Forgotten Friday is for all of the groups I like who have either a) released quite a bit of music and then disbanded, or b) been around for a while and not picked up any steam (but haven’t officially disbanded yet). This week’s Forgotten Friday is dedicated to a group called The Boss, or DGNA.
Debuting in 2010 and still active today, DGNA is composed of five members: Mika (leader, vocals), Karam (vocals, visual), Hyunmin (vocals), Injun (vocals, rap), and Jay (maknae, vocals, dance). Possibly most famously known for their “Japan first, Korea later” promotion strategy, this business plan gives me mixed feelings.
Even before DGNA was formed, old school K-pop fans might remember a group called Xing, described as a generational band kind of similar to Japan’s Morning Musume, or what After School tried to be. Former U-kiss members Kevin and Kibum, as well as Beast/Highlight’s Yong Junhyung were also past members of Xing.
While DGNA is still active today, they mostly do activities in Japan, and have an extensive Japanese discography. I’m not going to link any of their Japanese releases here, simply because I don’t want to have a video-heavy blog post, but if anyone is interested in Japanese song recommendations, let me know!
Top 5 Notable Songs:
To be honest, DGNA hasn’t released all that much in Korea, compared to other groups in their era. Here are some of their most popular/best releases, in chronological order:
- Debuting with the slightly underwhelming but cute “Admiring Boy” in 2010, it was easy for people at the time to compare them to debut-era TVXQ:
2. If I remember correctly, they actually began to pick up speed and recognition in Korea with the more mainstream-friendly “Stumble Stumble”, which is when I first learned of their existence:
3. This allowed DGNA to actually hit #3 on the Gaon chart with their follow-up ballad single, called “Lady”, which isn’t one of my favorite DGNA songs because I tend to dislike super slow ballads, but which fits Korea’s style to a T:
4. Unfortunately, Korea didn’t hear from DGNA for another two years, and by then, their chances of hitting it big in Korea had already passed. Fortunately, they released one of their best songs, titled “Why Goodbye”:
5. Even more unfortunately, DGNA disappeared for another year, and they came out randomly with “Rilla Go”, with MV costumes so unfortunate that I refuse to link the actual MV here out of courtesy to the members. This is actually a decent song, to be honest:
Other Notable Stuff:
- Their cover of TVXQ’s “Love in the Ice” is probably one of the best covers of that song I’ve ever listened to, and they’re just chilling in their practice room (they also covered the song w/ better audio quality at this radio show). (Injun = hat, kneeling, Jay = black tank top, Hyunmin = blue jacket around waist, Karam = blue shirt, Mika = black shirt, damaged blond hair).
- Karam is so pretty, but his voice is pretty good.
- Hell, all of their voices are really good.
- Their Japanese pronunciation is actually really good as well, which makes sense, since that’s where they’ve been promoting these days.
- They actually just released a thank you song to their fans a few months ago, called “Lucky Man“, which was really unexpected and sweet.
To be honest, since DGNA debuted when K-pop fans were still reeling from JYJ’s lawsuit, many weren’t ready to accept a group with a similar concept (for lack of a better term). Additionally, back in 2010, because K-pop idols still weren’t held up to the same “talent” status that they are held up to today (where everyone is supposed to be able to “sing”), DGNA felt out of place in a year full of catchy dance groups (“Oh!”, “Run Devil Run”, “Bad Girl Good Girl”, to name a few). That, combined with shitty Korean management (try googling Open World Entertainment, their first company), made it challenging for them to break through.
Luckily, since they continue to have regular promotions in Japan and are a really well-rounded boy group, I’m still able to listen to their music. And, if it’s DGNA, as long as I can listen to their voices, I think I’ll be able to sit through even the slowest, sleep-inducing ballad 🙂