As many of our readers know, I am a big fan of Korean Pop music. I have been listening to the genre since 2013 and over the past eight years, I have discovered a multitude of unique and interesting artists. One artist that’s always held a special place in my heart, though, is f(x). I briefly mentioned them in my March 11th article on some of my favorite female artists; however, this time, I wanted to write a brief introduction on the group and talk about the impact they’ve had on the K-Pop music industry.
Making their debut on September 5th, 2009 with the digital single “LA chA TA,” f(x) was a multinational girl group based in South Korea that originally consisted of five members. These members were: Victoria (leader and main dancer), Amber (main rapper), Luna (main vocalist and lead dancer), Sulli (vocalist, visual and face of the group) and Krystal (lead vocalist and face of the group). In August 2015, Sulli left the group in order to focus on her acting career; therefore, f(x) continued onward as a quarter.
During their seven years together, f(x) released four studio albums, two extended plays and over eighteen singles. While K-Pop as an industry places more emphasis on extended plays (referred to as “mini-albums” in South Korea) due to their quick release, the highlight of f(x)’s discography are their studio albums. Critics and fans alike have dubbed the group’s latest three releases – “Pink Tape” (2013), “Red Light” (2014) and “4 Walls” (2015) – as the standout pieces of their discography.
Don’t take this the wrong way, though – the rest of f(x)’s discography is also spectacular. With the release of their June 2012 extended play “Electric Shock,” the group attracted a large international audience and cemented themselves as a staple girl group in South Korea. f(x) also won their first non-voted Korean Music Award (KMA) for “Best Dance & Electric Song” with “Electric Shock;” the extended play’s b-side “Jet” was also nominated in the same category.
Being recognized by the KMAs is a huge deal in South Korea. According to Chang Dong-woo of Yonhap News Agency, the KMAs were formed by a “group of music critics, reports, radio producers and cultural scholars as an alternative to big awards run by the country’s three major TV networks – KBS, MBC and SBS – whose fairness had been called into question over many years.” Since 2012, f(x) has continued to receive a number of accolades from the KMAs, their latest nomination being in the Best Dance & Electronic Album category for their latest studio album “4 Walls.”
Despite their massive popularity, prestigious accolades and immense impact, however, f(x) have not released any material as a group since 2016. Their last Korean release as a group was in July 2016 with “All Mine” for SM Station, a weekly digital musical project created by their label SM Entertainment. Their last release altogether was in November 2016 with the Japanese physical single album “4 Walls / Cowboy;” since then, the group has focused on individual career activities.
While f(x) has not released any material as a group in a long time, their fanbase has been dedicated in supporting the members’ individual career paths.
In her home country of China, Victoria has cemented herself as one of the nation’s most powerful and influential celebrities. She has received high praise for her accomplishments in acting, singing and modeling. Victoria is also the ambassador of a multitude of luxury brands, the most well-known being Chanel.
After appearing as a mentor in the popular audition show “Chuang 2021,” Amber has also begun to make a name for herself in China. Her latest upcoming musical project is “y?”; the release date is unknown, but she has recently released two singles “blue” and “vegas” in preparation of the album’s release.
In South Korea, Luna has become a prominent figure in the musical theater industry. She has recently celebrated her 10th anniversary as a musical actress and finished her latest project, “The Days.” Luna has also said she plans to release an album this summer, a statement which has excited many.
After years of polishing her acting repertoire, Krystal has become an acclaimed actress in South Korea. For her performance in the 2020 South Korean family-comedy film “More Than Family,” Krystal received a nomination for Best New Actress in the film category at the Baeksang Arts Awards. The latest drama Krystal’s filming for is “Police Class,” which she stars in as the female lead.
Former member Sulli went on to become a prominent figure in South Korea due to her outspoken personality, especially in favor of women’s rights in a conservative country. She also became part of a number of modeling campaigns, even becoming a global ambassador for makeup brand Estée Lauder. Sadly, Sulli passed away in October 2019; however, her legacy has remained prominent in the South Korean entertainment industry.
While f(x) have not been active as a group since 2016, girl group members of the 4th generation (2018-present) have continued to cite the group and its members themselves as influences to this day. If you’re someone who’s interested in Korean Pop music, I highly encourage you to check out f(x). Their music is amazing and unique, and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to also check out the members’ individual careers, too! Each member shines bright on their own, and it’s been amazing to see what they’ve been able to accomplish on their own.