Shhh — It’s the Kiss of Life here to revitalize the K-pop spirit [GOLDEN 2023]

Girl group Kiss of Life [S2 ENTERTAINMENT]

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.

Shhh — It’s Kiss of Life, a girl group that debuted this summer with the grand goal of bringing lively energy and spirit back into K-pop with its music.

Signed under newly-founded agency S2 Entertainment, four-member girl group Kiss of Life took its first steps onto the entertainment scene in July with EP “Kiss of Life,” quickly becoming the talk of the town with some of the boldest moves made by a newly-debuting band in K-pop.

Girl group Kiss of Life [S2 ENTERTAINMENT]

Of the six tracks from “Kiss of Life,” four were solo tracks sung by each member of the group — a feat not many girl groups could achieve from the beginning because filling up a whole song with well-trained vocals doesn’t just come in mere days. Each member also participated in the making of the song and lyrics for the debut album, a testimony to both the members’ dedication and talent for music.

Less than six months into its debut, Kiss of Life has become one of the most promising girl groups of the so-called fifth-generation K-pop scene that opened up this year, so much so it has been nominated not only for the Rookie of the Year award at the upcoming 2023 MAMA Awards but also for the honorable Artist of the Year award where newbies seldom land their names on.

Also helping the band garner international attention is the global makeup of the quartet and its ability to communicate with a wider audience: a member from Thailand, Natty, Korean member Haneul and two Korean Americans, Julie and Belle.

Girl group Kiss of Life [S2 ENTERTAINMENT]

Girl group Kiss of Life [S2 ENTERTAINMENT]

“Kiss of Life” is “Born to be XX”

Kiss of Life released two EPs this year: its debut album “Kiss of Life” on July 5 and its second EP “Born to be XX” on Nov. 8.

As is the case with many girl groups in K-pop, Kiss of Life’s album sales didn’t hit the high notes on the first go. But its global listenership certainly did.

The quartet’s debut EP saw 3.5 million streams within just the first week of release on Spotify and an impressive 17,130,000 views of lead track “Shhh” on YouTube as of Tuesday.

The girl group also maintains a sturdy following online, with over 730,000 followers on TikTok, 522,910 on Instagram and 279,000 on Spotify.

“Born to be XX” also hit 2.4 million streams on Spotify within the first week of release, proving the girl group’s global reach with the power of its music.

Kiss of Life “Kiss of Life” (July 5, 2023)

  • First-week streaming of "Kiss of Life" on Spotify: 3.5 million
  • Music video views for lead track "Shhh" on YouTube: 17,129,776 (as of Nov. 28)
  • Major nominations: 2023 MAMA Awards (Artist of the Year, Best New Female Artist, Album of the Year), Melon Music Awards (MMA) 2023 (Rookie of the Year)

Kiss of Life “Born to be XX” (Nov. 8, 2023)

  • First-week streaming of "Born to be  XX" on Spotify: 2.4 million
  • No. of followers on TikTok: 730,000 (as of  Nov. 28)
  • No. of followers on Spotify: 279,000 (as of Nov. 28)
  • Music video views for lead track "Bad News" on YouTube: 15,201,516 (as of Nov. 28)