Back in March, the K-pop group Fifty Fifty cracked the Billboard Hot 100 with its viral hit “Cupid,” which has both Korean and English versions. Since then, against expectations, the group and the song have only continued absolutely soaring, as “Cupid” has reached a new peak of #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the song is playing on US radio stations. And it’s basically all thanks to the song being plastered everywhere on TikTok and sometimes Instagram. It’s a miraculous ascent for a group that comes from a really small company, ATTRAKT, which does not even have a fraction of the marketing resources that BTS and NewJeans‘ HYBE, Twice‘s JYP Entertainment, or BabyMonster‘s YG Entertainment does. So ATTRAKT will strike while the iron is hot, and (via AllKPop) Fifty Fifty will promote in the US and UK in July.
Fifty Fifty and ATTRAKT had already signed a partnership with Warner Records back in April, and “Cupid” will be available to buy physically in the US from retailers like Target by June. So coming to the US and the UK for radio appearances and the like will just be the next step in exploiting the virality of “Cupid” as fast and hard as possible. It remains to be seen what sort of TV appearances the group might put in, but Fifty Fifty can speak some English, with Aran being surprisingly fluent. And everyone in the group is (narrowly) an adult, so fleeting frivolities like education won’t get in the way of anything.
The whole situation continues to be a unicorn event. Although ATTRAKT has stated that its strategy from the beginning has been to achieve this current result, the reality is that all the small K-pop companies try to go this viral and fail. This is a degree of success that can’t be replicated through any degree of planning or meticulously crafted formulas, and it still remains to be seen how much attention Fifty Fifty will be able to retain when it’s finally time to release new music.
I don’t want to sound overly negative though. I’m as thrilled as anyone to see a K-pop group from a small label create excellent music that resonates around the world. Hopefully they can find more staying power than Momoland after “Bboom Bboom.” Regardless, Fifty Fifty only debuted late last year, so even if there aren’t necessarily a lot of global tours in their future, there should be some sunny times ahead.
We already embedded “Cupid” in our last article, so this time, here’s a video of Fifty Fifty bungee jumping to celebrate 5 million YouTube views of “Cupid.” (The song has over 57 million views now.) Keena cries so hard and so suddenly that it sounds like a fake cartoon cry, so please enjoy her voluntary suffering for your entertainment.
Stay tuned for the arrival of Fifty Fifty in the US and the UK. If you’re hankering for more K-pop in your life right now, check out the recently finalized lineup of BabyMonster, the successor to Blackpink who also speaks some English and is way younger than Fifty Fifty. Or check out the time that Chaeyoung from Twice accidentally wore a swastika T-shirt immediately after accidentally wearing a Q-Anon shirt.