From Brave Girls to ‘Breaking Barriers’: BBGirls talk their K-pop rebirth

From Brave Girls to ‘Breaking Barriers’: BBGirls talk their K-pop rebirth
Warner Music Korea
Daniel Anderson
August 4, 2023
Within the fabled annals of K-pop, few tales are as captivating and tumultuous as that of the group formerly known as Brave Girls.
Their saga began in 2011, navigating challenges and lineup changes as they pursued musical glory. A moment of dormancy ensued before their triumphant return in 2016, fortified by new members and the single “High Heels,” signaling a fresh chapter in their story. With yet another lineup change in 2017, Brave Girls released their fourth mini-album “Rollin’,” which initially garnered modest success.
Little did they know, however, that fate had an extraordinary twist awaiting them. It wasn’t until a 2021 viral YouTube compilation of the now-quartet performing at military concerts emerged that “Rollin’” exploded into the global phenomenon it is today. The song’s resurgence captured the hearts of not only Korean soldiers but the wider public, saving members Minyoung, Youjoung, Eunji and Yuna from the brink of disbandment. Their reign as the Summer Queens of K-pop had begun.

Their ascension was no mere fairy tale, but a resplendent reality. They became the first girl group to top the Melon monthly chart for three consecutive months, and “Rollin’” achieved the longest period among Korean girl group songs on the Melon daily chart with 553 consecutive days. Moreover, their follow-up comeback music video for “Chi Mat Ba Ram” achieved the remarkable milestone of reaching 30 million views in just 10 days after its release. Their journey saw them compete on Mnet’s “Queendom” Season 2, grace numerous music show stages and embark on a triumphant U.S. tour in the summer of 2022.
Yet even as the crown adorned their heads, members Minyoung, Youjoung, Eunji and Yuna bid Brave Entertainment farewell in February, a poignant moment marked by the track “Goodbye.” But in this world, stories seldom end; they evolve and reimagine themselves. Rising from the ashes as BBGIRLS, their partnership with Warner Music Korea breathed new life into their fable. With the new album “One More Time,” they celebrate their journey and pave the path to a dazzling future. The title track of the same name samples “Give It To Me Baby” by the legendary soul funk artist Rick James.
United by an unbreakable bond, BBGIRLS are poised to reclaim their throne, reigning once more as the eternal monarchs of K-pop. In an interview with NextShark, BBGIRLS share their thoughts on their royal rebrand and their aspirations for the future.
Eunji via Warner Music Korea
NextShark: How are all of you feeling with this new chapter, having debuted once as Brave Girls, again in 2021 when “Rollin’” became viral and now as BBGIRLS?
Minyoung: We are very excited and nervous at the same time. Four of us — Minyoung, Eunji, Yuna, and Youjoung — are starting an important new chapter, and we worked hard for every step of the process. 
Yuna: “’Rollin’” becoming viral was a miraculous gift that we will be forever thankful for. We are working hard for our new albums to receive much love. 

Can you talk a bit about the time back in February of this year when Brave Girls released “Goodbye?” Many fans thought it meant you would all disband, but you came back as BBGIRLS. Was a reunion always planned past the release of “Goodbye?”
Minyoung: Four of us coming back has always been something we wanted to pursue regardless of the release of “Goodbye.”
Minyoung via Warner Music Korea
Why was it important to release “Goodbye” and say goodbye to the “Brave Girls” part of you?
Youjoung: None of us truly thought it was an actual goodbye. It didn’t exactly mean goodbye to our musical careers or fans. It was more of a closure for the project to put an end to a chapter, for a potential new beginning.
Eunji: We always believed that we would meet our fans again.
Were there any fears of rebranding as BBGIRLS?
Minyoung: Now as BBGIRLS, our concept and music are different from our past projects. There’s a fear as we don’t know how fans will feel or react to our changes. But I believe that fans will love it. This trust is how I overcome such fears.
Youjoung via Warner Music Korea
What do you all want to convey with the name BBGIRLS? Tell me about the significance behind the name.
Youjoung: We chose a new group name that will be familiar to both the public and our fans, as we have a history. Moreover, BB stands for “Breaking Barriers,” which is a message we’d like to convey with our name.
What can fans expect from BBGIRLS? Will you continue to be the “Summer Queens” of K-pop, or will you explore different sounds, visuals, and styles?
Youjoung: We want to keep up with all expectations while exploring new styles. 
Yuna: We want to keep our title as “Summer Queens” of K-pop and also try out different sounds and visuals.
As you planned out BBGIRLS, was it easy or challenging to create the vision you wanted going forward? Were there ever disagreements? How did you all communicate with one another on what kind of group you wanted this to be?
Yuna via Warner Music Korea
Minyoung: The planning process was fun as it had been a while since the four of us worked together. Our goal was to go beyond the previous concepts to show BBGIRLS’ new side. Each one of us knows what’s best for ourselves well, so we communicated with one another a lot to realize our main goal was to start with finding our group’s identity.
Tell me about the title track “One More Time.” How did you decide this would be the song for your debut?
Eunji: We listened to a lot of demos to find the best track for BBGIRLS. “One More Time” was a track that caught all of our ears. It really left a strong impression. Also, as the title suggests, it had a message of going again one more time, so it’s perfect for our re-debut.
Youjoung: “ONE MORE TIME” was the song that everyone loved. All the members and our label team members agreed that it was good. It was a unilateral decision to go with this song, and when we heard that it was based on a sample of a legendary artist, Rick James, we felt honored to be on it.

What should fans look out for with this debut?
Eunji: I hope fans will look out for every aspect including the music video, choreography, visuals, and more, as we have worked hard on every detail.
With a new group and name, can fans expect a new fandom name and light stick? What might those look like?
Yuna: Our new fandom name has been announced as “BBee.” It’s very cute. I haven’t really thought about new light sticks, but if we do, I think I’d like to create a character to incorporate into them.
You accomplished a lot as Brave Girls. What are some of the career goals you have for BBGIRLS?
Yuna: BBGIRLS’ goal is to clearly find and show our group’s distinct color to people. For a specific career goal, maybe we can try for this year’s Rookie Award?
Anything you want to say to your fans as BBGIRLS?
BBGIRLS: We appreciate your love and support for BBGIRLS. We hope you enjoy our new album! We will continue to show you our great music and performances. Love you always!
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