Aespa Savage !NEW!
"Savage" was composed by Kirsten Collins, Jia Lih, and Hautboi Rich, along with Yoo Young-jin, who also wrote the Korean lyrics of the song. On an online press conference held to commemorate the release of Aespa's first EP, Karina revealed that Lee Soo-man directed the chorus part of the song and said that the "Zu zu zu zu" segment of the song was recorded by Yoo. Musically, the song was described as a song with "eclectic blend of genres, including trap, dubstep and intense power balladry with "drums and basses" as the main focus. The song starts with Winter scoffing, "Oh my gosh/ Don't you know I'm a savage?" Regina Kim of MTV News described it as a "hyperpop-tinged title track". Carmen Chin of NME noted the song for its hip-hop beats that are fused with the "crunchy hyperpop synths", while also mentioning the "catchy chorus" that makes full use of a sing-talk chorus. Crystal Bell of Paper mentioned the hyperpop hodgepodge of brash synths, trap beats, and earworm hooks on the song. It was composed in the key of A major, with a tempo of 147 beats per minute. Lyrically, it contains Aespa's worldview where the group and their avatar, aes, are going to Kwangya, with the help of their assistant naevis in confronting the Black Mamba. Additionally, the song conveys a message of not letting anyone or anything scare them.
Carmen Chin from NME said "the clanging electronic instrumentation that kicks [the song] off, while reminiscent of late Sophie, steadily unleashes the musical potency that listeners have come to expect of aespa." In addition, she mentioned that the song is "brimming with addictive hooks and refrains that sit on top of masterfully layered production" which further "perfecting the edginess the quartet had already grounded themselves in." Writing for Billboard, Starr Bowenbank described the song as "assertive and daring", and further expanded that it "is worthy of a replay (or two) to catch every one of its intricate elements." Time named the song as one of the top 10 best k-pop songs of 2021, calling it "explosive" track with trap beats and discordant instrumentation. "Savage" was named the best K-pop track of 2021 in an annual settlement conducted by writers of music webzine Tonplein.
Following the extended play's release, on October 5, 2021, Aespa held a live event called "SYNK DIVE: aespa Savage SHOWCASE" on YouTube to introduce the extended play including "Savage" and communicate with their fans. The group performed "Savage" on two music programs: Mnet's M Countdown on October 14, and MBC's Show! Music Core on October 16. The group also performed on NBC's The Kelly Clarkson Show on October 16, making their broadcast debut on US television network. The song was also sung at the 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade making them the first Korean girl group to perform at the event. On November 14, the group performed the song along with "Black Mamba" and "Next Level" for the 2021 World K-pop Concert held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX).
On September 14, 2021, Savage was made available for pre-order in three versions: P.O.S, Synk Dive and Hallucination Quest. From September 23 to 25, the Hallucination Quest version of concept photos for the extended play was released. Synk Dive version and additional Hallucination Quest concept photos were released on September 26 and 29, respectively. The EP tracklist was revealed on September 27. The teaser for the music video of the lead single of the same name was released on October 4. The album was released on October 26, 2020, in physical and digital formats. The music video for lead single "Savage", directed by 725 (SL8 Visual Lab), was released on SM Entertainment's YouTube channel in conjunction with the release of the EP. On October 5, Aespa held a live event called "SYNK DIVE: aespa Savage SHOWCASE" on YouTube to introduce the EP and communicate with their fans. The group also performed on NBC's The Kelly Clarkson Show on October 16, their broadcast debut on US network television.
Lyrically, aespa story-tells how Nævis lost her memory and how their only goal is to resurrect her. Though, they betray their ae (Virtual character of each member) in the process and become savage after rejecting their own virtual friend.
Additionally, aespa also comes in with a new concept to their music video showing a virtual, futuristic world where the girls prepare their virtual weapons to attack their enemy. Aespa also shows love to their Nævis in a blossoming bright set and animation.
"The album's key image represents the transporting portal that aespa uses to arrive at 'KWANGYA' where they fall into Black Mamba's 'HALLUCINATION QUEST'. In order to express the 'HALLUCINATION QUEST', a motif was taken from a snake's traits mixed with 3D artwork," detailed the iF Design Awards.
But this isn't the introduction to an Elon Musk-ian vision of the future. This is the alluring world of K-pop group aespa, where people exist side by side with their æs, or AI-based avatars fashioned out of the data they put on the internet. While the æs' physical traits might differ from their human counterpart, the bedrock of the avatar's personality is built from data drawn from the pictures we like, the things we post, and the hashtags we follow.
That technological advance alone would make aespa's upcoming debut a fascinating listen, but the mythology in which aespa's members interact and collaborate with their AI-driven æs adds an unprecedented layer of surreality. Though only the four flesh-and-bone members are typically seen on-screen, aespa is billed as an eight-member group. While Karina, Giselle, Winter, and Ningning capture the real world through songs and music videos, their æs (æ-Karina, æ-Giselle, æ-Winter, and æ-Ningning) hold the fort in the FLAT, the virtual world in aespa's lore.
The digital æs connect with the human members of the group, learn from them, and constantly evolve. Shortly after the act's debut, fans were introduced to this dynamic through a series of videos showing each member interacting with their æ in a process known as REKALL. The human half of aespa modeled the ins and outs of social cues and interactions for their digital other halves, directly giving them tips on how to appear more natural.
As might be expected from a group under the banner of K-pop mainstay SM Entertainment, a complex mythology powers aespa. In fact, the group stands on the first rung of what is known as the SM Culture Universe (SMCU), a dystopian tale spanning the entire SM Entertainment roster, wherein the members' connections with their æs are severed due to an entity known as the 'Black Mamba' that aims for control over both the digital and real worlds.
aespa's explosive debut single, also named "Black Mamba," traces the origins of the story, with genre-bending follow-up "Next Level" extending the narrative. With a tally of 21.4 million views within just 24 hours of its release, "Black Mamba" earned the highest number of views ever for a K-pop group's debut. "Next Level," meanwhile, reached number 97 on the Billboard Global 200 chart, making aespa only the third K-pop girl group in history to reach that chart more than once.
Less than a year since their debut, the group's debut mini-album, Savage, faces the unprecedented pressure of carrying an entire cultural universe. Just as in their larger-than-life, theatrical SMCU introduction, however, the members of aespa are more than up for the challenge.
Karina: Our music tells the story of our journeys and our experiences with æs. In terms of the concept of the album and the songs as well, they contribute a lot. It helps develop our own "aespa" genre. The æs have a big role in that.
Bringing K-Pop to the metaverse, SM Entertainment conceived the group to transcend the real and virtual worlds through a variety of live and digital experiences. The music video blends these worlds as aespa performs in dynamic and colorful CG environments.
To create the animated dancing avatars who perform alongside the live-action aespa members, Giantstep combined motion capture and facial capture. Here, the team deployed a cubic voxel-like effect, referencing Glitch from Wreck-it Ralph. For nævis, who was hand-animated in the music video, Unreal Engine's Metahuman facial rig was used, allowing the team to show a range of facial expressions like that of a human.
Working with SM Entertainment on the aespa franchise since its inception, Giantstep has provided VFX shots for everything from teasers to music videos and a virtual performance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, as well as partnering on what was billed as the world's first paid virtual concert experience. Produced during the onset of the pandemic, the virtual concert expedited its development of XR Concert Technology, which combines virtual production techniques with real-time rendering and animation. These collaborations helped create the foundation for SM Entertainment to worldbuild an entire universe of aespa characters and content with Giantstep providing everything from character development and environments to authentic motion language reflecting the fundamental traits, movements, and emotional expressions of each character.
Fans got their taste of the fantastical, multi-dimensional world of aespa when SM Entertainment premiered episode one of its web series Black Mamba - SM Culture Universe starring aespa last Spring. The first episode has garnered more than 10 million views to date.
The choreographer of aespa's Savage was accused of recycling moves from ITZY and BLACKPINK's old dances. The choreographer has since spoken out against the allegations. Keep on reading for all the details. 041b061a72