TRI.BE is the New K-Pop Girl Group on the Block
Meet SongSun, Kelly, JinHa, HyunBin, Jia, SoEun and MiRe
With news of another debut spreading every few months, there’s no shortage of K-pop groups to stan. But if you’re on the hunt for a new fourth generation girl group to keyboard smash about on stan Twitter, let it be Universal Music Korea’s very first K-pop act, TRI.BE.
Having freshly debuted on February 17th with their two-track release, TRI.BE Da Loca, TRI.BE is the newest girl group on the block. Comprised of Korean members Songsun, Jinha, Hyunbin, and Soeun; Taiwanese members Kelly and Jia; and Japanese member MiRe, the TRI.BE members proudly speak Korean, Japanese, Chinese and English. Like most K-pop groups, TRI.BE’s name is an amalgamation of references, particularly the perfection of a triangle and the idea of “being.” When put together, TRI.BE’s name is a reminder that we are perfect as we are—a mantra that trickles down to their title track, DOOM DOOM TA.
With lyrics like “They say they hate me, but they wanna be like me” and “If you don’t understand me, then oh well, too bad,” DOOM DOOM TA is a classic self-love anthem. Produced by hitmaker S.Tiger (otherwise known as Sinsadong Tiger), the track has all the makings of a chart-topping earworm: a thrumming beat, a catchy chorus, a palette-cleansing bridge. There’s also the snappy choreography—easily adapted into a Tiktok challenge, of course!—which is evidently one of TRI.BE’s strengths. However, a closer listen reveals interesting influences. DOOM DOOM TA features musical elements borrowed from afrobeat and dancehall, genres that aren’t quite as prevalent in K-pop.
EXID’s L.E. joined S.Tiger in the production of Loca, the second track off of TRI.BE’s debut project, as a composer and lyricist. Members SongSun and HyunBin trained under Banana Culture, EXID’s former label, so it’s no wonder L.E was closely involved in the group’s debut. True to L.E’s strengths, Loca is a synth-heavy hip-hop track that continues DOOM DOOM TA’s frenetic streak. The track’s verses spotlight the members’ rapping chops despite Hyunbin being the only formally introduced rapper in the group. Things take a slower turn right around the two-minute-mark, with the bridge and closer serving up rich, versatile vocals. It’ll be exciting to see how TRI.BE carves out their sound from here on out.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver