This week’s non-Kpop Wednesday takes us to Indonesia where we meet girl group Cherrybelle. Also known as ChiBi, the nine-member group has sometimes been billed as Indonesia’s version of Girls’ Generation.
The girls were chosen in February 2011 following auditions in Jakarta, Indonesia. During this period, the Hallyu Wave was riding across Indonesia, fueling the need for a group in the country. Music producer Dino Raturandang chose Angel, Anisa, Cherly, Christy, Devi, Felly, Gigi, Ryn and Wenda (all stage names) out of the 400-or-so girls who auditioned. After selections and a few months of training, Cherrybelle debuted in August 2011 with the Love is You mini album which was greeted with decent sales. From that album, “Dilema” was billed as their first single with “Love as You” as the second. It’s catchy music and fun dance helped to earn them attention from Indonesian fans, but they also caught the ire of international fans.
K-Pop fans accused Cherrybelle of plagiarizing Girl’s Generation in style and dance, most notably SNSD’s “Gee” with the colored shorts. Since then, some K-Pop fans make it a point to comment on YouTube videos with plagiarism claims. Of the similarities, Dino Raturandang said that I-Pop was an evolution of K-Pop and denies plagiarism claims.
The group has undergone some lineup changes since debut. In 2012, Devi and Wenda departed and were replaced by Kezia and Steffy. In 2013, Anisa departed and was replaced by Novi.
Since 2011, the girls have had two additional albums since Love is You, adding 2013’s Diam Diam Suka and 2015’s Reborn. In addition to the albums, they have three movies titled Love is U, Crush, and Battle with Love. All are available on YouTube.
Cherrybelle, for the most part, has a decent mix of sounds that walk the line between K-Pop and J-Pop while sounding uniquely Indonesian. Earlier songs lacked refinement and sounded amateurish, which is usually the case when groups first break into the industry. However, their Reborn album features a more mature sound that seems to be resonating well with fans. Perhaps Cherrybelle, along with other Indonesian artists, can start to be recognized for their music.
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