A simple and brief history and introduction to Dreamcatcher.
(Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that while all pertinent info, like dates, places, names, personal info, etc are factual, this is still an opinion piece written by a fan and should be treated as such, as my affection for this group will be evident in some comments and descriptions. Information was gathered from various sources, these will be linked at the end of the article.)
Dreamcatcher is a seven member female group from South Korea under production company Happy Face Entertainment. Members consist of (from left to right in above photo) Sua, Gahyeon, Siyeon, JiU, Yoohyeon, Dami and Handong. They are known for going outside what may be considered the standard or trending themes and styles of most Korean girl groups, choosing to debut (and continue with) a darker horror concept, and rather than an electronic or “pop” feel, their use of pop vocals over a rock and metal instrumental certainly sets them apart and makes them stand out, making them the first girl group in Korea to do so as a base concept rather than a one off track. To better understand the group, and the members, we actually need to go back a couple years to where their story actually starts, with the five member girl group Minx…
After the success of their first group Dal Shabet, Happy Face Ent. debuted their next girl group Minx in 2014 with the single “Why Did You Come to My Home” and another original song “Action”. With the success of those tracks members JiU, Dami, Yoohyeon, Siyeon, and Sua made their entrance into the world of K-Pop. A comeback in 2015 brought their first EP “Love Shake” with lead song of same name, a remake of a song originally done by their sister group (Dal Shabet).
In November of 2016 Happy Face Ent. announced that they would be pulling Minx and that a re-debut for the girls would be coming in 2017 with the addition of two new members, Handong and Gahyeon. On January 13th 2017 (a Friday, of course) Dreamcatcher debuted with their first single album “Nightmare” with it’s lead track “Chase Me”. They had their official debut stage on M-Countdown on January 19th. With amazingly powerful vocals and technical dancing ability displayed by all members, along with the high production quality and theory inducing first MV, the ladies were off to an amazing start.
Showing no sign of slowing down, they had their first comeback in short notice. In April of 2017 with their second single album “Fall Asleep in the Mirror” with it’s title track “Good Night”, continuing the horror concept and the rock/metal instrumentals, as well as yet another technically complex dance choreography. Just a couple months later in July they released their first EP as Dreamcatcher called Prequel, with it’s title track “Fly High” along with six other original tracks. The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard World Albums Chart and peaked at No. 1 on the US iTunes K-Pop Top 100 Chart. One month later in August Happy Face announced that Dreamcatcher would be taking their first world tour after the promotion for Prequel was ended. These girls had come out swinging and were only just getting started.
As the end of there first year came closer, Happy Face announced on December 8th that they would be adding 7 European countries/cities to the world tour, and on the 28th announced that they would be holding a fan meeting on January 13th, so they could celebrate their first anniversary with fans. With which they made several news reports by selling out of all 400 tickets in less than one minute of opening sales on Jan 2nd. Not to bad of a first year, if I must say so. These girls had shown not just what they had to offer but how hard they were willing to fight and work to make their own dreams a reality. And the next year would start of with an event just as memorable…
On January 4th 2018, Happy Face announced that Dreamcatcher would be releasing a new single, “Full Moon”, written for and dedicated to, their fans, and to quote the group “in commemoration of the memories forged between Dreamcatcher and fans”. The song was officially released on Jan. 12th and the accompanying video continued the story of their “Nightmare” trilogy (and also at the end teased a comeback date in March of 2018). The following day, January 13th, they held their much anticipated 1 year anniversary fan meeting, where they also performed the Full Moon live stage for the first time, just for their fans.
In February of 2018, they became the first Korean girl group to complete a major tour of European cities, performing and interacting with their international fans. When in London, group leader JiU remarked: “It was our goal to go on a world tour before our debut. We had no idea that we would be able to go on a Europe tour so soon in our career.”
Then in March of 2018, Dreamcatcher fans everywhere were greeted by a long awaited and anticipated announcement…
Dreamcatcher announced the official fan name would be “inSomnia”. Fans were told that the name was Latin, meaning “In Dreams”…sounds simple, right..well, that’s where one of the best qualities of these girls (in my opinion) comes into play. Rather than a fan name picked at random, or one that just “sounded cool” or picked by the company for good marketing potential, the girls picked it to make sure that fans understood how much they were thinking about them and how much they cared about them. On the surface it seems simple, “in Dreams”(and this translation coming about by combining the English version of “in” with the Latin “Somnias”, showing an example of common Korean trends of intermixing English into lyrics) being related to dream-catchers, but we go one step further and it relates as well to the fact their debut concept had them portraying 7 Nightmares from Korean folklore…but, again in my personal opinion, it goes much deeper than that (more on this inside the site in the Document Library).
Two months later, May 10th to be exact, Dreamcatcher released their second mini album “Escape the Era” with it’s lead track of “You and I”, and five more original tracks, as a finale(?) of the Nightmare series.
May 17th brought the announcement of their ‘Welcome to the Dream World in Latin America’ tour, that started July 27th in Buenos Aries and wrapped up in Panama City on August 5th.
And of course, throughout all this there have been there various covers and solo pieces (Cover of Maroon 5’s “Lucky Strike”( full group), Winner’s “Really, Really” (Sua, Siyeon and Yoohyeon), Lil’ Mix’s “Secret Love Song” (Yoohyeon solo), “Faded” by Alan Walker (Siyeon) , (and many more, all are amazing and worth tracking down to see.) and an abundance of random videos and pictures by the girls, just to let fans know they are thinking of them.
And of course, (a little over a month ago, at the time of this writing) they made their first U.S. appearance in California at KCon LA. This was an extra special event for many reasons (most will be covered in later sections) one of the main ones being that they not only performed 2 special stages for the Con, but also had a fan meeting/signing afterward, which is a rarity in the US for K-pop groups as it is. What was amazing was that it was made possible by fans…all those who supported the idea, yes, but especially by the group of people at 7 Dreamers. These fans went above and beyond, organizing the event to make sure it would happen. (more info on their page).
A lot of fan meetings, signings, special events and shows, not to mention a lot of videos posted to show their their love for inSomnias later, and we arrive at a most awaited and anticipated day, September 20th, 2018. Dreamcatcher comes back with an amazing collection of songs, leading with title track “What”. Showing off not just the great rock/metal instrumentals we have come to love, but in the style of a hard rock ballad, they show an amazing maturity, not just in their vocals and videos, but in the overall concept as well.
To go along with the new album, and all the amazing videos to come with it, fans will also be treated to a new custom photo-book by the members, as their MyMusicTaste fundraiser for the book surpassed the needed goal by over 400% more than needed, and that was within the first month.
2018 also saw some of the greatest live performances by the ladies (again, this is in my opinion, but it’s true. 🙂 ) The two most memorable ones for me were their live stage performance of Big Bang’s “Bang, bang, bang” All the girls were amazing of course, and they nailed the dance and vocals, and seeing them all in torn jeans and leather jackets, made my heart stop I think.
The two most stand out parts of this performance, for me, were one: Gahyeon trying her gosh darnedest to look tough and bad (she’s just too adorable) and two: Dami…just everything Dami. Right from the beginning you knew that although they were all gonna rock this performance, this was Dami’s show. From the moment she moved into the center, and looked out over the crowd, you knew she was in charge, and then those deep smooth vocals come out, and it’s over, and your heart stops. 🙂
Our next big moment, and lets be honest, it’s a big moment for any group, was our girls first appearance on the Korean show Immortal Songs 2. Immortal Songs is a type of variety/talent competition, where several groups perform classic kpop songs, adding their own twist and style to it. The audience then judges the performances and determines who goes on to the next round. the show does seem to be focused more on an older audience, those that grew up with the original songs, it makes it nice to see these older fans getting into and cheering on these younger generation artists, and to see the artists having fun performing these classic songs.
That said, it was a pretty big deal, Dreamcatcher being invited to the show (Yes, contestants are asked to perform on the show, rather than audition), not just for being a younger group, but being of a completely different style than other groups involved.
Suffice it to say, you knew it was gonna be amazing when it started with them all wearing older fashions and Siyeon starting it off with her amazing vocals, and even keeping it in her lower range.
And then one of the things they do best, the choreo starts. Then in typical Dreamcatcher fashion, they bust out in a rock version of the song! The performance is just amazing, watch the video and see for yourself.
Which brings us to some major events of early 2019. Dreamcatcher starts off strong with the release of a single to promote the upcoming album (Because of course these girls don’t know the meaning of taking a break) And delivered us the powerful song ‘Over the Sky’
After the regular release of teasers and the exciting medley teaser for the album, on February 13th we were given the release of their ‘End of Nightmare’ album with it’s title track ‘PIRI’. An amazing song featuring their great rock sound, this time accompanied by a whistle tune representative of the same named double reed instrument.
This album would represent Dreamcatcher finally bringing the “Nightmare” story-line to a close, the concept having begun since their debut with ‘Chase Me’.
As if to help show not only their support to the group, but also that even more great things were to come, Happy Face Ent. officially changed their name to Dreamcatcher Company on the same day of the albums release.
The girls then began their Asia Tour to promote the album, called ‘Invitation from Nightmare City’, The girls will be traveling to multiple cities – Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, Seoul itself, as well as Japanese cities Tokyo and Kobe, with the tour ending in May.
The tour went smoothly, the girls having an a amazing time, and uploading plenty of clips and photos of the fun they had throughout the tour. The only issue was that the Jakarta concert had to be canceled, but even then our girls, not wanting to disappoint the fans, held a fan-meet there anyway.
During this tour, Dreamcatcher, and all of us InSomnia’s, were given a great surprise, as they were invited to come back to Immortal Songs 2 to perform and compete again. And again they were amazing, and looked like they were having so much fun with it, and the audience reception of it was just amazing. Again, just watch for yourself. 🙂
On June 8th, amid all the various clips and vlogs that the girls were uploading, much to the enjoyment of all the fans, we were given the extra special gift of a Special clip by Siyeon, singing her cover of ‘Speechless” from the new live action version of ‘Aladdin’. Not only was this cover received well by fans, and brought in a lot of new InSomnia’s, but even Disney commented on the video on how good the cover was, and shared the video on their official channel.
On July 3rd, the group announced that they would be extending the tour, adding Australian cities Melbourne and Sydney, together with Kuala Lumpur city in Malaysia. Unfortunately the concert in Melbourne that was scheduled for August 31st had to be canceled due to a fire at the concert hall the day before the concert date.
Not to long after this, on July 16th, we were given another amazing gift in the form of a Special Clip from Handong, giving us her solo cover ‘Proof of Heartbeat’ from the ‘Fall in Love at First Kiss’ film OST. Again, showing us how amazing and versatile these girls are.
Then, just about a week later they give us yet another Special Clip, this one featuring Siyeon, Handong and Gahyeon performing the song ‘Every Day, Every Moment’, because these girls just can’t seem to resist the urge to give the fans as much content as they possibly can, and this is even on top of the daily vlogs and videos clips and photos and posts.
On August 22nd we got another Special clip, this time the amazing cover of the song ‘2002’ sung by Yoohyeon.
The group, not satisfied with being the only Kpop girl group to do a full European tour, announced on August 26th that they would be doing a second tour in the cities of London (October 24), Milan (October 27), Berlin (October 30), Warsaw (November 1), Paris (November 3), Amsterdam (November 5), and lastly Helsinki (November 7).
Shortly after, on August 29th, we were treated to yet another solo by Siyeon, giving fans her cover of ‘Eraser’ by Taeyeon.
On August 31, Dreamcatcher announced the official 1st generation membership for their fanclub ‘INSOMNIA’, which will confer fans various benefits and limited edition goods. Both Korean and Japanese fanclub applications started on September 2, and lasted for a month.
On September 2, a series of pictures titled ‘Mystery Code #01’ were posted onto Instagram, possibly teasing a new release. The next day, a new ‘Mystery Code #02’ was posted onto their Instagram, containing 2 photos and a video. Following that, a comeback scheduler was unveiled – confirming the release of a new special mini album, Raid of Dream.
On September 11, the group released their first Japanese full album titled The Beginning of The End, which includes Japanese versions of most of their title songs and 2 new Japanese singles. The music video for the track ‘Breaking Out’ was released 2 days prior to the album release.
Together with the release of Dreamcatcher’s Korean comeback album Raid of Dream, the music video of their new Korean song ‘Deja Vu’ was unveiled on September 18 after a sequence of teasers and trailers. A Japanese version of the song was also uploaded simultaneously. This song is a formal collaboration with the mobile game ‘King’s Raid’. ‘Deja Vu’ also became the focus of controversy involving SBS’s award show ‘The Show’, where fans were able to show how a miscalculation of the groups score on the program had ended in their coming in second, rather than first. SBS has at this time (3/16/2020) still not replied to the accusations. their was also issues with how the group was dealt with in promoting the program, as well as how the next few award appearances were handled. I won’t go into the details here, there are lots of videos up on Youtube explaining it already, and I may be writing an article going into more detail soon.
On Sept. 23rd we were giving the amazing Special Clip of JiU covering ‘Honesty.
And shortly after on Oct. 3 we got another Special Clip from Dami, performing an original song she wrote and composed herself called ‘Once Upon a time’.
On October 10, it was announced that Dreamcatcher will be embarking on their first ever tour in the United States of America; tour stops were scheduled in the following cities: Los Angeles (December 6), Chicago (December 8), Dallas (December 11), Orlando (December 13), and Jersey City (December 15). However. Handong will not be part of the tour due to appearing on a Chinese Idol show similar to ‘Produce 101′.
2020 once again showing us that Dreamcatcher are not a group to sit idly by when they can be serving content to their fans. Among the daily Vlogs, twitter, and official Dreamcatcher App posts the girls make for fans, there was the release of SuA’s cover of Billie Elishes’ ‘Copycat’, where she not only sings, but performs a Choreo she designed herself.
It was also announced that the group would have their next Japanese comeback in March, titled “Endless Night”, With their Korean Comeback announced shortly after to be taking place in February.
On Feb. 3rd, the group released the teaser for what would be their first full-length studio album, titled “Dystopia-the Tree of Language”
The album, as well as the MV for the track “Scream” was released on Feb. 18th. Not only Did it do exceedingly well on the charts, but also was the fastest MV to 10mil views of the group, hitting that number in less than a week.
While fans were saddened to see that the group was performing with only six members (Handong still in China do to promotional scheduling and also travel restriction China had placed due to the recent outbreak of the Corona virus), the group did show their support by having a masked seventh member (one of Dreamcatcher Companies choreographers) stand in for Handong in the video and stage performances, showing fans that even if she could not be there in person, she is always with the group in spirit.
On March 11th Dreamcatcher released their Japanese album and MV for the title track “Endless Night” showcasing a harder metal/rock sound.
Announced at this time was also the groups, and companies, official support of member Handong’s participation in the Chinese Idol show “Youth with You”, both the announcement and first episode occurring on March 12th.
Shortly after fans were also surprisingly gifted with an MV for the Dystopia album track “Sahara”. What made this such a special treat? The MV was self shot and produced by the members, shot during their downtime during various show and stage appearances. The MV shows the girls acting out in a literal fashion the lyrics of the song, and of course, just being the lovably goofy girls that we all know. Just showing again, how even when they are so busy, the moment they get a break, their first thought is what they can do for their fans.
And there you go, a brief recap of Dreamcatcher, at least from my point of view. Next we’ll have a brief introduction to each member, from oldest to youngest.
First up, we have JiU:
Stage Name: JiU (지유)
Birth Name: Kim Min-ji (김민지)
Position: Leader, Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer,
Birthday: May 17, 1994
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Height: 170 cm (5’7″)
Blood Type: B
Some JiU Facts:
Born in Daejeon, South Korea.
One of the 5 members originally in MINX.
She has cute reactions and also can do expressive acting with her face.
She likes Baby Metal.
She does aerobics to relieve stress.
Next we have Sua:
Stage Name: SuA (수아)
Birth Name: Kim Bo Ra (김보라)
Position: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Vocalist
Birthday: August 10, 1994
Zodiac Sign: Leo
Height: 162 cm (5 ft 3¾ in)
Blood Type: O
Some SuA Facts:
Born in Changwon, South Korea.
One of the 5 members originally in MINX.
Competed in a B-girl competition
Was in training the longest out of the members before debut.
Has the smallest hands and feet among the members.
Her hobbies are drawing and watching dramas.
Next, here’s Siyeon:
Stage Name: Siyeon (시연)
Birth Name: Lee Si-yeon (이시연)
Position: Main Vocalist
Birthday: October 1, 1995
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Height: 168 cm (5’6″)
Blood Type: A
Some Siyeon facts:
Born in Daegu, South Korea.
One of the 5 members originally in MINX.
Can do impressions of Pikachu, Squirtle, and Psyduck.
Favorite color is blue.
Dislikes shrimp and making mistakes.
Was a participant on the YG survival show MIXNINE. (Ranked 97th before leaving the contest early to perform at their concert in Brazil)
Next up, we have Handong:
Stage Name: Handong (한동)
Birth Name: Han Dong (韓東)
Birthday: March 26, 1996
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Height: 165 cm (5’5″)
Blood Type: O
Some Handong Facts:
She was born in Wuhan, China.
Yoohyeon’s nickname (and now everyone’s) for Handong is Dongdong.
Appeared in a musical during high school.
Likes to eat chocolate but sneezes when she eats it.
Would like her Korean name to be Kim Han Dong.
Received training in Opera singing.
Yoohyeon is up next:
Stage Name: Yoohyun (유현)
Birth Name: Kim Yoo-hyeon (김유현)
Position: Lead Vocalist
Birthday: January 7, 1997
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Height: 171 cm (5’7″)
Blood Type: O
Some Yoohyeon Facts:
Born in Incheon, South Korea.
One of the 5 members originally in MINX.
English name is Rachel.
Teeth get itchy when she’s nervous.
Learning Mandarin and German.
Loves to play video games.
Was a participant on the YG survival show MIXNINE. (Ranked 96th before leaving the contest early to perform in Brazil)
Next we have Dami:
Birth Name: : Lee Yoo-bin (이유빈)
Position: Main Rapper, Lead Dancer, Vocalist
Birthday: : March 7, 1997
Height: 163 cm (5’4″)
Blood Type: A
Some Dami Facts:
She was born in Seoul, South Korea.
Dami has a brother who has been a soldier for several years.
She is a former MINX member.
Her English name is Emma.
She learned Kendo.
She wishes she could raise a pet bear.
Dami likes animals and thought about becoming a breeder.
She can do chick chirping sounds.
She is a fan of “One Piece” Manga/Anime.
– She likes books, and always seeing reading anywhere if she can. Her favorite author Murakami Haruki.
Dami was a participant on the YG survival show MIXNINE. (Ranked 98th)
Last, but certainly not least we have Gahyeon:
Stage Name: Gahyeon (가현)
Birth Name: Lee Ga-hyeon (이가현)
Position: Vocalist, Maknae
Birthday: February 3, 1999
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Height: 164 cm (5’5″)
Blood Type: AB
Some Gahyeon Facts:
Born in Seongnam, South Korea.
Was a honor student for 3 years.
Received several awards of recognition in Mathematics during her schooling.
Loves making seaweed soup.
Can imitate Sponge Bob’s laugh.
So there we go, some basics on each member. Of course this is just the bare minimum, there is so much to love about them that I would never be able to get it all down here. Thankfully, there is a large collection of guides and interviews and videos etc. on them (a lot of which you will find inside the site in the video library).