Checkmate debuts with big ambitions to match its name

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Checkmate debuts with big ambitions to match its name

Rookie co-ed pop group Checkmate performs its debut single ’Drum“ during an online debut showcase held on Monday afternoon. [GRACE COMPANY ENTERTAINMENT]

Rookie co-ed pop group Checkmate performs its debut single ’Drum“ during an online debut showcase held on Monday afternoon. [GRACE COMPANY ENTERTAINMENT]

If the K-pop industry is a giant chess board, rookie co-ed group Checkmate is hoping to rise to the very top.
 
The five-member co-ed group made its official debut on Monday with the single “Drum,” aiming to one day dominate the K-pop scene and live up to their ambitious name.
 
Checkmate is composed of two female members and three male members: group leader and main female vocalist Sieun, female rapper Suri, male rapper Nason and main vocalists Yongseok and Noah.
 
The debut song "Drum" is a reggae house EDM track with an addictive melody that features a cheerful and rhythmical marching band performance that fits the repeated refrain: “Hit on me like I’m a drum.”
 
“When I first heard the song 'Drum,' all I could think was, ‘This song is perfect for our group,’" leader Sieun said.
 
“Our first release is a reggae, EDM-based song, but we would love to release a track that is more soulful, or more of a hip-hop genre,” Yongseok added.
 
Prior to their debut, the checkmate members have individually captivated South American and European fans with various cover song videos on YouTube including Sunmi’s "Lalalay" (2019) cover by Sieun and BTS’ "Fire" (2016) cover by male members Nason and Noah.
 
Checkmate said its ultimate goal is to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, just like BTS.
 
"As the leading K-pop groups are making incredible achievements in the global music scene, we want to have a big ambition that follows their paths. We aim to grow as a global K-pop group that not only dominates local music charts but global charts.
 
“We hope people will one day say ‘Checkmate has put the music scene into checkmate,’ after watching our performances. Just as our name implies, we hope that listeners won’t be able to escape from us after listening to our music,” Yongseok said.
 
"We’ve worked so hard to come this far to make a debut, and there are still so many things we want to show everyone, so please look forward to our future activities and send us support,” Noah said.
 
“I'm sorry we had to hold our debut showcase online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we hope to communicate actively with our fans through YouTube videos and live broadcasts, so please look forward and subscribe to our YouTube channel," Yongseok said.
 
Sieun said that the best part of being a co-ed group is that they are capable of performing both feminine and masculine songs, giving a wider spectrum of music for their fans to listen to.
 
“We are going to perform as a group but also in units and solos, so please look forward to our future activities,” Yongseok said.
 
“I wish our group can be remembered as a group that people want to look forward to,” Sieun said.
 
BY KIM YEON-AH   [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]

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