KCON announced during their live chat on April 26th that rookie girl group Fromis_9 will be attending KCON NY 2018. I noticed in the comments during the live chat that many people were not familiar with the female idol group that debuted this past January.
The group’s name is actually derived from a Korean music survival show, Idol School, so their name is From Idol School. Fromis_9 members are Roh Ji-sun, Song Ha-young, Lee Sae-rom, Lee Chae-young, Lee Na-gyung, Park Ji-won, Lee Seo-yeon, Baek Ji-heon and Jang Gyu-ri. They debuted early this year with the song Glass Slippers, after completing the reality show.
Fromis_9 is under the CJ E&M label so that may be one reason why the relatively unknown group was invited. KCON has a positive track record for bringing rookies to America to gain more exposure with the international audience.
How rookie groups benefit from KCON
B.A.P (2012) and BTS (2014) performed at previous KCON as performing artists while they were considered rookies. Each group has gone on to have hugely successful careers. I know KCON didn’t single-handedly catapult the groups to stardom but being exposed to such a large audience of k-pop fans definitely helped.
Bringing a k-pop group to perform abroad is very expensive. If a group isn’t popular enough to sell out a show, their company may end up losing money which means the group members may not get paid, even after doing all that work. Rookie groups have to work twice as hard to be seen by k-pop fans. To have an opportunity to reach large crowds abroad might be the win they need to get a good foothold in becoming popular.
To date, Fromis_9 only has released only two songs. Hopefully, with their successful completion of KCON, Fromis_9 will gain the popularity of rookie groups past.
Be sure to stay up to date on all things Fromis_9 by following their social media.