Be the one: ZeroBaseOne’s journey from zero to hero [GOLDEN 2023]

Boy band ZeroBaseOne [WAKEONE]

Nicknamed the “Korean Grammys,” the 38th Golden Disc Awards will take place on Jan. 6 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to honor the passion and talent that shone bright in the world of K-pop during the year of 2023.

Organized by the JoongAng Group, the Golden Disc Awards is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Korea with its unique format where dozens of nominees and multiple winners are chosen for three main categories — music, album and rookie of the year.

In this series, Golden 2023, the Korea JoongAng Daily’s entertainment arm Celeb Confirmed looks at K-pop’s biggest and brightest stars who are potential nominees, and their achievements this year.

Be the one: ZeroBaseOne is one of the biggest rookies of 2023.

It debuted through one of Korea’s largest TV audition programs with the aim of becoming “the one” to lead the next chapter in K-pop, like its predecessors Wanna One, Enhypen and more.

The band's name, ZeroBaseOne, refers to the "splendid beginning of the nine members starting from zero, who come into one group,” according to its agency WakeOne.

Boy band ZeroBaseOne [WAKEONE]

The band was formed on April 20 as the winning group of nine contestants from cable network Mnet's audition program "Boys Planet,” and made its official debut on July 10 with EP “Youth in the Shade.”

As a boy band put together through the votes of global fans, ZeroBaseOne got off to one of the smoothest starts for a K-pop newbie to irrefutably become one of the hottest names in the K-pop town.

“Youth in the Shade” sold 1.2 million copies on the day of its release alone, becoming the first ever debuting K-pop act to sell over a million copies of its album in a day. The album also sat at No. 182 on the Billboard Global 200 chart thanks to the enormous sales figures.

The nine members — Zhang Hao, Sung Han-bin, Seok Matthew, Ricky, Park Gun-wook, Kim Tae-rae, Kim Gyu-vin, Kim Ji-woong and Han Yu-jin — will run for two and a half years starting July 10 under WakeOne, a CJ ENM subsidiary.

Boy band ZeroBaseOne [WAKEONE]

ZeroBaseOne is “Youth in the Shade”

ZeroBaseOne has released two EPs since its debut — “Youth in the Shade” on July 10 and “Melting Point” on Nov. 6 — both of which surpassed a million copies in just one day.

“Youth in the Shade” sold 1.82 million copies in its first week, making it the highest-selling debut album by a K-pop act in a week. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart and became the best-selling debut album by a K-pop act in 2023 on Chinese music chart QQ Music.

The second EP “Melting Point” soared even higher, with 1.5 million copies sold just on the first day and 2.1 million copies within a week.

“Youth in the Shade” had also sold 2 million copies as of September, giving the band its second album in a row to sell over 2 million copies.

The band will sign a contract with Japan’s Sony Music and make its Japanese debut in March next year.

ZeroBaseOne took home Best New Male Artist and the Favorite New Artist awards at the 2023 MAMA Awards earlier this week.

Boy band ZeroBaseOne [WAKEONE]

ZeroBaseOne “Youth in the Shade” (July 10, 2023)

  • First-week sales of “Youth in the Shade”: 1,016,849
  • First-week streaming of “Youth in the Shade” on Spotify: 1,859,539
  • Music video views for lead track "In Bloom" on YouTube: 23,888,962 (as of Dec. 1)
  • Major nominations: 2023 MAMA Awards (Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Worldwide Fans’ Choice, Best New Male Artist, Best Dance Performance Male Group)
  • Other: Awarded Best New Male Artist and the Favorite New Artist at the 2023 MAMA Awards

ZeroBaseOne “Melting Point” (Nov. 6, 2023)

  • First-week sales of “Youth in the Shade”: 1,458,089
  • First-week streaming of “Youth in the Shade” on Spotify: 2,131,352
  • Music video views for lead track "Crush" on YouTube: 37,046,621 (as of Dec. 1)