Just How Did FIFTY FIFTY Break Onto Billboard? Korean Music Critic Explains All

“They didn’t go viral because they thought, ‘Let’s try to go viral on TikTok.'”

The newest K-Pop sensation FIFTY FIFTY has been breaking all kinds of records this past month and fans have been delighted with the results. Seeing a new K-Pop girl group take the K-Pop industry by storm is always refreshing, but it’s even better when these accolades are gained in regions outside of South Korea as well. But how did FIFTY FIFTY’s hit song “Cupid” achieve such success? The internet has seen many theories circulate and popular music critic Kim Do Heon also seems to have his own.


Earlier this month, on April 8, FIFTY FIFTY achieved what seemed impossible when they entered the Billboard Hot 100 ranking. The viral song “Cupid” ranked 94th, making them the faster K-Pop group to enter the chart, 4 months after their debut with The Fifty, surpassing Newjeans, BTS, Wonder Girls, TWICE, and BLACKPINK. The song has now been on the chart for almost a month, peaking higher with each passing week.

“Cupid” has been adding Spotify achievements to their already impressive roster with the song’s English version “Cupid – Twin Version” continuing to climb on various Spotify rankings, such as its Global chart or the Daily Top ranking.

Following the song blowing up on TikTok, with multiple influencers using the track as background music for their video content, many speculated that FIFTY FIFTY’s “Cupid” owes most of its success to the platform. However, music critic Kim Do Heon thinks differently.

In the K-Pop scene, basically, only dance or lyric challenges utilize short platforms, but this is a minor marketing method that was used around 2019.

β€” Kim Do Heon


#FIFTYvod πŸ―πŸ¦Šλ„ λ„μ „ν•œ νν”Όλ“œ μ†λŒ„μŠ€ μ±Œλ¦°μ§€βœŒοΈβœŒοΈπŸΉ #FIFTYFIFTY #TheBeginning #Cupid #ν”Όν”„ν‹°ν”Όν”„ν‹° #νν”Όλ“œ #KEENA #SIO #ν‚€λ‚˜ #μ‹œμ˜€ #νν”Όλ“œμ±Œλ¦°μ§€ #Cupidchallenge #νν”Όλ“œμ†λŒ„μŠ€ #Cupidμ†λŒ„μŠ€

♬ Cupid (Twin Ver.) – FIFTY FIFTY

Kim explained that short platforms, such as TikTok or YouTube Shorts, have been mainly utilized by K-Pop artists to popularise lyrics or dance challenges. While “Cupid” is the first song to properly go viral on the music scene, the music critic says that the song isn’t only popular because it went viral. According to Kim, there were various factors that made the song able to break so many records.

He went on to explain that the song itself is well-made and easy to listen to, with no parts that are “too much” and graceful vocals.

Especially since the English version doesn’t have rap and the lyrics are completely in English, it wasn’t too much. Also, since it’s a well-made pop [song] that can be modified, these factors influenced it to go viral.

β€” Kim Do Heon


Other than “Cupid” being a well-made pop song that’s easy on the ears, Kim also awards its popularity to the fact that it’s simply a good song. He says that FIFTY FIFTY and their label ATTRAKT didn’t make “Cupid” go viral just because they intended to do so, rather, they made a good song and it worked out perfectly.

However, you don’t go viral just because you intend it to. They didn’t go viral because they thought, ‘Let’s try to go viral on TikTok.’ FIFTY FIFTY didn’t think that way and instead created good music, which was what worked out well.

β€” Kim Do Heon

Source: News1
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