co-ed groups have rarely managed in the US. The duo Troublemaker, for example (a co-ed concept consisting of Kim HyunA and Jang Hyun-Seung) saw great success in Korea with their hit by the same name, but ultimately went on hiatus in 2014 and didn’t quite catch on with the international audience in the way that KARD seems to have managed.
KARD took home the win in the Best New Artist category, despite being less popular in Korea than they are overseas. The mix of heavy synth and their more organic vibe and mature sound broadens the appeal of a group like KARD to a wide audience who might not typically focus on the more factory-like, candy-coated pop tracks that some K-pop groups deliver. However, until this point, KARD admittedly produces songs with very similar melodic lines and overall tone. To stay in the game for future releases, it would be wise for the group to break the already familiar sound they have developed and step outside of their tropical beat vibe for something new.
HIDDEN KARDS how do you feel about KARDs comeback so far? Look forward to more on that this week as we examine the group’s new tracks a little more in depth. Do you think KARD stands out from other co-ed K-pop from the past? What do you think will help them survive in the industry going forward? Leave a comment with your thoughts below!