Stereotype is an overgeneralization of a gender, race, species or any group. Stereotypes can be something positive or negative. It is also undeniable that stereotypes can bring negative effects towards oneself. Women have constantly received various stereotypes in their life. They have to be “girly” or lady-like, know how to cook, “sexy” or attractive, soft-spoken, polite, and many more. These stereotypes make women that are different from others are judged and looked down upon. It is indeed hard for women to live right now.
These stereotypes exist even in the entertainment industries. For example, in Korea, girls group idols are usually portrayed or have the theme of either girly cute or girl crush hot. When the idols debut as neither of those two categories, most of the time they tend to be ignored and hence, become unpopular. However, there is a Korean girls group that appears to be different from those typical categories; Dreamcatcher. If you are looking for some sort of motivation to break yourself from being “ordinary” or simply follow the stereotypes for easy life, maybe the story of Dreamcatcher can help you.
Dreamcatcher is a 7 members unit South Korean girls group! They are formed and managed by Happy Face Entertainment. Being an ordinary company, Happy Face Entertainment had a problem with debuting Dreamcatcher. This is because their original plan was to debut the 5 original members of Dreamcatcher as another stereotypical cute girls group, MINX in 2014. However, the debut of MINX was not well received due to being overshadowed by other strong competitors.
Not wanting to discard the talents that they saw in the original MINX members, Happy Face Entertainment went to scout 2 new members and announced that the 7 of them will re-debut as a new girls group; Dreamcatcher. Thus, Dreamcatcher made their first debut in 2017 with their title track “Chase Me” in 2017. This is how the 5 idols of MINX avoided disbandment.
Instead of being the cute girls group nor hot girl crush groups, Dreamcatcher chooses to be that one different girls group who have nightmare-horror-dreamy-like themes! How do they do this? They infused the rock genre in their songs! Quite rare for a “k-pop” girls group to do rock right? But, Dreamcatcher does it with pride. All of their main title tracks have the elements of rock, solely or infused. This made them to be a little bit different and had been a double-edge sword for them.
Because of how Korean’s music industries are not used with the genre Rock, Dreamcatcher were not that well received in Korea. However, they did better than they were as MINX. Their debut album sold double from the amount that MINX achieved. Even though they are not still famous, did they stop? No! Right now, they are still staying true to their rock elements and slowly breaking the stereotypes in Korean music industries as they keep on gaining more and more recognition.
But of course, instead of just sticking to rock, Dreamcatcher infused the rock element with another genre in their most recent songs. For example, “Deja Vu” is a rock-ballad infused, “Scream” is a rock-EDM infused, and “BOCA” is a rock-moombahton infused! The composers of Dreamcatcher bring the talent and capabilities of the girls by showing how flexible the girls are while still staying in the original theme.
Establishing a Fanbase
As mentioned before, Dreamcatcher are not well received in Korean music industries due to the majority of Koreans not being used with the rock genre. However, this made Dreamcatcher as one of the quite famous k-pop girls groups internationally! Although they are not as big as Blackpink, IZ*ONE nor Twice, they are the first kpop girls group that manage to do a concert tour in major European cities! In 2018, the fanbase for Dreamcatcher was slowly established and named as “InSomnia”. InSomnia is not named based on the sleep-disorder but it is a play of words. Somnia means Dream in Latin. So the fanbase is supposed to mean “In Dream” because the girls are named as Dreamcatcher.
In 2020, Dreamcatcher slowly becomes more popular in the homeland of South Korea! With their comeback Scream, they slowly were able to gain more fans. Despite being against the popular girls group, IZ*ONE, Dreamcatcher was also nominated as number 1 for several music shows against IZ*ONE! Even though they lost, this shows how popular Dreamcatcher was able to become. And in their most recent comeback, BOCA in August 2020, their achievements were far better than what they did in Scream. Despite not being able to achieve any music shows awards win due to COVID-19, they were able to sell their mini albums far better than before! They were also able to compete with a strong competitor like ITZY. BOCA’s music video also is more well received than they did previously and surprisingly, there were also a lot of Korean comments left on YouTube! As mentioned by one of their members in an interview. They were shocked as before this there were barely any Korean comments in the music videos. This is a proof that they are slowly growing in both Korea and Internationally.
Dreamcatcher has constantly mentioned that they will never change their concept. They told their fans that they will always remain with their rock-infused genre and slowly gain recognition that they deserved. They mentioned that they don’t really care for award wins (even though of course, getting a win is important for them), they are happy as long as they are able to sing and make their fans happy.
This is surprisingly heart-warming as Dreamcatcher basically encourages people to not simply follow society and those “stereotypes” that were set by others. You should be your true self. No matter what others say, stay true to yourself. Be it in your life, relationship, or even career! Just be yourself and break those stereotypes! Show the world that you are you and you are proud of yourself!
Written by: Muhammad Mustaqim Abdul Rahman