Everyone is busy studying the EXO craze in the music business.
Especially they once again formed teenage groupies even garnering fans in twenties and thirties. They caught all two rabbits at once. ‘Growl’ topped on SBS ‘The Music Trend’, Mnet ‘M!Countdown’ for three weeks in a row. It also topped on MBC ‘Music Core’, and KBS ‘Music Bank’. Thanks to this song they marked more than 700,000 record sales and is in top 5 on Melon even after one month on 13th.
Now everyone is focusing on the new strategy which EXO brought up in such competitive music business full of catchy hooks and boy group dances. It is so-called three-nos. No more melody repetition with hook songs. No more point choreography instead more over the top performance overall. No more solo entertaining program.
# No More Hooks
‘Growl’ don’t use shouting vocals that usually boy groups’ use to show off their charisma. They are differentiated in that they have no hooks. They don’t highlight the chorus part only.
Although ‘Growl’ do have catchy phrase like ‘I am growing’ the hook phrase’s importance is not significant. Instead the hook phrase, overall song is arranged with diverse melody without unnecessary raps to divide parts equally to each members.
SM head of the producing department Lee Sungsoo says “Every song has a hook phrase. It is hard to call it a hook song or not. But ‘Growl’ is based on repetitive loop but has no free chorus or climax pattern. We just slightly changed the accompaniment and the melody. It is differentiated from the so-called ‘hook songs’ and also it is unique in in that it is a Urban R&B song.”
This quality captured the twenties and thirties fans who were fed up with the about the same songs. He says “Although ‘Growl’ is not a new genre but it is not a hook song we usually listen to. It was differentiated from the songs we easily listen through the TV. It was able to appeal twenties and thirties who listened to pop and R&B as a child.
# No specific highlight in the choreography
They do not highlight on specific melody with a specific point in their choreography. EXO’s all 12 members move all separately unlike the usual group dance. They are divided in two teams and also group dance with 12 members altogether showing various moves.
The story also have connection with their previous song. In ‘Wolf’ they showed a boy in love expressing their masculine beauty within the choreography. ‘Grow;’ is also about fighting for a girl. It shows story in the dance looking into the camera and using various camera angles.
Such battle performance is well shown in the MV. The camera shoot the boy’s dance battle without any edition as if the camera is observing them on live. Members’ trying to win a girl’s love show natural masculine beauty.
According to the production team leader “I think the outcome was good due to manly performance and refined styling. They are not just cute young brothers. To men it makes them want to dance like EXO. The ‘Growl’ created synergy by well mixed choreography and music.”
# No solo acts
EXO was also different in that they did not use one prominent member’s fame. Each group usually use a so called ‘pitcher strategy’ standing a member with more star like visual or entertaining talent in front. But EXO put more effort to make their group image as one instead of playing solo.
EXo was ‘mysterious’ as possible. ‘Wolf’ was released in June and they already had one year and 5 months gap. Usually boy groups release as many new songs as possible so that they will not be forgotten by their fans. They also show up in entertaining programs revealing their humane charms. Some questioned SM why they are not appearing as much. But as a result, this new strategy more likely triggered the teenage groupies’ fantasy.
Teenage fans take after EXO as their role model and are showing crazy fandom for the first time since TVXQ!. Evertime EXO appears in an event the fence goes down due to ‘too’ crazy fans. SBS ‘The Music Trend’ even banned the fans’ entrance for the firs time. Body guard who worked in this music program business for ten years said “Although there were many pop stars until recently, this kind of syndrome is a first since TVXQ!”
Mysterious strategy worked our well. From the day they were organizing the group their concept was boys with supernatural powers from a alien planet. However they filmed their MV based on school and used teasing image shoot in general neighborhood. Also they wore costume looking like a school uniform. Overall, they were able to position themselves as perfect but in short distance idol group.
When EXO was singing ‘Wolf’ other idols thought them as their competition. But now they see EXO as different level. One medium size agency spokesman said “EXO turned around the music business with new strategy. This long term strategy was possible because it was SM with capital and global network.”
Original article from: Osen
English-translated article from: EXO Naver Starcast
* The English is a little off, I know, but that’s really how it was written in the translated article. ㅠㅠ