aespa through the years, affirming the position of K-pop’s undefeated girl group

With their rising beauty and many remarkable achievements on every comeback, the position of the SM girl group on the Kpop map is becoming more and more solid.

aespa officially debuted on November 17, 2020 with a 4-member lineup of Karina, Winter, Giselle, and Ningning. Right from their debut, aespa has attracted the attention of the public as the new SM Entertainment’s girl group. Despite receiving many mixed opinions, it is undeniable that aespa is constantly advancing in both visuals and popularity, becoming one of the most prominent girl groups in Kpop.

Black Mamba – the debut with many mixed opinions 

Introduced as SM’s next girl group, aespa’s debut attracted the attention of the worldwide K-pop fan community. In particular, the group’s visuals are what the public is most curious about since SM has always been one of the entertainment companies that owns idols with the most perfect visuals in the K-pop industry. However, contrary to the audience’s expectations, aespa’s visuals at that time were not very prominent and were constantly being commented on as quite lackluster compared to their seniors.

The reason why aespa’s visuals were not appreciated by the public when they first debuted was because of the similarities in appearance between Karina and Winter. When Winter was announced to be the visual of the group, people were even more surprised because this position of SM girl groups has always been taken by female idols with “goddess” beauty like Eugene, Yoona, Sulli, and Irene… Many netizens were surprised that aespa will debut with the 4-member lineup because they think there will be 1 more member to take on the visual position, who possess a more SM-like goddess beauty.

The 2nd Comeback with Next Level: Truly “a new level”, winning the Daesang as a rookie

After achieving a certain level of recognition, aespa quickly returned with Next Level. The song is considered a big hit in the group’s career when it helps the SM girl group set many respectable records, affirming their “monster rookie” position.

The group won 2 prestigious Daesang awards: Song Of The Year of the Korean Music Awards and Record Of The Year from the Melon Music Awards. Thanks to that, the 4 girls also became the first group to win both the Rookie of the Year and the Daesang award.

In terms of the members’ visuals, Next Level also brought aespa to a higher level compared to the era of Black Mamba. Winter has gradually conquered fans’ hearts and proved that she is worthy of the group’s visual position.

Comeback with “Savage”: The upgrade in both visual and music

Following the success of Next Level, aespa made a comeback with the mini album Savage. The song went on to give the group some impressive results, including being the first Gen 4 group to get Realtime All-kill. With their Savage ep, aespa also became the first gen 4 girl group and the third all-Kpop female group to sell over 700K copies for only one album.

Especially during the “Savage” era, aespa has made people fall in love with their goddesses-like visuals and unique concepts.  All 4 members were praised for their uplifting visuals as well as good charisma. Two members Winter and Karina constantly hit the hot topic thanks to their perfect visual.  In particular, Karina also captivated fans with her CGI visuals and her standard body.

The 4 aespa members were all very pretty in Savage’s concept

An amazing comeback with “Girls”: Breaking BLACKPINK’s record, confirming the group’s position on the Kpop map

The audience has come to enjoy Aespa’s most recent comeback with Girls, as seen by the group’s album sales, which reached over 1.6 million pre-orders. This is the best achievement among Kpop girl groups’ albums of all time. Aespa even surpassed their senior group BLACKPINK in this segment. 

In the previous K-pop market, girl groups were often strong in digital music while boy groups often had better album sales. The fact that aespa has such strong sales shows that the group’s devoted fan base is comparable to that of the top male groups. The SM girl group recently became the first K-pop girl group to sell one million albums on Hanteo in less than a week after its release.

However, Girls are not as highly appreciated as Savage and Next Level, nor do they have a good digital record like the previous two hits.  Even so, given what it has done, Girls still marks an impressive milestone in aespa’s career.

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