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KISS OF LIFE graduates from ‘nugudom’ after release of newest single album, ‘Midas Touch’

Another K-pop girl group from a small company has done it again! *claps*

South Korean girl group KISS OF LIFE has always been on the radar of many K-pop fans since their debut last July 5, 2023. Comprised of 4 members—Natty, Julie, Belle, and Haneul, the quartet had already released 2 EPs and 1 single album under their agency S2 Entertainment.

The members were also curiously part of the “Big 4” companies at some point—Natty was a JYP trainee who had participated in the survival show “SIXTEEN”, Belle was a former THE BLACK LABEL trainee, Belle had worked for SM Entertainment as a songwriter in the past, and Haneul was a HYBE trainee.

Their self-titled debut EP, “KISS OF LIFE” garnered lots of attention for including solo tracks from all of the members—“Sugarcoat” by Natty, “Countdown” by Belle, “Kitty Cat” by Julie, and “Play Love Games” by Haneul, and their remarkable vocal and rap runs on their debut single, “Shhh”.

On April 3, 2024, KISS OF LIFE returned with their first single album, “Midas Touch,” with the title track of the same name. Fans were expecting another track that would blow their minds away—and KISS OF LIFE delivered with a Britney-esque song that was all the rave back in the early 00s.

KISS OF LIFE’s appeal to the public, well, both locally and internationally, were inevitable, as their musicality and talent, as well as visuals, were already through the roof. With their most recent release, however, did they (chart-wise) get the acclaim they deserve.

On the first day of their album’s sales, KISS OF LIFE broke their own personal records for their newest album’s sales, amounting to 21,735 copies sold. Their previous album, “Born to be XX” had the record of 11,237; making their most recent release to have double that number.

And according to those numbers, KISS OF LIFE is no longer a “nugu” girl group.

Wait, what does “nugu” even mean?

In the Korean language, “nugu” means “Who are you?” but in internationally, the word is being used quite differently. “Nugu” in the international K-Pop fandom refers to artists who aren’t well-known or haven’t reached all-around success in the industry.

In fact, there are a couple other words with “nugu” as the root, which a netizen had posted about a while back:

  • Nuguness: a situation that hasn’t been heard of
  • A bunch of nugus: nobodies
  • Nuguest nugu of all nugu: the most nobody of nobodies
  • Nugued: nugu in the past
  • Nuguism: like a nobody
  • Nugu era: the time somebody was a nobody
  • Nuguing: someone acting like a nobody
  • Nugudom: the kingdom of nobodies
  • Nugu company: a small company

An X (formerly Twitter) account named Nugu Promoter was made to showcase the names of some of these nugu K-Pop groups and boost their audience. The account has been working tirelessly to promote these names—KISS OF LIFE included.

And on April 3, 2024, KISS OF LIFE graduated from Nugu Promoter following their new personal record for their first day album sales, based on Hanteo Chart data.

The account celebrated the girl group’s graduation by posting a Hannah Montana clip that sees the titular character bidding goodbye. This also means that the account will no longer post about KISS OF LIFE in the future.

Other K-Pop fandoms congratulated the group, along with some South Korean netizens poking a bit of fun at the use of “nugu”. Fans also thanked the handler of Nugu Promoter for all of their hard work since the beginning.

Congratulations to KISS OF LIFE on their graduation! We all just knew you were all made for bigger things. And thank you also, Nugu Promoter!


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