Disclaimer: The following is only a reflection of the writer’s opinion. Some topics discussed are only speculation to the subject.
Many fans of K-Pop are aware of groups debuting or coming back left and right. From solo artists to all-male or all-female groups, fans of the genre know that there is a never a day of rest in K-Pop. What there is a lack thereof is the amount of co-ed K-Pop groups in the industry. The current most popular co-ed groups, which are known for their vocal talents and abilities than for having choreography, are Akdong Musician and Urban Zakapa. However, in the K-Pop industry, there is not much co-ed performance groups.
There are units that are more of a collaboration than a solid group that comes together to release multiple songs/albums. For example, earlier in August, Starship Entertainment’s rookie groups, Monsta X & Cosmic Girls, came together to create Y Teen, in collaboration for a certain brand. There is no word whether or not this collaboration unit will release something together in the future, so it can be assumed that this will only be collaborating once. Other known collaborations between K-Pop groups are 2PM & Girls’ Generation, Nasty Nasty (Nine Muses Kyungri, ZE:A’s Kevin, So Jin), SM Entertainment’s Younique. However, these are only collaboration units that have been created by the company rather than these members training together and debuting together.
But that is not to say that there are none that have debuted or have released something on a one-time basis. One of the most popular co-ed groups, though also created after their respective debuts from their company, is Troublemaker. Troublemaker consists of (former 4Minute member) HyunA and (former Beast member) Beast, and they really made a statement with their sexy concepts of their albums. Till this day, many fans are wondering when these two performers are going to get back together and release another album.
There has been another group that has debuted as a K-Pop co-ed group. Under MBK Entertainment (formally known as Core Contents Media), Co-Ed School debuted as one of the very first co-ed K-Pop idol groups. However, as a group they did not stay together for long. Eventually the members of Co-Ed School broke off into their respective boy and girl group to promote in their own style. As mentioned earlier, most co-ed groups are formed from the company rather than them training together and debuting at the same time. With most groups who are put together, come to collaborate on a project.
So why is it that there is a lack of co-ed group in the K-Pop industry?
One of the reasons why having a co-ed group can be hard is dealing with having to change or get ready for a performance.If a co-ed group were to be given only one dressing room for themselves, it may be a bit uncomfortable for members to get changed in front of one another., even under the premise they have trained together for a significant amount of time.
Another reason why co-ed groups may prove difficult is their fans. There will be those fans who do not like their favorite member (regardless of gender) interacting with another person of the opposite sex. Though not all fans are like that, some fans may not be happy with the interaction and how close members can be. K-Pop idols tend to please their fans and if some fans may push for members to be away from each other, the members may actually keep their distance and it may cause a strain in dynamics as a group.
One last reason as to why co-ed groups are not able to work out is there may be difference in style. There has to be some type of middle ground for members of a co-ed group to work out and if they do not agree on concept or even distribution of parts, again it may cause a rift amongst the group. Some members may not necessarily fit the concept that they are given and may make them uncomfortable to stick to the concept. It may be tough to stick to a certain type of concept, and if a member does not match up to the concept, it may prove to be a lot more difficult to proceed with.
There could be many factors as to why co-ed groups are hard to see in the Korean music industry but hopefully this can change and fans of K-Pop can see a co-ed group that will stay together for a long, long time.