By Naomi Rodriguez | 29 November, 2023
When I got into K-Pop in 2015, I became obsessed with almost every artist under Starship Entertainment. SISTAR, Monsta X, and Cosmic Girls became my favorite mood boosters due to their colorful songs and personalities. They would often explore darker themes and concepts that perfectly encompassed their need and drive for experimentation. Something about their concepts, production, the way each group carried themselves, drew me in so deep into the world of K-POP. Seeing the new generation of Starship was all so exciting for the younger version of me.
From Yujin’s and Wonyoung’s success in IZ*ONE, I’ve been so excited to see where their careers take them. And despite the troubles companies may have, IVE truly set the standard so high. They established themselves with their iconic pop sound with “ELEVEN” and “LOVE DIVE,” and into a sophisticated tune by their 3rd EP, I’ve IVE. (One of my favorite songs is the Bossa Nova inspired “Lips”). As each era progressed, I found each member growing comfortably into their positions and the stories they wanted to tell through their songs, especially as young members in the 5th generation. And I think this was shown so beautifully through their most recent comeback, “I’VE MINE.”
“Either Way” showed a new side of the members, vocally and narratively as artists. The video production was beautiful itself, highlighting the members' perceptions of each other and how they can be perceived in the real world. I was immediately drawn by the color grading, which allows the video to feel more surreal; like this world is not a part of ours. From the dark beginnings to the colorful ending, it shows the aspect of youth and what it means to grow in the world of the spotlight, and how oftentimes we forget how harsh that spotlight can be. IVE's EPs combine melodramatic songs with strong hip-hop beats to highlight their powerful performances. This EP had “Baddie” as their title track, which shares a similar message with “Kitsch.” They both emphasize the carefree attitude of a young, confident girl. They are handling their musicality very well and it suits their image and tone as a growing group. I hope to see more of the spotlight on members like Liz and Gaeul. They have a hidden potential that can uplift the group even stronger vocally and performance-wise; and we get to see some of it in the special collaboration “NOBODY” with Soyeon, Liz, and Winter!
Recently, they’ve announced a World Tour, Show What I Have, for the girls starting in 2024. It may be short right now, but shockingly, they’re visiting an often untoured continent–Latin America. I’m excited to see if they plan any surprise stages or songs for the stops in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil during the blazing month of June! Their tour stops start with major cities in Asia and the United States, such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Oakland, California. After Latin America, they will visit Europe and Australia. This world tour will span over 5 months; and for their first world tour, they are hitting some of the biggest and most important cities to appeal to their fans, as well as to increase their popularity.
Overall, IVE definitely has shown their growth strongly within the last 2 years despite harsh scrutiny at their age. It's worth giving their performances and B-sides a chance because there's just so much to see from these 6 girls. I recommend watching Sound BOMB’s video of IVE performing “Either Way,” which I rewatched many times to appreciate their energy and sound. IVE is on their first world tour, so give them a listen before you miss out!