Why K-pop’s Everglow stays faithful to ‘girl crush’ sound, empowering message

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2023 09:04 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2023 09:17 AM

Concept photo for Everglow’s ‘All My Girls.’ Photo Yuehua Entertainment Korea
Concept photo for Everglow’s ‘All My Girls.’ Photo Yuehua Entertainment Korea

MANILA — In K-pop, going by 20 months without putting out new music can be considered a lengthy period of inactivity, considering that most acts typically drop around up to two releases each year. That’s why the members of Everglow could not help but feel worried when they found themselves in such a prolonged hiatus.

But these worries were dispelled when the girl group — composed of Sihyeon, E:U, Mia, Onda, Aisha and Yiren — finally reunited with their fans, collectively called FOREVERs, last August with the single album “All My Girls.”

“During the hiatus, I had many worries, including concerns about being forgotten by FOREVERs,” E:U said in a recent interview with ABS-CBN News. “However, since our comeback, I’ve been overwhelmed and happy to receive the support and love from our dedicated fans.”

The three-track “All My Girls” arrives a year and eight months after “Return of the Girl,” Everglow’s last release from December 2021.

Being away from the stage for so long, Mia admitted to feeling “pressured” over the comeback, while Yiren shared that she was “anxious and nervous.”

“The stage felt a bit intimidating, and at some times, the people and their gazes seemed overwhelming. However, when I witnessed the unwavering support from our fans, I realized that this wasn't the time to feel nervous,” Mia said.

“All My Girls,” leader Sihyeon explained, “conveys a message to all the girls who feel confined by society’s expectations of being a good girl and have lost their true selves in the process.”

“We hope that every girl who listens to this album finds the strength to confidently walk their own path,” she said.

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The album’s lead single is “Slay,” described as “an electronic hip-hop song that leaves a strong impression with powerful drums and a stimulating, repetitive melody.” 

Mia said the track contains a “message to all the girls who have long felt confined by society’s expectations and lost their true selves.”

“This song also conveys the message that we, Everglow, want to tell ourselves,” she added.


In the months during Everglow’s hiatus, new female acts have garnered significant attention in the K-pop scene, bringing with them fresh and trendy styles. 

But “Slay” demonstrates how Everglow remains faithful to the style they have been honing since debuting in 2019. It possesses all the hallmarks that the group’s singles are known for: a boisterous “girl crush” sound and lyrics of female empowerment.

“We aimed to chart Everglow’s distinctive path and create a genre uniquely identified with Everglow, rather than following various styles and trends. Staying true to our style was crucial to effectively convey the messages we wanted to express. It’s all about doing what Everglow does best,” Mia said.

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For E:U, her group’s “girl crush” concept is its “greatest strength.”

“Our journey has been made possible by the support and love from fans who appreciate this concept. We value Everglow’s unique ability to convey bold messages and we aim to continue delivering that message,” she said.

Onda said she also believes maintaining a “consistent style and message” is crucial. “There are so many artists in today’s K-pop scene, but I think having a distinctive style or concept is vital to stand out,” she said.

This does not suggest, however, that Everglow is unable to tackle other genres. In fact, the latest album offers variety, with the mid-tempo “Oh Ma Ma God” highlighting the group’s “sweet vocals” while the livelier “guitar and synth sounds” of “Make Me Feel” provides contrast to “Slay,” Aisha said.

Aisha shared she has also been “exploring the hip-hop genre” for future releases. Yiren, on the other hand, wants to try “seasonal songs, like a summer track for the warmer months or a festive Christmas song.”

Concept photo for Everglow’s ‘All My Girls.’ Photo Yuehua Entertainment Korea
Concept photo for Everglow’s ‘All My Girls.’ Photo Yuehua Entertainment Korea

Returning to PH?

It has been a fruitful comeback for Everglow as the girls took home a first-place trophy on South Korean music program “Show Champion” with “Slay.” They have also been making up for lost time with their overseas fans, rocking the stage at the recent KCON LA and announcing that they would go on a United States tour beginning November.

The girls hope to return to the Philippines, having previously performed in the country last November 2022 for a “friendship day” involving local K-pop fan clubs. At the time, however, only five members came because Yiren was on hiatus.

The group was also supposed to embark on a Southeast Asian tour, which includes a Manila show, last December but it was eventually canceled, with the promoter explaining that it “tried to provide the finest concert... but it was not feasible during this time.”

Recounting their first time in the country, Mia said, “The moment we performed on the stage was the most memorable moment for me. The overwhelming enthusiasm and support from our fans was really touching.”

“I think it would be really fun to hold a concert there. So, if I get the chance, I would definitely love to go,” Sihyeon said.

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