Hello and welcome to the latest Nugu Roundup!

What is this?: This is a weekly feature designed to highlight the unknown/underappreciated groups and soloists working hard in the Kpop world that often fall under the radar. Please share your own information, favorite performance videos, fanmeet stories, or anything else relevant below!

Last week we got to know the ever-growing girl group ANS. This week let’s check out the boy group with 6IX in their name that actually has six members, let’s get to know BLACK6IX!

Look at the first comment below for the winner of the seventh Nugu Roundup Album Giveaway, plus details on this week’s album up for grabs!

What is Nugu?: While in Korean it literally means ‘Who’ in the broader Kpop context it refers to groups that are generally unknown amongst the greater public. It doesn’t have to mean they’re extremely new, though it can, and there are of course varying degrees of ‘unknown’ which some groups having very strong niche fandoms and others being almost invisible. I take a fairly broad view and will include groups that may be known to some, but who don’t have widespread name recognition.

Let’s get on with the show…

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BLACK6IX

Who are they?: BLACK6IX is a six member boy group under Black Hole Entertainment. Their name means ‘A six member boy group with infinite possibilities’. Their fandom name is Black Pearl, which comes from the name of the ship in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie, and means that they’ll travel the world with their fans.

Company: BLACK6IX is the only group signed with Black Hole Entertainment.

Full Group Interview

Members

  • Taeyoung

    • Position: Leader, Main Vocalist, Lead Dancer

    • Real Name: Jung Seung Hwan

    • Age: 25 (IA)

    • Self Introduction

    • Facts: He was a former member of the boy group I-REX which debuted in 2013 but only released a single song before disbanding. While he is not the oldest member of the group he was one of the first two signed to the group by the company and since finding the other members took some time the CEO suggested he should be the leader. He is friends with J-Hope of BTS who he went to middle school and cram school with, as well as Hyerin of EXID. He is a big fan of BTS as well as Chris Brown. He says that during the filming of their ‘Swamp of Despair’ MV it was the first time he’d ever been in a swamp and he enjoyed the experience though they had to shower often during the filming.

  • Yongseok

    • Position: Main Vocalist

    • Real Name: Byun Yong Seok

    • Age: 26 (IA)

    • Self Introduction

    • Facts: He is the oldest member of the group. He has already served his military enlistment in which he was part of the 12th Division military band where he played the saxophone. He won the Suwon Kpop Contest with his vocal skill. His favorite musician is David Archuleta who he admires because he rose to fame through a competition show and because he can play the piano well while singing. He says that he was initially a bit worried about being the oldest member of the group but he’s grown close to the other members and they all get along well. He is the cleanest member of the group and often cleans the dorms.

  • Jongwoon

    • Position: Lead Vocalist

    • Real Name: Lee Jongwoon

    • Age: 25 (IA)

    • Self Introduction

    • Facts: He is from Asan, which is a city south of Seoul known for its hot springs. He studied traditional Korean music from the time he was in elementary school and can play a variety of traditional Korean flutes, including the Danso for which he won a competition. He said that made him want to learn how to play the piano and sing as well. The other members call him the mother of the group because he reminds them not to waste money and to live on the right path. He was a trainee for three years with Black Hole Entertainment and was one of the first two recruited into the group along with Taeyoung. He’s been nicknamed Jongdaengie by the other members because he has a large butt.

  • Ziki

    • Position: Lead Rapper, Main Dancer

    • Real Name: Kim Su Bin

    • Age: 25 (IA)

    • Self Introduction

    • Facts: He was a backup dancer in Mamamoo’s Piano Man MV. He can do magic tricks and studied taekwondo. He became a trainee at 19 and says he started late because his parents were against the idea initially. He talks and makes eating noises in his sleep. His favorite memory from the group so far is when they went to Malaysia and got to DJ and shoot smoke guns. Some artists he respects are G-Dragon, Zico, and Lil Wayne. Though he is a rapper he likes to sing as well and thinks he has a good voice for it. He says he’s a very thorough person and studies the choreography in detail and watches their past performances to see what he can do better.

  • Yey

    • Position: Vocalist, Rapper

    • Real Name: Park Yejun

    • Age: 23 (IA)

    • Self Introduction

    • Facts: People often mistake him for the youngest member of the group. He likes to cook and has cooked seaweed soup for the other members on their birthdays (a Korean birthday tradition). He is religious and considered becoming a minister when he was younger, and the other members have nicknamed him ‘Yey-sus’ and ‘Angel’. He sometimes hangs out in amusement park parking lots and takes photos making it look like he went to the amusement park. He was the student body president in school, following in the footsteps of his brother. He likes to read. His favorite musical artist is Justin Bieber.

  • The King

    • Position: Main Rapper, Maknae

    • Real Name: Kim Hyun Jae

    • Age: 20 (IA)

    • Self Introduction

    • Facts: He grew up on an island. His stage name comes from a transliteration of his Korean family name combined with English. He won writing and dancing competitions when he was in school. He participated in The Unit, but did not make the final group. He auditioned for High School Rapper 3 but didn’t make the show. He can speak almost-fluent Japanese. He would like to get to know the members of Ateez because they’re of a similar age to him. He thought about becoming a writer or poet when he was younger. He dropped out of high school. If he had to hide a giraffe he’d cut it into pieces and fold it up.

Debut: April 6th, 2017 with Please (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)

  • Song: The group’s debut digital single, a throbbing electronic beat combines with strings and piano for a dark and moody song about a man asking the woman he loves not to leave him. The song features some soaring vocal lines and hearkens back to an earlier generation of Kpop. Leader Taeyoung choreographed the dancing.

  • Composers/Producers: UN Village (유엔빌리지) (BLACK6IX – Like Flower (hard to find much else since the name is so close to the popular song by Baekhyun), Sobel (소벨) (only other BLACK6IX songs

Most Recent Comeback: February 12th, 2020 with Call My Name (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)

  • Song: The lead single from the group’s 2nd EP ‘Nice to Meet You’ this song is in the ‘hard’ boy group style with a variety of contrasting sections, beat drops, and aggressive choreography in the style popularized by NCT 127.

  • Composers/Producers: Kim Su-Bin (김수빈) (Weki Meki – The Paradise, SF9 – Go High, D1CE – Draw You), Nako (나코) (ANS – Boom Boom, Unicorn – HUK), Lee Seung Hyun (이승현) (no other credits found), Kim Dong-Young (김동영) (Esther – A Guy Like You)

Other MVs and Releases

  • Like a Flower (MV) Live Stage (Link) Choreography Video (Link)

    • Song: The group’s 2nd digital single, this keeps the vocal intensity of their debut but adds some tropical influences tinted with some traditional Asian instrumentation for a unique presentation. The song is about the futility of trying to catch love instead speaking that it needs to be nourished and grown like a flower.

    • Composers/Producers: – UN Village (유엔빌리지) (see above), – Sobel (소벨) (see above)

  • Alone (MV) Live Performance (Link) Performance Version (Link)

    • Song: The group’s third digital single, this an R&B ballad about trying to find meaning in life after the loss of a loved one.

    • Composers/Producers: UN Village (유엔빌리지) (see above), – Sobel (소벨) (see above)

  • Swamp of Despair (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)

    • Song: The lead track from the groups 1st EP ‘Swamp of Despair’ (which is one of the coolest Kpop song titles IMO), the group went for an epic production with location shooting in an actual swamp (including bringing a string orchestra with them). A stirring orchestral intro gives way to strong electronic beats and rousing guitar riffs in a song that grows continually towards a huge finish. The song features a musical quote from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

    • Composers/Producers: Kim Su-Bin (김수빈) (see above), Sobel (소벨) (see above)

  • Excited (MV) Performance Video (Link)

    • Song: A non-promoted b-side from their 2nd EP ‘Nice to Meet You’ this has a funky influence with some uptempo rap elements and great momentum

    • Composers/Producers: Nako (나코) (see above), NIKEL617 (no other credits found)

YouTube Channel: BLACK6IX Official

Random Stuff

Trivia: The group has toured extensively internationally, including performances in Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Brazil. The group’s fandom name of Black Pearl was also used by the girl group Tahiti, but who had stopped promotions before BLACK6IX debuted. The group’s name in Hangul is used in Korea as a portmanteau by combined fans of BlackPink and Day6. Yongseok, Ziki, and Yey trained at the RBW/Cube Modern K Music Academy.

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Soloist of the Week

ROTHY

Who is she?: A female soloist under Dorothy Entertainment. Her stage name come from ‘Dorothy’ and the name of the company that represents her. Her fandom name is Blooming.

Company: Dorothy Company represents two artists, Rothy and singer/composer/producer/CEO-of-company Shin Seung Hun, a legendary ballad singer who regularly sold millions of albums per release in the early ’90s and collected 12 coveted Golden Disc awards in addition to settings records at the time for 14 weeks topping the charts. Shin Seung Hun has been Rothy’s mentor and teacher as she’s developed her career.

Real Name: Kang Ju Hee

Age: 21 (IA)

Debut: November 8th, 2017 with Stars (MV) Live Stage (Link)

  • Song: A touching ballad that is described as the story of an innocent young girl running towards her dreams. Lia of Itzy lists this as one of her favorite songs to listen to when she feels like she needs confidence. The lyrics were written by legendary Korean lyricist Kim Eana, known for writing the lyrics for the biggest hits by IU, Brown Eyed Girls, Gain, Sunny Hill, and many more artists.

  • Composer/Producer: Shin Seung Hun (신승훈) (NOIR – Airplane Mode, Rothy – Burning, many of his own songs)

Most Recent Comeback: August 13th, 2020 with Ocean View (MV) Acoustic Live (Link)

  • Song: A nice light summer song with some nostalgic and melancholic R&B elements in the melody and a cheeky fun MV.

  • Composer/Producer: LoF! (indie singer-songwriter, no other credits found)

Other Releases and MVs

  • Sullae (MV) Live Performance (Link)

    • Song: Rothy’s 2nd digital single, another touching ballad, this time about finding your identity and sense of self as you grow from a child into adulthood.

    • Composer/Producer: Shin Seung Hun (신승훈) (see above) Kim Eana (lyrics)

  • Burning (MV) Live Stage (Link)

    • Song: The lead track from Rothy’s first EP ‘Shape of Rothy’ this takes her into a more upbeat pop direction with some restrained tropical elements and a moombahton rhythm. The song compares love to burning candles and fireflies.

    • Composers/Producers: Shin Seung Hun (신승훈) (see above), Lee Won Jong (이원종) (GFriend – Labyrinth, GFriend – Time of the Moon Night, GFriend – Smile), Kim Eana (lyrics)

  • Lost Time (MV)

    • Song: The second promoted track from ‘Shape of Rothy’ this is a groovy R&B ballad that shows off Rothy’s lower range nicely

    • Composer/Producer: Shin Seung Hun (신승훈) (see above)

  • Blossom Flower (MV) Studio Live (Link)

    • Song: Rothy’s third digital single, this is a winter breakup song, that compares losing love to seeing flowerbeds trampled on the side of the road.

    • Composer/Producer: Shin Seung Hun (신승훈) (see above), Kim Eana (lyrics)

  • Bee (MV) Live Stage (Link)

    • Song: The lead single from Rothy’s 2nd EP ‘Color of Rothy’ this marked her first time releasing a song not by Shin Seung Hun, an intentional choice to allow her to show her range as an artist, and this urban-pop song does take her in a different direction from her ballad and pop-ballad roots. Rothy took part in the composition of this song.

    • Producers/Composers: Park Woo Sang (RBW) (Mamamoo – Hip, Chungha – Snapping, Goo Hara – Choco Chip Cookies), Rothy (original artist), SHAPE

YouTube Channel: Dorothy Company

Random Stuff

Trivia: Rothy trained with Shin Seung Hun for three years before debut. He originally had 8 pupils but in the end Rothy was the one he felt would best represent the company. She has been learning to write her own music and contributed to the composition of Bee, and has also been learning to play the guitar and the piano. Shin Seung Hun has said that Rothy became his muse and inspired him to take on the second act of his life in music as a producer. In return Rothy says she looks up to Shin Seung Hun as a father. Her favorite musicians are IU and Sam Kim. Rothy originally auditioned to be part of girl group and had passed the audition but decided to become a soloist after speaking to with Shin Seung Hun. Rothy’s sister is a singer as well and her father is an avid music lover and record collector so she says there was no opposition from her family for her career path. She can drink a couple of bottles of Soju and especially likes to eat chicken feet when doing so.

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IN MEMORIAM

UNICORN

Who were they?: A four-five member girl group under Cartoon Blue Company which was founded by Korean-American R&B singer Johan Kim.

Releases

  • HUK (MV) Live Stage (Link) Dance Practice (Link)

    • Song: The group’s debut song and the lead single from their debut EP ‘Once Upon a Time’. The ‘HUK’ apparently means ‘hug’ from the lyrics (at least I’m hoping it’s not a risque portmanteau of hug and something else). The song is a dreamy R&B/dance-pop song with a nice colorful MV and some fun dance moves.

    • Producers/Composers: Nako (see above), Lee Joon Yeop (이준엽) (April – Muah!, GI – Because of You, BLACK6IX – Which Star)

  • Blink Blink (MV) Live Performance (Link) Choreography Version (Link)

    • Song: The lead single from their 2nd EP ‘Unicorn Plus – The Brand New Label’. With a very cool intro and some neat weird transitions and progressions that bring to mind Red Velvet songs this one is far catchier and cooler than it’s lack of success would indicate.

    • Composers/Producers: Ddol-I-Park (Oh!Bliss – Bunny Bunny, BP Rania – Breathe Heavy, Varsity – Fly), Peter Pan (Victon – Fly, IZ*ONE – Eyes, Red Velvet – Love is the Way)

Active Between: September 2015 – September 2017

YouTube Channel: Unicorn Official

Reasons for Disbandment: The company had little money to work with, and took on an ambitious and expensive project for the group’s second EP. Main vocalist Winnie withdrew from the group following their Blink Blink comeback due to health concerns and the group never released more music.

Trivia: The group took on an ambitious project for their 2nd EP, wanting to show a variety of colors by working with a wide range of top domestic producers and releasing the EP with expensive and luxurious packaging including over 40 high-concept artistic postcards shot by noted Korean artistic photographer David Byun. Unfortunately sales did not meet expectations and the expensive concept turned into a failure for the company. The group was on the older than average at debut, with members ranging from 20-23 at debut. The group featured in a Naver TV web-show called “I Am in a Girl Group”. Member Sally is now a soloist going by shuuubabe (soundcloud) (YouTube Channel) in the ‘future funk’ style.

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That’s it for today, let’s get the discussion on!

As always, if you have any suggestions for groups, content, or things you’d like to see, please let me know in the comments below.

Also as always, a big shout-out to u/not-named-in-credits for founding r/nugutown and u/sharnaranwan for continuing the work over there.

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