Welcome to Non-K-Pop Wednesday! For this feature, we’re introducing you to artists from all across Asia. While K-Pop is currently the dominate genre out of Asia, there are so many countries in Asia that produce good artists and music. You won’t just see artists from Japan and China in this segment: We plan to country-hop to bring you different artists from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, and so many others! Hopefully, you’ll expand your horizons along with us.
For the first installment of Non-K-Pop Wednesday, we’re looking a Candy Mafia, a girl group from Thailand.
Candy Mafia debuted in 2009 with members Nett, Bam Bam, Garn, and Nune under the name Mafia. Originally, the girls—who were 13 and 14-years old at the time—were a dance cover group formed to compete in Thailand’s JK Idol Cover; the girls gained interest from their 2NE1 and 4Minute dance covers as well as some of their vocals, garnering attention from the music industry.
In 2010, Candy Mafia made their music debut under Mono Music with the song “Mafia.” With their debut, controversy followed.
Their initial debut was a hot topic in the K-Pop community as their debut MV was viewed as being too similar to 2NE1’s “Fire” and 4Minute’s “Hot Issue.” However, Candy Mafia started to gain more traction in Thailand with their second song “Alzheimer,” which was met with criticism from international fans.
“Alzheimer” is about a girl being dizzy in love, making her forgetful. However, international fans did not take kindly to the name of the song because of the association to Alzheimer’s disease. International fans wrote messages of hate on Candy Mafia’s Facebook and YouTube.
Subsequent songs after “Alzheimer” gained more positive attention, especially after a fifth member, Milk, was added to the group. However, Nune left Candy Mafia following the “Your Friend Can’t Tell You Everything” era, leaving Candy Mafia as four members once again.
With the releases of “Cliché” and “Automatic” in 2013, Candy Mafia started to gain more international fans. The successes of fellow T-Pop groups and artists like G-Twenty (who tried unsuccessfully to break into the K-Pop market), Natthew, and EVO Nine helped them earn attention. Improved vocals on top of already strong dancing skills helped also.
In 2014, the girls released “My Boy.” The song was lauded as one of their best because of their more mature vocals and abilities to tell a story. Internationally, especially in Europe, Candy Mafia took off from this song.
Currently, Candy Mafia aren’t promoting, and there are rumors that started earlier this month that Garn and Bam Bam may have left. A statement from Mono Music wasn’t made available at the time of print. However, Candy Mafia are active on Twitter. You can check them out on their official YouTube and Twitter pages as well as their Facebook fan club!