The Girl Group That Wrote TWICE’s “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE”: Meet Citizen Queen
TWICE recently made their comeback with the new English single “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE.”
Both international and Korean netizens are loving it. From the members’ visuals to the MV aesthetic to the catchy chorus, there are only praises for “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE!”
MOONLIGHT SUNRISE IS A BOP! @JYPETWICE pic.twitter.com/HlPjvX1jBr
— ron ☾ (@imyeonnz) January 20, 2023
OK BUT OMYGODDDDD TWICE LOOKS SO GOODDD
MOONLIGHT SUNRISE OUT NOW#핫하고달달해_트와이스의_문라썬라#TWICE_OurMoonlightandSunrise @JYPETWICE pic.twitter.com/814xULu4GO
— hoodz ◡̎ (@HoodieTW) January 20, 2023
Yet, the song actually was written for TWICE by another girl group…
Meet Citizen Queen.
Citizen Queen is an American girl group formed in 2018 under RCA Records. It is comprised of four vocalists Kaedi Dalley, Cora Isabel, Nina Nelson, Kaylah Sharve’, and formerly Hannah Mrozak, who departed in May 2022.
The group has been identified as playing a part in the revival of girl groups in the United States. Refinery29 stated that the group ‘kicks down the doors with their powerful official debut, and the perfectly placed harmonies, bass, and vocal percussion on the original song all but promise a top spot for the talented newbies. Forget what you heard — girl groups ain’t dead, y’all’. Nylon described the group as ‘Modern representation plus Danity Kane-levels of pop ear-worminess? This is the girl group we deserve!’ The group has been described as ‘unique because they tend to rely more on their voices rather than singing along to a beat’. Cosmopolitan compared the group to Fifth Harmony, and their origin to the movie, Pitch Perfect, noting that ‘after going through a cappella boot camps and auditions, the girls joined forces to create pop anthems and covers’. Fringe noted that the group had ‘received praise from the likes of everyone from Ariana Grande to Meghan Trainor’.
Interestingly, Pentatonix‘s Scott Hoying is Citizen Queen’s mentor. He, along with producers and arrangers Shams Ahmed and Ben Bram, “hand-selected” the members “from different states and different ethnic backgrounds.” Citizen Queen also toured with Pentatonix in July 2019 as the acapella group’s opening acting for their nine-week world tour.
Singer and beatboxer Cora Isabel was the first member chosen, after sending audition videos to the arrangers. Bram first saw Hannah Mrozak on season 13 of The Voice ‘where she made it to the playoffs in 2017 as a member of Adam Levine’s and Jennifer Hudson’s teams’. Bram ‘reached out to Mrozak” and ‘encouraged her to audition’ for Citizen Queen. The members of the group were “complete strangers before the group’s founding”, except for SoCal VoCals members Nelson and Sharve’. Bram had been music director of the SoCal VoCals before participating in the formation of Pentatonix and Citizen Queen. Sharve’ had also previously released an album and performed in her home state of Texas.
Reportedly, the group recorded “four fully produced songs and music videos” together in a Los Angeles Airbnb during their first week. They first gained recognition in 2019 with the viral YouTube video “Evolution of Girl Groups,” a six-minute medley of 25 songs with 25M views at the time of writing.
While they continued to release popular cover songs, their first original song, “Call Me Queen,” written by Justin Tranter, Nova Wav, and Shawn Wasabi, was released in December 2020. Since then, they have continued to release original songs, such as “No Ego,” “Y,” “XO,” “Waste My Time,” and “Break Up,” and the members have been increasingly involved in the creative process.
Most recently, Citizen Queen collaborated with Fifth Harmony‘s Dinah Jane. They released a “holiday medley of Justin Bieber‘s ‘Mistletoe’, Ariana Grande‘s ‘Santa Tell Me,’ and Fifth Harmony’s ‘Can You See’ from holiday film The Star.”
Even if you are unfamiliar with Citizen Queen’s music, you might have seen them appear on your TikTok FYP once or twice. The members are very active on social media with their shared accounts. Their TikTok has 1.8M followers, Instagram has 139K followers, Facebook has 65K followers, and YouTube has 593K subscribers.
one of our favorites we’ve ever done 😭
im a survivor 😩😓😮💨😫 #reba
Recently, Citizen Queen’s Nina Nelson and Kaedi Dalley shared their reaction to ONCEs listening (and loving) “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE.” They wrote it with earattack and Lee Woo Hyeon.
seeing ONCEs go crazy for the single we wrote has us 🥺 #TWICE #moonlightsunrise
We can only imagine what a dream come true it must have been for the Citizen Queen members! The group includes proud K-Pop fans, frequently fangirling over BTS…
cora 🤝 simping for suga
MULAN AND PRINCESS JASMINE ARE ARMY #army #bts #taehyung ✊🏼😔🏼
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