Mamamoo: A Year In Review (2018)

2018 was the year for Asian artists. While BTS made history with their record-breaking moments, several other artists emerged on the music scene. Female artists worked hard to get their fair share of visibility amongst the global audience. Be it BlackPink, Red Velvet, Twice, IU, Sunmi, Chung-ha, Momoland, or (G)I-Idle, female artists emerged as strong competitors.

Today, we are going to recap the moments for a girl group who did not just wow everyone with their music but also personalities. Their attitude towards their artistry became an interesting point of discussion. With a disposition that would leave anyone’s mouth open and vocals that would mystify the audience for days, members of Mamamoo proved that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Comprising of Solar, Wheein, Moonbyul, and Hwasa, Mamamoo is a South Korean girl group formed by RBW. Since their debut (2014), Mamamoo has collaborated with several key artists in the music industry and have performed on different stages, showcasing different aspects of themselves as performers.

In the year 2017, they became the 3rd female act to top Billboard World’s Album Chart, the other two being Red Velvet and IU (source: Billboard).

In this piece, we will be reviewing 2018 for Mamamoo, recording the girls’ major achievements and noteworthy moments.

Paint Me and the Release of “Yellow Flower”

With songs like “Decalcomanie”, “Yes I Am”, “Mr. Ambiguous”, “Um Oh Ah Yeh” including several other songs, we got a chance to witness the funky side of the group where we were lured into the pop tunes that made us not just enjoy the tracks but also groove to them. But 2018 saw a transition in terms of the group’s musicality. With the release of the prelude single, “Paint Me”, the girls indicated that they will be taking on musically challenging genres and more in-depth themes to explore their artistic prowess to the fullest.

On March 7, 2018, Mamamoo released their sixth EP, “Yellow Flower”, along with their singles, “Starry Night” and “Star Wind Flower Son”. As reported by the Korea Herald,

“Mamamoo’s sixth EP, “Yellow Flower,” is the first of the group’s new project series called “Four Seasons,” through which the act will showcase four albums that combine one seasonal color and a matching member’s characteristic throughout this year.”

Following its release, “Starry Night” instantly grabbed attention with its Latin-inspired strings. 2018 was the year when a lot of experimentation was done with Latin music by the K-artists. “Starry Night” confirmed and lived up to the expectations of the fans and the critics. The song was yet another representation of members’ adroitness and their appeal as performers. No wonder the song went on to chart at Number 6 at Top 10 Mid-Year Gaon Digital Chart.

The Release of “Egotistic” and Mamamoo’s Ascension in the Industry

Continuing their trail of success, Mamamoo released their 7th EP, “Red Moon”, on July 16 along with the release of their lead single, “Egotistic”. The release of the Red Moon led to girls’ re-entry on the Billboard World Album Chart as they debuted at number 4 within the first week. Mamamoo also saw an ascension locally as the EP peaked at number 3 on Gaon Album Chart.

Instead of leaving behind the tunes they experimented with in their last EP, Mamamoo built up and provided an extension to their newly discovered sound. Egotistic too was laced with Latin tunes, but when compared with Starry Night¸ the song gave much more individual space for members to shine. Be it Solar or Moonbyul, each and every member got enough screen time to showcase key points of their vocals and their performances.

In terms of production and themes, both “Yellow Flower” and “Red Moon” led to an understanding as to what the group is trying to achieve as female artists. Mamamoo is an example for audiences to realize the kind of stories they will have an opportunity to hear when female artists take control of their songs’ creation.

As female artists, Mamamoo talks about struggles of being a woman, beauty of embracing femininity and confidence within a single being, an unabashed confession of love and heartbreak, and what it means to grow as an artist. Their stories are relatable. It’s not just their persona onstage that grabs the fans’ attention but also their offstage comfort that motivates the girls and their fans to connect beyond the level of promotion.

List of Awards Won by Mamamoo

  1. BreakTudo: K-Pop Female Group
  2. Soribada Best K-Music Awards: Bonsang (Female) and Popularity Award
  3. Seoul Music Awards: Tiktok Dance Performance Award
  4. Mnet Asian Music Awards: Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10 and Favorite Vocal Artist
  5. Melon Music Awards: Top 10 Artists
  6. Korean Popular Music Awards: Bonsang Awards
  7. Asia Artist Award: Artist of the Year (Music Category)  and Best Music Award
  8. MBC Entertainment Award: Rookie Female of the Year – Variety (Hwasa)

A Series of Breathtaking Stage Performances

It’s never easy to replicate the energy of a recorded perfection onto a live stage but for Mamamoo, it’s not even a challenge. The girls own the stage when they set out to perform their singles. Their level of confidence is remarkable and striking.

In the year 2018, they blessed us with some of their best performances. One of the most striking performances was during MAMA Japan 2018. The members did not just perform their group singles, but also gave a live glimpse into their solo tracks.

Hwasa’s outfit stirred a reaction amongst local audiences who found it a bit revealing, but the girl took on her next stage with much more confidence, paying no attention to the naysayers. Mamamoo’s members have been known for confident attitudes towards their atypical bodies (when compared with the expectations people have for a female idol’s weight and size). Their comfort with their own selves is an inspiration to the girls who find self-acceptance as a problem.

The Release of Hwasa and Loco’s Collaborative Single “Don’t”

Hwasa collaborated with Loco for “Don’t” as a part of “Hyena on the Keyboard”. As explained on Wikipedia, “Hyena on the Keyboard is a South Korean variety show on KBS2. It is a music reality television show whereby the process of song production from various producers/singer-songwriters is shown. The completed songs will then be released as digital singles on various online music sites.”

The collaborative single did not just perform well but it also led Hwasa to win several awards. Following the release of “Don’t”, the artist was awarded with:

  1. Hot Trend Award at Melon Music Awards
  2. Hot Issue Entertainer Award at KBS Entertainment Awards

2018 had been a great year for the group, both in terms of music and in terms of opportunities. In the month of November, the ladies blessed their fans with “Wind Flower”, the video for which was released on the 29th of November 2018. Within a month, the music video has garnered over 6 million views.

We definitely look forward to Mamamoo’s upcoming projects. Which moment of 2018 has been your favorite? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.

Written by Ayushi

Hi! I am Ayushi from India. The only thing that is consistent about me is my passion for writing and reading. Weaving words to form a story is the best thing I know and the only thing I want to do.
"Writer by nature is a dreamer, a conscious dreamer."
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