Jeon So-yeon

Last updated

Jeon So-yeon
6weol 2il (yeoja)aideul paensainhoe (3) (cropped).jpg
Jeon in 2018
Born (1998-08-26) August 26, 1998 (age 22)
Seoul, South Korea
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2016–present
Musical career
Associated acts
Korean name
Revised Romanization Jeon So-yeon
McCune–Reischauer Chŏn Soyŏn

Jeon So-yeon (Korean : 전소연; born August 26, 1998), better known mononymously as Soyeon, is a South Korean rapper, songwriter and record producer signed to Cube Entertainment. She gained attention for competing in the television shows Produce 101 and Unpretty Rapstar before her solo debut on November 5, 2017 and later becoming the leader and main rapper of the girl group (G)I-dle, in which she participates in writing and producing the majority of their songs, in May 2018. She is also part of SM Station X girl group project Station Young, and has portrayed League of Legends character Akali in the virtual musical groups K/DA and True Damage.


Early life

Jeon So-yeon was born on August 26, 1998, [2] in Seoul, South Korea.[ citation needed ] While young, she was home schooled and later attended Kuryong Elementary School. Jeon studied ballet as a child, entering and winning numerous competitions. After seeing Big Bang perform, Jeon quit ballet to pursue a musical career. She attended 20–30 auditions in her elementary school days, but did not pass any of them. [3]

Jeon later decided to pursue rapping. She eventually gathered the courage to rap at auditions, which led her to being noticed and starting to receive calls from different places. With their direction of music being different from hers, she decided to let go of her dream of becoming a singer for a while and picked up dancing again, which she had enjoyed as a child. It was then that her street dancer life began. [3]

After seeing Cube Entertainment's 2014 audition poster, Jeon decided to audition once again and was selected in the audition held at Incheon. After passing the final round of judging, Jeon became a trainee of Cube Entertainment. [3]


2016–2017: Produce 101, Unpretty Rapstar and solo debut

Jeon during Unpretty Rapstar in 2016. 2016 jeonsoyeon.png
Jeon during Unpretty Rapstar in 2016.

In January 2016, Soyeon appeared as a representative trainee for Cube Entertainment in the first season of the girl group survival show, Produce 101 . [4] She remained a popular contestant throughout the show's run, peaking at 10th place on the fifth episode. [5] However, she ranked at number 20 on the last episode and failed to become a member of the winning girl group, I.O.I. [6]

In July 2016, Soyeon appeared as a contestant in the third season of the rap competition show Unpretty Rapstar . [7] The show finished with Soyeon as the second runner-up, gaining three tracks on the show's final compilation album. [8]

On December 29, 2016, Soyeon signed an exclusive contract as an artist under Cube Entertainment. [9] She officially debuted on November 5, 2017, with the digital singles "Jelly" and "Idle Song", which she wrote herself. [10] [11]

2018–present: Debut with (G)I-dle and collaborations

Soyeon at a fan sign during "Latata" promotions in 2018. 6weol 2il (yeoja)aideul paensainhoe (3) (cropped).jpg
Soyeon at a fan sign during "Latata" promotions in 2018.

On January 11, 2018, it was announced that Soyeon would be re-debuting in Cube Entertainment's new girl group (G)I-dle, as the leader and main rapper. [12] [13] [14] She is credited in the lyrics, music and arrangement for both their debut song "Latata" and their comeback song "Hann", [15] both of which were well received and commercially successful. She also contributed in writing five songs from (G)I-dle's debut extended play I Am . [15]

On August 8, 2018, it was announced that Soyeon would participate in a girl group project called Station Young for SM Station's X 0 alongside Red Velvet's Seulgi, Kim Chung-ha, and GFriend's SinB. [16] Station Young released their first song, "Wow Thing", on September 28, 2018. [17]

After their debut, Soyeon and fellow (G)I-dle member Miyeon were approached by Riot Games [18] to collaborate with American artists Jaira Burns and Madison Beer as part of a virtual girl group called K/DA for the multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends . K/DA officially debuted with the song "Pop/Stars" during the 2018 League of Legends World Championship on November 3. The official music video for "Pop/Stars" was released on the same day, reaching 30 million views on YouTube in five days, [19] and 100 million in one month. The single release of the song reached number one on Billboard's World Digital Songs chart. [20] The K/DA incarnation of the character Akali, whose vocals were performed by Soyeon, proved to be especially popular, becoming a frequent subject of fan art and cosplay. [21]

(G)I-dle at I Made showcase in February 2019. 0226 (yeoja)aideul soyeon pokeoseu&serokaem, 2nd miniaelbeom 'I made' syokeiseu pototaim.png
(G)I-dle at I Made showcase in February 2019.

In 2019, Soyeon composed labelmate CLC's "No" which was selected through a blind test and served as the lead single. [22] In March 2019, Soyeon made a public apology for using a pirate version of the German music-producing software, Ni Kontakt. She wrote on her online fan community site, "I deeply regret that I used an illegal copy of the program, As far as I remember, I used it when I first learned songwriting. I had not even recognized that I did not delete the program. But since the day I began composing in earnest, I have only used authorized programs." The apology came days after a behind-the-scenes YouTube video of preparing the I Made EP, produced by the agency, showed icons of the software's illegal copy on her laptop screen. The agency later deleted the video and apologized. [23]

Soyeon reprised her role as Akali, in the League of Legends collaborative hip hop group True Damage. [24] [25] A collaboration with Becky G, Keke Palmer, Thutmose and Duckwrth, titled "Giants", was released as a single alongside an animated music video on November 10, 2019. The song is a multilingual track performed predominantly in English, with verses in Spanish and Korean. [26] On the same day, the group performed at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship finals in Paris, France. [27] It was Soyeon's second year in a row to perform at the opening ceremony of the World Championship finals. [28] "Giants" debuted at number fifteen and nineteen at Billboard's Rap and R&B/Hip hop Digital Songs Sales charts, respectively. [29] [30]

In 2020, Soyeon made her appearance on Mnet new Hip Hop inspired Do You Know Hip Hop. The show features rappers who promoted from the late 1990s-2000s and pioneered the hip hop genre in Korea and a guest that have an undying enthusiasm for hip hop. [31] On February 28, she appeared as one of the "young rappers" to collaborate with Double K and Nuck performing "2020 Lion remix" for Old & Young collaboration stage. [32] In April, (G)I-dle released their third EP, I Trust . All of the songs on the album, including the lead single "Oh My God" was written and composed by Soyeon and longtime collaborator Yummy Tone. The song was released in two languages: English and Korean. [33] On July 22, Soyeon featured on DJ Hyo's track "Dessert" with rapper Loopy. The song is a jungle pop genre with bouncy beat and catchy moombahton rhythm, clever and memorable hook that uses various synthesizer, claps and whistles with message of wanting a sweet love rather than difficult and complex and is expressed with dessert. [34] In an interview with Melon, DJ Hyo revealed the reason she chose Soyeon is because "she is an exceptionally talented person in many ways, so I wanted to do the collab together with her". [35] Soyeon took part in writing and composing the song. [36] In August, Soyeon composed the group's first summer song "Dumdi Dumdi" alongside Pop Time, who has produced many of Zico and Block B's hit songs. [37]

On August 27, 2020, she reprised her role as League of Legends character Akali in "The Baddest" [38] and "More", on K/DA's All Out (EP). Soyeon took part in producing Apink's Namjoo solo debut song "Bird", which will be released on September 7. [39] On December 16, it was confirmed that Jeon, Pentagon's Hui, and AB6IX's Lee Dae-hwi would be producing songs for the Top 7 competition on Mnet's audition show CAP-TEEN. [40]


Jeon's Chinese fans donated rackets, basketballs and other sports equipment to a gymnasium to a junior high school in Weinan, Shaanxi Province to celebrate the second anniversary of her debut. [41]



Jeon is labelled as a versatile artist. [42] Her success as a rapper, singer and songwriter earned her the title of "Triple Threat". [43] Jeon was described as an Alpha girl for utilising and exhibiting her skills in writing, composing, arranging, choreographing, rapping, dancing and singing. A representative from Cube noted that Jeon's presence in the group's determined the groups popularity from the start and made (G)I-dle different from other groups they debuted before. [44] She was also named "survival born monster" due to her participation on three survival shows and have established herself as the next-generation genius "Producer-dol". [45] [46] RBW's Cosmic Sound Kim Ki-hyun and Cosmic Girl and former RaNia member Yoo Joo-yi described her as the genius songwriter-idol. [47] Jeon was named by Kukinews as the first successful female idol singer who took part in producing, starting from debut song "Latata" and steadily produced hit songs such as "Uh-Oh" and "Lion", and songs released by music industry senior group CLC, Apink's Kim Nam-joo, and Girls' Generation's Hyoyeon. [48]


Jeon stated that her bandmates are her inspiration for songwriting. [49] She was heavily influenced by her rap teacher when she was in high school and started to rap after she met that teacher. Jeon said: "That amazing mentor taught me the basics like how to write good lyrics and how to melt in your sincerity." [50]

Jeon also came up with songs, albums, concepts while inspired by cartoons, books and dramas. [51] "Idle Song" was created because she was inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants's theme song. [52] "Latata" was inspired by Song Joon-geun's catchphrase "arata rata rata" in KBS2's Gag Concert . [53] [54] “HANN (Alone)” was inspired by Kim Sowol’s poem “Azaleas”. "Senorita" was inspired by "Despacito". [55] "Uh-Oh" was inspired by the expression and the tone used by staff, where she'd shot a reality show, To Neverland in the U.S. [56] "Lion" was inspired from live-action The Lion King during her group's debut in Japan. [57] For I Trust album concept, Jeon revealed that she got inspired by watching an isekai anime, KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson , [58] [59] and "Luv U" was created and choreographed from the scene heart-finger V by the animation Sugar Sugar Rune . [60] "Dumdi Dumdi" was inspired by the 2016 Disney's Zootopia . [61]

Jeon is seen as a role model for teens, young women, [62] and various female artists, such as ANS' Dalyn, [63] Woo!ah!'s Songyee, [64] and Lunarsolar's Eseo. [65] K-pop producer and songwriter Ryan S. Jhun said that he is a big fan of idol competition show Queendom , and also shared that he hopes to work with Jeon one day. [66]

Songwriting and musical style

Although Jeon had been given songwriting classes while she was a trainee, she never intended to be the group's primary songwriter. She said, "At first, I really didn't know I'd be writing these songs ... but our debut was getting delayed because we didn't have a song. So that's when I thought, I should write our song, and started writing a title track." [49]

In the production of "Latata", Jeon began with a moombahton beats with the thought of her members. For the instruments, she used percussions. After making the beat with simple instruments, she put it on loop and coated it with melody. She described her process in composing started with writing beats and melodies on a blank page with just a piano or a beat. She continued explaining that it is common to have a track maker, someone who writes melodies and putting a melody on a mostly completed beat. She confessed she avoids the words "me or I" in lyrics. [50]

In Queendom's first preliminary performance, Jeon proposed a sorceress concept of "Latata". In music critics IZM's words, it "does not look like the a rearranged version, but more like an entirely original song". The article also mentioned the reason she can consistently being confident about her team, song and herself both on and off stage is because she has a clear image of what she wants to create. [67] [68] [69] Poet Seo Hyo-in wrote that "Soyeon covers all aspects of producing, from composition and writing, rap making and setting the concept. However, she doesn't overshadow the other members." She praised Jeon for maximising the strengths of each member and allows them to find their own artistic freedom. [70]

Gender stereotypes in music

"All stereotypes must be crushed. The stereotype that you're too young to do something. The stereotype that limits female idols. Music has no gender"

— Soyeon talking about stereotypes. [51]

Jeon believes that women can be producers as well and hoped that more women would come out as producers. [71] She believes that there are no boundaries when it comes to arts forms like music, performances and gaming. [72] "When I write, I don't think about gender. No "we're a girl group", women, men or age. I just write what's on my mind." [73] In a June 2020 interview with MTV, Jeon discussed using the word 'she' in "Oh My God" stating, "I didn't want to limit that 'she' to a certain being or a certain definition, so it's open to anything. I believe that all kinds of love are valuable and must be respected." [74]



TitleYearPeak chart positionsSalesAlbum
US World
As lead artist
"Children's Day" (어린이의 하루)
(featuring Superbee)
2016N/A Unpretty Rapstar 3
"Smile" (웃어)
(featuring Davii)
"Jelly"2017Non-album singles
"Idle Song" (아이들 쏭)2018
"The Loveless" (애정결핍)2019
(with Nada)
201629 Unpretty Rapstar 3
(with Lee Min-hyuk, Peniel, Jung Il-hoon, Jang Ye-eun, and Wooseok)
"Wow Thing" [79]
(with Seulgi, SinB, and Chungha)
35433 SM Station X 0
"You Too? Me Too!"
(with Lee Min-hyuk)
As featured artist
"Pick Me"20159Non-album single
"Don't Matter" [lower-alpha 1]
 Produce 101 Trainees
201630 35 Girls 5 Concepts
"She's Coming"
 Unpretty Rapstar 3 Contestants
92 Unpretty Rapstar 3
"I Wanna Be"
(Key featuring Soyeon)
201912213N/A I Wanna Be
(True Damage featuring Soyeon, Becky G, Keke Palmer, Thutmose and Duckwrth)
[lower-alpha 2] Non-album singles
(Hyoyeon featuring Loopy and Soyeon)
2020 [lower-alpha 3] 9616
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that region.



2016 Produce 101 Contestant Mnet
Unpretty Rapstar 3

Awards and nominations

Hallyu Hip-hop Culture Awards
Popularity AwardWon [84]
APAN Music Awards
Best All RounderNominated [85]


  1. Credited as Splendid Rivers & Mountains (화려강산).
  2. "Giants" did not enter the Billboard World Digital Song Sales, but peaked at number 15 on the Billboard's Rap Chart. [29]
  3. "Dessert" did not enter Gaon Digital Chart, but peaked at number 166 on the Gaon Download Chart. [83]

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