RaNia, now currently in Singapore, had their autograph session here on the 6th of December at Rebel Boutique Club, Clarke Quay. Although consisting of seven members, only the currently active five members (leader Saem, Riko, T-ae, Di and maknae Xia; Joy on hiatus since 2011, and Jooyi is undergoing training) are in town for their Asia Tour 2012.
Easy-going and affable, the RaNia members obliged with friendly requests from fans to take polaroids or pictures together, struck cute poses for the cameras and searched for and waved at fans who called out their names. After painstakingly signing every fan’s item, the RaNia members also gave high-fives to the fans while making their way to the small stage for their showcase.
Rocking the impossibly small stage starting with hit debut songs Dr Feel Good and Masquerade, RaNia showed off their sleek dance moves. Lead vocalist Riko then stole the limelight by putting up a flawless solo performance of That’s Me, and the showcase concluded with POP POP POP, STYLE and encore song Goodbye. Albeit short, the showcase gave the fans a chance to meet and converse with RaNia, to obtain their autographs, take pictures and see them perform up close; and was also a golden opportunity for RaNia to exhibit their charms. As the RaNia’s members have proven to be able to possess both vocal prowess and dancing ability, already, many have forecasted that this group has the potential to shine. With an increasing number of love calls from countries all around the world, and having captured attention recently with their announcement of an American debut, all that is left for RaNia to do is to promote a hit song to propel this group to greater international fame.
If you never heard of RaNia prior to this, its time for an update: these girls will soon be making big waves, possibly even Regenerating the Hallyu wave.
RaNia’s rocky start
Unlike many Korean pop group these days, RaNia (Regeneration Idol of Asia) has had been hit badly by controversies and problem immediately upon their debut: being criticized for being too suggestive in their dance moves, having to re-choreograph their debut song, making changes to their wardrobe choices, losing their producer Teddy Riley and experiencing constant changes in their line-up. In the short span of a year and a half since they debut in April 2011, RaNia has indeed come a long way in a short span of time, and it’s about time these girls start getting the attention they deserve.
Initially off to a promising start, RaNia was to debut in 2010 but pushed back their debut as member T-ae had been chosen to star alongside Jay Park in Hype Nation. After announcing their debut in April 2011, it was also revealed that RaNia would be collaborating with producer Teddy Riley in order to break into both the American and Korean markets simultaneously. Originally an eight member group with members Saemi, Riko, Jooyi, Di, T-ae, Xia, Joy and Yijo, the debut only featured seven members as Yijo was absent at both promotions and debut. It was later revealed that she had visa issues and subsequently left the group after a few months.
With two songs that were originally given to Lady Gaga, there were expectations for RaNia to be off on a good start with Dr Feel Good and Masquerade. Instead, they stirred up a huge controversy in Korea with their image and choreography, which was deemed too suggestive by the audience. Altering costumes and dance moves in accordance to the criticisms levied on them by the viewers, RaNia’s image suffered a heavy blow right from the very start.
After promotions for Masquerade ended, more problems besieged the group. Teddy Riley officially called it quits with RaNia due to differences with RaNia’s record label, DR Music. RaNia’s next single single POP POP POP was produced in collaboration with Brave Brothers, who has produced many hit songs like BIG BANG’s Last Farewell , Lee Seung Gi’s I Lost My Mind, Son Dambi’s Crazy, After School’s DIVA and many more.
Member Joy had been missing from the promotions of POP POP POP, and it was only this year that DR Music released an official statement, revealing that Joy had returned to Thailand to be with her family as they were badly affected by the 2011 floods. Joy’s departure, however, remains indefinite, and DR Music maintained that they remained unclear as to whether Joy would rejoin the group in future. RaNia’s recent comeback in September 2012 with title track STYLE only featured five members, as Jooyi was on training for another project. Having only confirmed their American debut just recently after a year of trials, RaNia seems to have beaten the odds and are finally enjoying the fruits of their labour, having recently just embarked on their Asia Tour 2012 (Cambodia 1-2 Dec, Singapore 6-11 Dec, Philippines 13-14 Dec and China 16-18 Dec) to greet their fans, officially known as A1st/Afirst (Asia No 1 Sexy Shine Team Rania Supporter).
Leader Saem Riko
Maknae Xia Jooyi
Do check out our gallery below:
Picture Credits (without hellokpop’s watermark): Jooyi’s Facebook
Special thanks to Jig Asia Entertainment Ptd Ltd for inviting hellokpop to RaNia’s showcase!
Pictures credits by Kenny@Hellokpop
Event covered by YunTing@hellokpop