K-pop 101: #21 Pre-debut Appearances

by: Jeffrey posted: 3 years ago



Most K-pop artists train for a very long time. Some debut after a few months, but there are some that train for years. If they are part of a bigger agency they have a chance to promote themselves through the activities of their seniors. Here are 5 music videos in which artists appeared before they even debuted.

Jo Kwon – I’m Da One

If anyone knows what it’s like to be a trainee, then it’s Jo Kwon. The leader of 2AM had been training for 8 years before he made his debut. He became a trainee in 2001 when he was only a 6th grader. He has talked about his trainee days regularly during talk shows and he metioned that he faced a great deal of depression during that time. Even though he is known as a happy and energetic person now, as can be seen in his music video. In it some of the boys of BTS appeared before their debut. The only ones that are missing are Rap monster and Jimin. J-hope also appeared in his live performances and as a guest rapper in his song “Animal”.


Sunny hill – Midnight Circus

Let me start by saying that Sunny hill’s “Midnight Circus” is one of my favourite songs and music videos EVER. The amount of times I have watched this music video is almost ridiculous. It was not until recently that something caught my eye. Or actually rather someone. I’m a big fan of the show “We Got Married” and currently one of the couples is Cao Lu and Cho Seho. So I was surprised when I suddenly spotted Cao Lu in “Midnight Circus” as one of the back-up dancers. After a bit of research I found out that the rest of Cao Lu group, Fiestar, also appeared as back-up dancers in the music video. They also were the back-up dancers for the live performances. It’s incredibly difficult to spot some of the members so here is some help.


TVXQ! – Balloons

I already talked about “Balloons” before, so I’m keeping it short. This music video was released almost 10 years ago. In it you can see five children playing the mini version of TVXQ!. Now many years later, 2 of them are in a group of their own. The one who played the deer is Chanwoo from Ikon and the tiger is Moonbin from Astro.


Orange caramel – Aing

I have to say that this one is a little unfair. This is because Pledis Girlz haven’t actually debuted yet. The little girl in the music video is Park Siyeon and she is set to debut with the group. She was part of produce 101, but failed to make it into the final 11. She has been a trainee for over 7 years now and has not just appeared in the music video for “Aing”, but also for After school’s “Bang”. She is very talented and proved during Produce 101 that she is not just a talented rapper, but also an amazing vocalist. It’s hard to imagine that with such talent she only turns 16 this year.


Nu’est – Face

We have a little bit of pre-debutception right here. Nu’est appeared before their debut in in several music videos like Orange caramel’s “Shanghai Romance” and “Bangkok City”. In their debut single “Face”, several of the members of Seventeen appeared before their debut. They appear as opponents for Nu’est. For the longest time “Face” was the debut song with the most views, but they have now been surpassed by Twice’s “Like OOH-AHH”. The song has now almost 80 million views compared to Nu’est with 50 million views.


It’s smart for companies to let their trainees make appearances in music videos. It shows us fans a little teaser of what is to come in the future. What are the pre-debut appearances that you liked the most? Let us know in the comments down below.


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