The debut song for a K-pop group is important for any number of reasons, most obviously because it sets the tone for the group and is a significant factor in the group’s initial popularity. Some debut songs are great but quickly overshadowed by subsequent hits, like GFriend‘s debut song “Glass Bead,” while other debut songs are so good that it becomes a challenge to deliver more songs of that same quality level. The debut of (G)I-dle falls more toward the latter, yet the group has only delivered hit after hit for years since anyway. So let’s look back at when exactly did Miyeon, Minnie, Soojin, Soyeon, Yuqi, and Shuhua debut as (G)I-dle and what their first album and lead song was.
(G)I-dle Debuted on May 2, 2018 with I am and the Song “Latata”
(G)I-dle debuted on May 2, 2018 with the mini-album I am and the lead single “Latata,” which was composed by Soyeon and Big Sancho. The “Latata” music video released on the same day. I am contained six songs in total: “Latata,” “달라($$$),” “Maze,” “Don’t Text Me,” “알고 싶어 (What’s in Your House?),” and “들어줘요 (Hear Me).” While Soyeon would become the major songwriter for (G)I-dle, on this first album, “Latata” is the only song she composed — though she contributed lyrics to every other song on the album except “들어줘요 (Hear Me).” Nonetheless, “Latata” would prove to be a hit that made all the difference in starting the group off on the right foot.
On the day of debut, the group held a debut showcase, where they performed “Latata” and “Maze.” One day later on May 3, 2018, (G)I-dle performed for the first time on M Countdown with “Latata.” (G)I-dle won their first music show on May 22, 2018 at The Show, followed by winning a second show, M Countdown, on May 24, 2018. It is a stupendous accomplishment for a K-pop group to win a music show with its debut song, especially for a group that does not belong to the “Big 4” K-pop companies, making “Latata” all the more significant.
Indeed, in an interview with Zoom TV from April 2022 hosted by Sakshma Srivastav, Soyeon explained that she is constantly comparing her current songwriting to “Latata,” saying, “‘Latata’ is the song that has always put pressure on me. So every time I make a new song I wonder, ‘Is this new song better than “Latata”?’ But I’m pretty sure that our new album [I Never Die] is better than ‘Latata’!” In fact, “Latata” was so successful that it enabled co-composer Big Sancho to pay off his production studio when he had been struggling with his finances, and he expressed gratitude to Soyeon for the song.
Prior to debuting in (G)I-dle, Soyeon had participated in survival competition show Produce 101 and female rap competition Unpretty Rapstar 3, neither of which she won, but both demonstrated her skills and contributed to the important artist she would become for (G)I-dle at Cube.
In summary, (G)I-dle made their debut on May 2, 2018 with the mini-album I am and the lead single “Latata,” and the group won two music shows in their first month of debut. It was an auspicious beginning for one of the most famous and successful “girl crush” groups (though Soojin would later leave the group amid controversy).
For more about the group, check out how old the (G)I-dle members currently are (and when Soojin departed the group) or the very unsurprising answer to who their leader is. Or to learn even more about the group from predebut, check out where the (G)I-dle members are originally from.