With “Editor’s Picks,” I will spotlight my favorite artists, unless I’ve done so already under a different topic or plan on including them under a different category. You can read about some of my other favorites here: B.A.P., Block B, SHINHWA, Sunny Hill, U-KISS, and ZE:A. The format will be different, but I’ll still be giving you the details.
Today I spotlight rising-99% Synchronization-superstars, INFINITE!
Label: Woollim Entertainment
Fan Club/Color: Inspirits/Pearl Metal Gold
Debut Date: June 9 ,2010
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INFINITE was formed by Woollim Entertainment, the home of rock band Nell, rookie duo Tasty, and formerly Epik High. INFINITE considers Epik High and Nell to be mentors and look up to them. INFINITE was first introduced through the show You’re My Oppa. In March 2010, the group also took part in Epik High’s MV for “Run.” Member L played the main character, and you can also see other members portraying the back-up band for Epik High’s Tablo and Mithra Jin. On June 9th, 2010, the group debuted with their first EP, First Invasion. The EP peaked at #10 on the Gaon Chart. They promoted with the singles “Come Back Again” a.k.a “Dashi Dorawa” and “She’s Back.” INFINITE released both a dramatic and dance version for their first track, “Come Back Again.”
On January 6, 2011, INFINITE released their second EP, Evolution. The EP peaked at #3 on the Gaon Chart. The group promoted with the track “Before the Dawn” a.k.a “BTD” and released the MV on January 7th. It was the dance to this song that caused a rise in fame and recognition for the group. The dance featured “the scorpion” move, which is impressive in itself. What really attracted attention was that all seven members performed the move in synchronization.
Following the success of Evolution, INFINITE released their first single album, Inspirit. The single peaked at #3 on the Gaon Charts. The group released the MV for the title track, “Nothing’s Over” on March 16, 2011. The music video used one-take shots, meaning, all the action was filmed in a continuous motion. The single charted at #22 on Gaon. The group subsequently followed up with promotions for “Can U Smile.”
On July 21, 2011, INFINITE released their first studio album, Over the Top. The album charted at #2 on the Gaon Chart. The same day, the group released the MV for their title track “Be Mine.” INFINITE also released a dance version for the MV. “Be Mine” led to INFINITE winning their first award on a music program (and a new dorm). On September 1, 2011, the group won on M! Countdown, and would go on to win the next week as well, earning them the “Double Crown.” “Be Mine” charted at #10 on Gaon and #12 on Korea’s K-Pop Hot 100 Billboard. During this time, the group also filmed for the reality show, Sesame Player.
INFINITE then released the repackaged album for Over the Top, titled Paradise, on September 26, 2011. The album became INFINITE’s first #1 hit on the Gaon Chart. The group released the MV for “Paradise” on September 25. “Paradise” would chart at #3 and #6 on Gaon and Billboard, respectively. The track would also bring two more awards from music shows, one from M! Countdown, and another from Inkigayo. In November, the group appeared on the reality show, Birth of a Family.
During 2011, INFINITE was also preparing for their debut in Japan. On January 26, 2011, the group released their first Japanese single, To-Ra-Wa. This was their initial, but unofficial, foray into Japan. On November 19, 2011, INFINITE made their debut in Japan, with the Japanese version of BTD, which was released in three versions. The single charted at #7 on the Oricon, #20 on the Japan Billboard, and #6 on the RIAJ charts. In December 2011, the group released the Korean digital single, “White Confession (Lately)”, which peaked at #6 on the Gaon Chart. The MV followed the group as they selected Christmas gifts while in Japan.
Between releasing songs in Japan and Korea, INFINITE was active in other musical ventures. In January, Dongwoo featured on Baby Soul’s new single, “She’s a Flirt.” In February of 2012, INFINITE performed their first Korean concert, Second Invasion. The concert sold out within 10 minutes of the tickets being released online. From February 7 to March 11, vocalists Sunggyu and Woohyun made their musical debuts in Gwanghwamun Sonata. The tickets, for the April 1 Second Invasion encore concert, sold out instantly (10,000 seats). INFINITE also became the first k-pop group to live stream a concert, thanks to their partnership with YouTube.
On April 18, 2012, INFINITE released the Japanese version of Be Mine. The single was released in four different versions. It also included a Japanese version of “Julia.” Be Mine peaked at #2 and #3 on the Oricon and Japanese Billboard charts, respectively.
On May 7, 2012, INFINITE returned to Korea by releasing a prologue single, “Only Tears.” The single charted at #14 and #28 on the Gaon and Billboard charts, respectively. On May 15, 2012, the group released their third mini-album, INFINITIZE. The album peaked at #2 on the Gaon chart, and even charted at #9 on the Oricon chart in Japan. The same day, the MV for title track, “The Chaser,” was released. “The Chaser” would provide INFINITE with the “Triple Crown” (winning three weeks in a row) on M!Countdown and also, they won the “Triple Crown” for winning on all three music shows in a week. “The Chaser” also did well on the charts, peaking at #7 on Gaon and #8 on Billboard.
On July 26, 2012, INFINITE released the MV for their Japanese single, “She’s Back.” The single peaked at #3 on the Oricon and #4 on the Billboard charts in Japan.
In support of L’s participation in the cast for What is Mom, INFINITE released “She’s a Fantasy” for the drama’s OST.
INFINITE’s recently released movie, INFINITE Concert Second Invasion Evolution The Movie 3D, reached #3 at the box office. It also surpassed viewers counts, over a 4 period day, for popular concert movies by Big Bang, Super Junior, and Beast.
In 2013, Infinite-H (Dongwoo and Hoya) finally made their official debut. On January 10, 2013, the duo released Fly High. The same day, the MV for their title, “Special Girl” featuring Bumkey, was released. The MV for the follow up track, “Without You” featuring Zion.T, was also released on January 28.
In March 2013, Infinite returned with their fourth mini album, New Challenge, which topped the Gaon Charts. They won several music show awards for the title track, “Man In Love.” On July 16, 2013, the group released their second single album, Destiny. The title track, “Destiny” also topped the charts. On August 9th, the group kicked off their world tour, “One Great Step.”
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INFINITE has also been an award winner. In 2010, INFINITE won the “New Generation Popular Music Teen Singer Award” at the 18th Korean Culture Entertainment Awards. In 2011, they won the “Hally Icon Award” and Over the Top won the “Disk Bonsang Award” at the Golden Disk Awards. Over the Top also won the “Group Musician of the Year by Netizens” award at the Korean Music Awards. At the The Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club (SFCC) PR Awards, INFINITE won the award for “Performance Group.” The group won the “Idol Growth No. 1” Award at the 2011 OBS Idol Stars Awards. In Europe, “BTD” won for “Best Choreography” and “Be Mine” won for “Best Song” at the European K-Pop Awards (So-Loved Awards). In 2013, the group received awards for Best Male Group and SONY MDR WORLD WIDE PERFORMER at MAMA.
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If you need help remembering INFINITE’s title tracks, here’s a helpful story:
Basically, INFINITE can’t keep a woman. HAHAHA. In the beginning, INFINITE wants their loves to “Come Back” to them. The girls finally agree, and YAY! “She’s Back!” However, things take a turn for the worse. INFINITE goes into a bit of an obsessive mode, and must possess their loves “Before the Dawn” comes. Although the love is drifting away, INFINITE believes that “Nothing’s Over.” They plead for their loves to “Be Mine” and that it is “Paradise” (though a bit obsessively) when their loves are with them. When winter comes, the group once again wants to make a “White Confession” to their loves. Still unable to keep their loves, and despite attempts to let them go, INFINITE becomes “The Chaser,” chasing after the girl they love in hopes she will return their heart and affections. INFINITE then explains all they would do and how they would act when they are a “Man In Love.” Once again, INFINITE goes crazy, refusing to let go of the girl, because she’s their “Destiny.”
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The group has become stars due to their hard work, dancing, performing talent, and catchy tunes. They are also winning people over with their personalities, which are showcased in variety/reality shows and other ventures. Stay tuned for Part 2!!
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