Our first girl group! This week, K-Soul take on the insanely popular f(x), who have recently released their latest single, Red Light. Much like our previous Manifesto Monday with U-Kiss, f(x) have been no stranger to controversy with this single, with the video getting a 19+ rating, and the lyrics requiring a change before being able to air on daytime music shows.
The name f(x) comes from math, where f regularly stands for function, and so represents how they are meant to change and adapt to any situation they have been given. Right away, many fans can fall for this group for their name, because even in their name, f(x) show that they are not your average girl group, and that they’re going to be bringing some smarts with their songs.
About the members
Real Name: Song Qian (Chinese)
Stage Name: Victoria Song, Victoria
Birthday: February 2, 1987
Position: Leader, Main Dancer, Vocal
Hometown: Qingdao, Shandong, China
- Victoria enjoys coffee
- When she’s stressed, Victoria’s stress reliever is eating
- If she could have super powers she’d want to be invisible
- Victoria’s scared of injections
- Super Junior’s Heechul calls her the “Queen of China”
- She specializes in jazz and folk dance
- She and 2PM’s Nichkun make up one of the most popular couples to have been on the show “We Got Married” – nicknamed Khuntoria
- She always carries tissues around with her
Real Name: Amber Josephine Liu
Ethnicity: Taiwanese – American
Birthday: September 18, 1992
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
- Amber is an avid Instagrammer and uses Twitter as well
- Amber has two dogs, Jack Jack and Gongju
- Her two dogs have their own instagram account as well.
- Amber auditioned for SM as a singer, instead of a rapper
- She collects caps
- Everyone says she looks like a llama. She loves llamas
- She’s fluent in Chinese, English and Korean
- Amber knows everyone in k-pop.
- Amber is good friends with many idols, including most of the English speaking idols in k-Pop
- Amber is often mistaken as a male due to her short hair and her clothes, but she dresses that way to be unique and comfortable.
Real Name: Park Sun-Young
Birthday: August 12, 1993
Position: Main vocalist, Lead dancer
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
- In 2006, she was recruited by SM Entertainment and debuted in f(x) after more than three years of training.
- She has an older brother and a twin sister.
- She has done a total of three Korean musicals: Legally Blonde, Coyote Ugly, High School Musical
- She cannot live without her mirror.
- She has a bad habit of sleeping late.
- She is best friends with IU.
- Her favorite foods are strawberries, chocolates, cake, and pizza.
- Luna has a musically inclined family and she feels she has the weakest ability compared to them.
Real Name: Choi Jin-Ri
Birthday: March 29, 1994
Position: Visual, Rapper, Vocalist
Birthplace: Busan, South Korea
- In SM’s movie I AM, you can see a very young Sulli greeting her sunbaes
- Sulli was the first to debut, having acted in plenty of dramas and movies before f(x)’s debut
- Although Sulli is the second youngest, she is the tallest of the girls and is often referred to affectionately by fans as “giant maknae”
- She is close to Super Junior’s Heechul and SHINee’s Key
- She has appeared on Running Man the most out of her members, having been in 5 episodes!
- She roomed with SNSD’s Tiffany and Taeyeon while they were trainees
Real Name: Krystal Soo Jung
Ethnicity: Korean – American
Birthday: October 24, 1994
Position: Lead vocalist, maknae
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
- She actually prefers being called Soojung over Krystal
- She is the younger sister of SNSD’s Jessica
- She was only 5 when she and her sister were spotted by the SM talent agency and were casted. However, her parents deemed her too young to join at the time, but let Jessica start her training. She was finally allowed to join SM in 2006
- Her personality is very much like her sister, Jessica’s. She is often called “princess” and also hates cucumbers. However, Krystal is much more athletic than her older sister, like the rest of her family (her mother was a gymnast and her father, a boxer). She has been on Dream Team more than once, proving her abilities. She is actually on an episode with Jessica and is often embarrassed by her sister’s lack of athleticism
- Her and Amber are close due to Krystal’s ability to speak English as well as Korean. She helped Amber adjust to her new life in South Korea
- She is currently in a variety TV show called “Jessica and Krystal” starring herself and her sister.
The girls from f(x) have a pretty interesting history even before they came together as a group. Back in 2000, Krystal was discovered by SM Entertainment while she was on vacation, and was able to appear in Shinwa’s music video, “Wedding March” (she’s the little girl in the pink!). Sulli began in 2005 as a child actor in the SBS drama “The Ballad of Seo Dong”. Luna was recruited after being spotted on the variety show Truth Game. Victoria was spotted through a Beijing dance competition, while Amber auditioned in LA and made it through the auditions a few months later.
When f(x) began promoting their teasers on August 24, 2009, SM sold them as “Asia’s Pop Dance Group”. They debuted with “LA chA TA” on September 1st, 2009.
After their debut release, f(x) teamed up with their label mates, Girls Generation, with the promotion of the new LG Chocolate mobile phone. Both groups released their own version of the single “Chocolate Love”. The f(x) version had an electro-pop tone to it, a sound that would begin to become their signature sound throughout their career so far.
In case you want to compare, here’s the SNSD version, which is more of a sugar-pop version.)
With “Chocolate Love”, the differences between the two girl groups at SM were suddenly becoming distinct. They released their first physical single, “Chu~♥” which was able to combine the regular sweet sounds of a standard girl group in South Korea, but infused electric pop in a way that many other girl groups weren’t at the time.
At the end of 2009, f(x) were the featured guests during Girls Generation’s “Into the New World” concert in Seoul, which continued to expose them to new fans.
In 2010, f(x) began the year promoting the LG Cyon phone with Chinese group M.I.C with their promotional video “LolliPop” (not to be confused with the song Lollipop by Big Bang and 2ne1. However, they were promoting the same product, so the video and songs are similar.) In May, f(x) released the incredibly popular single “NU ABO”. The single topped streaming charts across South Korea, and topped the Gaon charts.
However, f(x) had a set back in June, when Amber had to take a hiatus due to an ankle injury. f(x) continued to promote, promoting “Mr.Boogie” from the same single as “NU ABO”. They also took part in SMTown World Tour 2010 in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, LA, and Paris.
After the World Tour, f(x) returned with their single, and Amber, in April. They released the single “Pinocchio (Danger)” in April, and were able to achieve their first music show win with the single. “Pinocchio (Danger)” won 8 music shows overall.
In the summer of 2011, f(x) followed up with the single “Hot Summer”, which was also their first full album. “Hot Summer” became an anthem for what was an incredibly hot summer in South Korea that year, and took home two wins as well.
It was almost a year before f(x) had a proper comeback again. With only an OST in between “Hot Summer” and the single in 2012, fans were eagerly awaiting “Electric Shock”. The group swept the music show weekly awards again, winning 9 awards overall.
In 2013, f(x) became the first k-pop act to be invited to perform at South By South West (SXSW), a massive music, film and media conference that takes place in Austin every year. Fuse, a major US music channel, highlighted f(x) as one of the top 30 performances to check out at SXSW. Luckily, mNet documented the entire trip on their web series, “Go f(x)!” f(x) also broke into a whole new audience with their appearance on the popular website “Funny Or Die” with their skit with Anna Kendrick.
Becoming somewhat of an annual thing, f(x) released their sole single of the year in July, releasing the critically acclaimed album Pink Tape. The title track, “Rum Pum Pum Pum” achieved an all kill in August in the music shows, winning all of the music show awards in one weekend. The album overall peaked in charts both in Korea and globally. At the end of the year, Fuse TV included Pink Tape as the only k-pop selection in their “Best 41 Albums of 2013”, which was an international listing published in the United States – a huge honour for the group.
At the end of the year, during SMWeek, f(x) paired up with Exo for a joint concert on December 25th and 26th.
Once again, fans had to wait until the summer of 2014 for f(x)’s latest single, but the wait was worth it. In July 2014, f(x) released “Red Light”. The video was able to hit 2 million views on Youtube within its first day, and brought with it a lot of mixed reviews and controversy. With broadcast stations telling f(x) to change the lyrics, and the video being described as very dark, it simply brought more attention to the brilliant song.
Why should you adore them?
We had two of our writers answer this, because we both are fans!
Sam (New York Reporter): I love the spirit that f(x) exude. There’s such uniqueness to them that I think no other girl group can or will pull off. While SNSD have the cute/sexy Kpop goddess feel to them and 2ne1 are in-your-face, loud and proud girl group, f(x), to me, falls in the middle with this can-be cute, can-be sexy, can-be fierce spunkiness in all their work. They can be sassy like “Nu Abo” and vibrant and energetic like “Electric Shock”, but also incredibly passionate and emotional like in my personal favorite song “Beautiful Stranger.” To me, they defy the boundaries that many companies establish for groups and move between styles. F(x) will forever be a breath of fresh air to me. Yes, SM has oftentimes seemed to neglect them, but when they do return it’s always with a fierce and renewed sound and look that is always incredibly refreshing and definitely welcomed in the Kpop scene.
Rebecca (Editor): I love f(x) because they don’t seem to conform to what is the expectation of their genre. Everything about them is different and wonderful, and I love listening to them. They are one of the few girl groups in Korea that I can say I am a huge fan of. I wish they had a fan club name simply so I could say I was one. I think the girls are fantastic role models for the young girls in Korea, when so many idols out there are looking more and more similar, f(x) are out there standing by themselves, standing by their uniqueness. People embrace them for the fact they are different. The sound they have is really unique, and when ever I hear their music, I just want to pump my fist and cheer over the fact they EXIST.
Other reasons we should adore them, as English speaking fans? AMBER IS HILARIOUS AND WONDERFUL.
SHE HAS THE BEST INSTAGRAM EVER.
And sometimes, her and her friends get to go on TV and for some reason they actually let them be filmed and it’s the most amazing English on Korean television.
Are you guys f(x) fans? And, most importantly, what do you think the f(x) fan club name should be? Perhaps we should all pick on one and then just make it a THING. Like the Exo fans did with Exotic! Lets pick one this week.
Co-written by: Rebecca Bredin, Samantha Lifson and Bernadine.