Meet tripleS, the World’s First ‘Decentralized’ K-pop Girl Group

The group’s album marks the debut of full 24-member line-up.

The group’s album marks the debut of full 24-member line-up.

by Samantha Lui
June 17, 2024

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From streaming albums, voting in awards shows and selling out concert tours, fans wield a lot of power when it comes to the success of their favourite K-pop artists. 

But the girl group tripleS is taking fan interactions up a notch with a groundbreaking approach. After all, its 24-member lineup allows for endless possibilities.

While large K-pop bands have been explored before in acts like NCT (which currently has 26 members), tripleS bills itself as the world’s first “decentralized” K-pop girl group. It allows its fans—known as WAV— to decide on its future. 

Voting through an app called Cosmo: the Gate, fans are entrusted to pick which members within tripleS get to release new music and content. Fans also get a say in what songs they want to hear next in the group’s comebacks.

Since its debut in February 2023, tripleS have slowly been revealing members of the band through releases made by sub-units. Sub-units are common in the world of K-pop, and are essentially a subdivision of a band. Idols work in small groups of two or more to create new music. To date, tripleS’ many sub-units include: Acid Angel from Asia, +(KR)ystal Eyes, LOVElution, EVOLution, and Aria. 

In an interview with The RepresentASIAN Project, members of tripleS say giving power to the fans to decide on its future has allowed them to “build a bond.” 

“The motto of tripleS is to realize the possibilities with the fans so we positively take in fan’s opinions and their decisions,” said YooYeon. 

One of those possibilities was realized on May 8th, when tripleS marked a new chapter with the release of its first full length album <ASSEMBLE24> featuring all 24 members. 

It’s something member SeoYeon describes as “a dream come true.” 

“Over the past two years, we’ve gathered 24 members, and through this process, it felt like we were completing a message we wanted to convey to our fans and the public,” she said. 

“I am incredibly happy that we can now promote with all 24 members.” 

Making <ASSEMBLE24>

Like its previous releases, tripleS’ lead single “Girls Never Die” was chosen based on fan votes. 

While the song appears to be a catchy dance pop track, its lyrics outline something deeper, serving a message of motivation at a time when many young people are going through personal struggles. 

“The lyrics of the song include lines like ‘Gonna Go All The Way, Not Gonna Give Up This Time’ and ‘We Stand Up Even When We Fall,’ conveying the message that no matter what hardships come our way, us girls will ultimately overcome them and continue to chase our dreams,” ShiOn said.

In fact, encouragement is a running theme in the 10 tracks that make up <ASSEMBLE24>.

Tracks like ‘24’ have the tripleS members hyping themselves up, all while singing about finding confidence on the stage as performers. While the upbeat “Midnight Flower”, which was co-written by member NaKyoung, assures listeners that the start of a new day marks another opportunity to work toward your goals. 

“In times when fear of failure and lack of tolerance for those who fall behind are prevalent, we want to convey that failure is an experience and a valuable one at that,” JiWoo said of the album <ASSEMBLE24>

“The overall message is to not fear failure and to believe in oneself.” 

Promoting as a 24 member group

Since tripleS debuted its full 24-member lineup, the band has been going viral due to the sheer size of the group. It has also come with a unique set of challenges. 

At a recent press showcase in Seoul, photographers worked their magic in order to fit all 24 members of the group into one frame. And in order to travel to music show appearances and promotional activities, tripleS have had to move around in a large tour bus. 

“This comeback is different from what we had shown in the past. We have to move in a bus as we have so many members and if we’re not taking a bus, we’d split into five [mini-vans],” Xinyu said. 

“It’s hard to find belongings after leaving it in the car as there are so many of them.” 

Strength in numbers

Nevertheless, travelling together in such a large group allows for the members to bond through sharing stories and hobbies with one another— something HaYeon thinks helps with team dynamics. 

“Twenty-four is a grand number of members but we are promoting with the same goal so our teamwork and thoughtfulness is our strength and what shows our chemistry,” she said.

That chemistry developed together as a group was extremely important while making <ASSEMBLE24>, along with the accompanying onstage performances tripleS have had to do at recent music competition shows like inkigayo and Music Bank

“While highlighting each member’s unique qualities is important, we focused more on harmonizing our voices together,” says DaHyun. 

“Initially, it was challenging and difficult, but through practice and mutual feedback, we managed to bring these amazing songs to life!” 

That hard work eventually paid off, with tripleS recently taking home its first music show win for “Girls Never Die” on the music competition program M The Show, which airs on the South Korean broadcaster SBS. The competition determines the top K-pop releases of the week based on fan votes, social media reach and physical and digital album sales. The win was emotional for the group, with members tearfully thanking their fans WAV for all the support. 

As for what’s next for tripleS, the group says it is eager to head on tour and meet fans around the world. 

The band is also excited to expand on the vision created with <ASSEMBLE24>, and believe that strength comes in numbers— something other musical acts with fewer members may not be able to replicate. 

“The biggest charm of our group is the strength and courage of 24 members who, despite facing hardships and adversity, never fall and always rise again,” said SooMin. 

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