It’s a brand-new year, and this usually means some K-Pop artists are planning to start 2019 with a bang.
One of these artists is Chungha. On the second day of 2019, she dropped her album XII, featuring the title track “Gotta Go.” Watch it here:
But what makes Chungha worthy of being This Month’s Beat? Read on to find out!
The Beginning: Produce 101
Although she was born in Korea, she lived in Dallas, Texas for seven to eight years, making her fluent in English. Chungha had previously auditioned for YG Entertainment and is a former JYP Entertainment trainee.
You may have come across Chungha’s name before her official debut. This is because she took part in the first season of the popular MNet survival show Produce 101. Here’s a clip of Chungha’s company audition with M&H Entertainment labelmate Oh Seojung:
In the same video, she impressed dance trainer Bae Yoonjung (and everyone else in the room) with her freestyle dance to Beyonce’s “Yonce.”
However, what most likely cemented Chungha’s place in the lineup was when she revealed her skills as a choreographer. She choreographed the iconic “Bang Bang” stage for the position evaluation battle in Produce 101. Based on the fans’ comments, that performance has set the standard viewers expect future contestants to live up to.
Chungha went on to finish fourth in the show’s finale, leading her to become part of popular group I.O.I.
Just after Produce 101, I.O.I went on to prove that they are the nation’s girl group, impressing everyone with their releases and winning several awards along the way. The girls, including Chungha, also showed that they are a force to beat in their solo projects.
As for Chungha, she went on to be recognized as one of the best dancers among the new generation of K-Pop idols. Watch her relay free dance here, with the rest of I.O.I chanting “God Chungha”:
When I.O.I’s first sub-unit was announced, she stepped up by providing one of three choreography options for the song “Whatta Man.” Her choreography was chosen.
She also took part in dance survival show Hit the Stage. Here is her performance in the show’s final episode alongside fellow I.O.I member Yoojung.
Chungha is also known for her collaborations with other artists while she was still promoting as a member of I.O.I. Here she is with f(x)’s Amber performing “Shake that Brass” at KCon LA:
Meanwhile, here’s “Flower, Wind and You”, a collaboration single among Chungha, fellow I.O.I members Somi and Yoojung, as well as DIA’s Huihyeon.
She also collaborated with artists such as HALO as well as Heo Jung Eun, Hwang Ji Ah, and Ooon for some songs in the soundtrack of the drama “My Fair Lady.”
I.O.I released their final single on January 2017, eventually disbanding at the end of the month. Two months later, Chungha announced that she will be debuting as a solo artist. She made a pre-release single called “Week” on April, describing the song as a reflection of the emptiness she felt following I.O.I’s disbandment.
Finally, Chungha made her official debut on June with her album “Hands on Me.” This contained the title track “Why Don’t You Know.”
She definitely made waves following her solo debut, earning awards such as Best of Next Award at the 19th Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) and New Artist at the 27th Seoul Music Awards
The following year, Chungha made her comeback on January with her second EP Offset. This featured the single “Roller Coaster.” This proved to be her most successful single, earning her Best Dance Performance at the 20th MAMA, Best Digital Song and Best Solo Dance Track at the Korea Popular Music Awards, as well as the Digital Daesang and Bonsang at the 33rd Golden Disk Awards.
“Love U”, her song from her third EP Blooming Blue, also did well commercially, earning the AAA Favorite Award at the third Asia Artist Awards along with “Roller Coaster.” Blooming Blue is also the 29th best-selling album of 2018.
Chungha’s collaboration with artists also continued during her solo career. She was featured in Samuel Kim’s solo debut album Sixteen as well as in Babylon’s single LaLaLa. She was also part of SM Station X 0’s project girl group “Station Young.” alongside Red Velvet’s Seulgi, (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon, and GFriend’s SinB.
Her last collaboration in 2018 was with Super Junior’s Yesung for the song “Whatcha Doin’”.
Besides her music activities, Chungha also took on hosting projects. She became a DJ on EBS’ radio program Listen, then an MC on FashionN’s Please Take Care of My Vanity with Han Chaeyoung and Super Junior’s Leeteuk.
She also had her own reality show “Chung Ha’s Free Month” on YouTube and NaverTV.
With an explosive comeback this 2019, we’re excited for everything Chungha has to offer us this year!
What’s your favorite Chungha song and/or collaboration? Let us know in the comments section below!
Clara Palma contributed to this article.