AfterSchool (애프터스쿨) is a South Korean girl group under Pledis Entertainment. This group is styled after Japanese girl group Morning Musume in that it operates with a rolling ‘admission’ and ‘graduation’ system. When AfterSchool first debuted they had a show called “Diary of AfterSchool” which lasted five episodes.
AfterSchool’s official fan club is called “Play Girlz”.
2009 - Debut: AH
Kahi, Jung Ah, So Young, Joo Yeon, Bekah
The group debuted with five members: Kahi, Jung Ah, So Young, Joo Yeon, and Bekah on January 17, 2009 with their single, “Ah!”. This single is apart of their single-album: New SchoolGirl which features one other song. Afterschool’s image/concept for their first single-album was modeled after American girl group The PussyCat Dolls. This powerful and sexy image/concept earned them the title of the ‘Korean Pussycat Dolls’.
2009 - One new admit: Diva
Kahi, Jung Ah, So Young, Joo Yeon, U-ie, Bekah
In April 2009 U-ie joined AfterSchool and became their sixth member. Soon after the now six member group released “Diva” as a digital single. Another digital single AfterSchool released as six members was “Amoled” along with their label sister Son Dambi on July 22, 2009. The Video/CF was released the next day. The last digital single released from Afterschool as six members was “Dream Girl” released on May 22, 2009.
2009 - First graduate
October 29, 2010 AfterSchool went through their first “graduation” when So young left the group. The reason for this was due to illness and the fact that So Young wanted to focus on her education. In August 2010 it was revealed that So Young joined a new entertainment company and will debut as an actress.
2009 - Two new admissions: Because of You
Kahi, Jung Ah, Joo Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Bekah, Nana
Before AfterSchool’s comeback they added two new ‘students’ named Raina and Nana in November 2009 (Officially debuted with the group on November 26th 2009). The now seven member group released “Because of You” in the same month. This single is apart of their single-album: Because of You which contains one other song. The song “Because of You” was AfterSchool’s first chart-topping single since their debut. This song marked a change for the group as their image/concept changed into something more mature and sophisticated.
2010 – One new admit: Bang!
Kahi, Jung Ah, Joo Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Bekah, Nana, Lizzy
On March 25, 2009 AfterSchool came back with a new single titled “Bang!” along with a brand new member named Lizzy. With this new addition AfterSchool was now an eight member group.
2010 - Orange Caramel Subgroup: Magic Girl
On May 31, 2010, Pledis announced that After School would be splitting up into two subgroups with three members each and one solo artist for promotion. Uee will not participate due to her drama promotions.
The first sub-unit group was named Orange Caramel. On June 6, 2010, Pledis announced Nana as the first member of one of the 2 sub-units. On June 7, 2010, Pledis announced Raina as the second member of the same sub-unit. On June 8, 2010, Pledis announced Lizzy as the final member of this sub-unit. The trio released a new mini album entitled Orange Caramel. “The First Mini album” consists of 4 tracks, which are 2 songs and instrumentals of those tracks. The version released in Taiwan had a special song- “The Day You Went Away”. The song is released as a Special for Taiwan that is Mandarin Version and it’s a cover from Cyndi Wang, a Taiwanese singer who’s popular. The promoted song is Magic Girl (마법소녀). The second song is Love Does Not Wait (사랑을 미룰 순 없나요) which is Raina’s solo song. Orange Caramel’s concept is cheery and retro, or Candy Culture (cute and bright, while lovely and innocent at the same time). Their music video was released on June 16, 2010. Raina is the leader of this subgroup.
The group starred in their first dedicated TV show called “Playgirlz School” for cable channel MBCEvery1 starting in July 2010.
2010 - One New Enrollee? - - A~ing and Love Love Love
On November 13, 2010 it was revealed through fan sites but not confirmed by Pledis Entertainment that trainee Kim Hyung Min would be joining AfterSchool as their ninth member. A small article found in Kyung Min’s school paper talked about her being added to the group.
Orange Caramel released their second mini album on November 18, 2010. Their title track “A~ing♡” was produced by Wheesung and Jo Yeong Soo. Though some controversy surrounded the lyrics it went on to chart very well. Four songs in total are on the mini album: “A~ing♡”, “One Love”, 아직…(lyrics byRaina) and 이곳에 서서, including an instrumental for “A~ing♡”.
On December 5th it was confirmed through Jason who works at Pledis that After School would be debuting in Japan in 2011 through his twitter page.
On December 6, 2010 After School released their charity album titled ‘Happy Pledis 1st Album’. A portion of the profits will go to the ‘Save the Children’ organization. All the members participated except for Bekah who was on vacation in Hawaii for two months and wouldn’t join the group for promotions. The title song from this single album is ‘Love Love Love’. The second and last song on the album is “Someone is you”. Instrumentals for both of the songs are included on the album.
2010 - New Member Confirmed
Kahi, Jung Ah, Joo Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Bekah, Nana, Lizzy, Noh Lee
On December 31st, 2010 it was revealed through Kahi’s twitter and South Korean News sites that No Yi Young (Stage name Noh Lee) was chosen as the ninth member of After School and would be performing for the first time at the MBC Gayo Daejun. Yi Young studied at the K-Note Music Academy where she majored in Vocals and Electric Guitar. She officially debuted on December 31st, 2010 with After School at the 2010 MBC Gayo Daejun.
2011 – Full Album announcement + Kahi’s solo Debut + Japanese pre-debut
On January 1st it was announced through Pledis entertainment that After School would be making a comeback in March. On January 3rd, it was revealed that Kahi was in the final stages of preparation for her solo debut. A representative from Pledis revealed Kahi would start promotions in mid February. On January 7th, Pledis Boss (Sunghan) answered a fans question on twitter about After School putting out a “proper” full album. Pledis Boss responded and confirmed After School would indeed be releasing a full album in March. Without having an ‘announced’ final stage for their song “A~ing”, Orange Caramel started promotions with the song Raina wrote titled “Still” on January 21, 2011.
On January 26th Bekah sent out a tweet revealing she was back in South Korea to continue promotions with After School.
Kahi released her first solo mini album titled “Kahi: The First Mini Album” which contains four songs on February 14th. The songs featured on Kahi’s mini album are as follows “Gift”, “Come back you bad person”, “Roller Coaster” and “One Love”. Her first performance as a solo artist was February 18th on Music Bank where she performed her title song “Come back you bad person”.
On February 16, 2011 a user on JPM discovered a hidden RSS feed on Namie Amuro’s official website which revealed info on her upcoming BEST COLLABORATION album. Namie collaborated with After School on a song called “Make it happen”. The official preview to the mv was released on February 17, 2011 while the full video was released on February 20, 2011.
2011 – Bangkok City + After School’s full album release: Virgin
On March 25, 2011 it was revealed through a Pledis twitter account “PledisNews” that Orange Caramel would release a digital single titled “Bangkok City“. This single is said to be the first of Orange Caramel’s “One of Asia” singles/projects (think Happy Pledis) and was to serve as a gift for fans since After School’s Japanese debut was pushed back due to the tsunami that occurred in Japan on march 11, 2011. After School was now slated to release their full album mid April with Japanese promotions being held off until further notice. On March 31st the video for “Bangkok City was released. There was some scrutiny concerning the outfits the girls wore in the video with netizens commenting on how the clothes were too tight and revealed the girls body outline in a sexual way. But, this didn’t stop the song from being number one on various music charts (Bugs, Dosirak, Naver, Soribada). Due to the overwhelming popularity of the song Pledis released news on April 8th that the “Bangkok City” single would be made into a single album available for purchase with personal pictures from the group members.
On April 18, 2011 the first picture teaser for After School’s album was released. It featured Yi Young who was re-introduced with the stage name E-Young. The album title was also revealed on this date to be “Virgin”. Each day following this, a teaser picture would be released from each generation leading up to the album release on April 29, 2011. The album contained twelve songs: 1. Let’s Step Up 2. Shampoo 3. Virgin 4. 뱅(Bang)! (2011 New Recordings) 5. Play Ur Love 6. Dream 7. 너 때문에 (2011 New Recordings) 8. 시간에 기대어 (Raina’s Solo) 9. 잘 지내고 있죠 10. Funky Man 11. My Bell (Jungah’s Solo) 12. When I Fall (2011 New Recordings).
2011 First ‘official’ graduate + U-ie’s Solo Debut
Kahi, Jung Ah, Ju Yeon, U-ie, Raina, Nana, Lizzy, E-Young
On June 16, 2011 Pledis released news about Bekah ‘graduating’ from After School. Reasons for her withdrawal included a wish to go to school in order to study design. Bekah’s last day as a member of the group would be July 9, 2011 when she would leave for Hawaii. On July 11th Bekah’s solo song “Take me the place” was released. This song served as Bekah’s graduation gift to fans.
On June 20, 2011 U-ie released her first solo single ‘soksoksok 쏙쏙쏙’ featuring JongHyun from the yet to debut After School Boys. This song was released as a digital single for the sports brand Le Coq Sportif. U-ie was given another starring role in the Drama “Ojakgyo Brothers” previously titled “Golden Pond” playing the character of Baek Ja Eun. This weekend drama a long with her previous drama “Birdie Buddy” would start to air in August 2011 on tvN.
2011 – AS Red and AS Blue + Official Japanese debut + Shanghai Romance
On July 12th Pledis released their two new sub unit member lineups. AS Red (Sexy/Fierce) consists of Kahi, Jung Ah, U-ie and Nana while AS Blue (Sweet/Pure) consists of JuYeon, Raina, Lizzy and E-Young. Each sub unit would release a single album consisting of two songs. Tracks on each album included: AS Red – 1) In the Night Sky 2) Hollywood and AS Blue – 1) Wonderboy 2)Lady. These sub-units would promote for two weeks.
On June 2, 2011 it was revealed that After School would finally make their Japanese debut. After School’s first official Japanese performance was on July 17, 2011 at the Akasaka BLITZ in Tokyo, Japan. A teaser Japanese music video version of ’Bang!’ was also released on this day. on August 17th After School the Japanese version of ‘Bang!’ and debuted at number 7 on the Oricon music chart.
On October 4th it was revealed Orange Caramel would make a comeback on October 13th with their second “One of Asia” project song entitled “Shanghai Romance“. This song’s lyrics were written by Kim Heechul a member of the group Super Junior.
The Japanese ‘Diva’ MV teaser was released on October 17, 2011.
- Rookie of The Month Award at Cyworld Digital Music Awards 34th with ‘Diva’
- Best Style Icon Award at 2009 Korea Lifestyle Awards
- Mutizen Awards at SBS Inkigayo Episode 558, 559 & 562 with ‘Because of You’
- K-pop New Artist of the Year 2009 at Billboard Japan Music Awards 2009
- Rookie Award at 19th High1 Seoul Music Awards