Korean quartet Mamamoo debuted in the early 2010s with musical stylings inspired by '90s R&B girl groups and Wonder Girls' retro-modern K-pop. Signed to the RBW (Rainbow Bridge World) label, they issued their debut effort, Hello, in 2014, later hitting the Korean and U.S. charts with their first full-length, 2016's Melting.
Comprising singers Solar (Kim Yong-sun) and Wheein Jung and rappers Moon Byul-yi and Hwasa (Ahn Hye-jin), Mamamoo recorded early collaborations with acts Bumkey, K.Will, and Geeks, all of which landed on their official 2014 debut. Hello also included the jazzy title track and the retro-funky single "Mr. Ambiguous." They quickly followed with the Piano Man EP before issuing Pink Funky in 2015. Mamamoo's official debut LP, Melting, arrived in 2016. Rising to number two in Korea and breaking into the Top Ten on the U.S. World Albums chart, the album included the singles "I Miss You" and "You're the Best," their first Korean chart-topper. A split single followed, highlighting the singing half of Mamamoo ("Angel") and their rapping counterparts ("DAB DAB"). Both songs were added to their fourth EP, Memory.
Infused with electronic production and a dance-funk direction, the Purple EP was released in 2017. Home to "Yes I Am," it was Mamamoo's highest-charting and best-selling effort to date, topping the U.S. World Albums chart and peaking at number two in Korea. They scored their first Korean chart-topper the following year with Yellow Flower, the first installation of their four-part concept series, which was inspired by the seasons, colors, natural elements, and each individual member. Part two, Red Moon, was released months later. Including the Sia-esque single "Egotistic," Red Moon became the quartet's first entry on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, rising to number 25 upon release. That year, Mamamoo also began their move into a new market, re-recording the Memory track "Decalcomanie" in Japanese. Reality in Black, the group's sophomore full-length effort, arrived in November 2019. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
HOMETOWNSeoul, South Korea