Feb. 29 (UPI) -- At a time when dance challenges pervade social media -- now often tied to a new music release as a marketing plan -- the rookie K-pop group OnlyOneOf chose a different approach.
To promote their latest single, "dOra maar," the seven-member ensemble launched a contest for fans and the public to create the English lyrics for the song. The winner gets a hefty $100,000 prize and is credited as a lyricist, plus the group will sing the winning version.
"We were surprised that a lot of people took interest in the contest and in our music," the group's leader, Love, told UPI through a translator in a video call from Seoul. "There are a lot of videos on YouTube already with their own lyrics, and we are grateful and happy to see the process."
Rie, the group's lead vocalist, added: "We are aiming to find the best English lyrics for our song 'dOra maar.' At the same time, we're hoping to get more chances to be connected musically with our fans through this contest."
The group's youngest member, Nine, said he has watched every entry so far.
"I've been monitoring all the latest entries on YouTube," Nine said. "I think everyone who [has made a video] is full of emotions, [by] the way that they express their own lyrics."
In line with their small, yet incredibly sophisticated, discography to date, "dOra maar" is a chill, alt-R&B gem that talks about the insecurities that come with love. Referencing both the Spanish painter Picasso and his muse, Dora Maar, their single album unknown art pop 2.1 features a song named after each artist, with both tracks inspired by their romance.
Art and other elements related to it play a key role in the group's concept and music. Having only debuted in May of last year, OnlyOneOf -- formed by KB, Love, Rie, Yoojung, jungi, Mill and Nine -- is the latest project by producer and visual director Jaden Jeong, most famously known for his creative direction with LOONA.
Similar to the girl group, OnlyOneOf's "structural universe" involves intricate storytelling with their songs and music videos, with the latter incredibly aesthetically pleasing.
Their structural universe is based on the concept of the dot line surface, they said. The dot represents them and how they came from a small entertainment agency within the K-pop world, RSVP. With each release, they add another dot, which eventually becomes a line, which symbolizes their progression. As they evolve as artists and add to their discography, they will eventually build a surface, which represents their career as OnlyOneOf.
"We are aiming to present our music gradually, not like all at once," Junji said. "Dots become a line and a line becomes the surface. We're trying to show the process we're taking with our music career."
The septet also often leave Easter eggs on their songs that allude to upcoming future releases, a fun activity to keep fans on social media trying to decipher. On "picassO," for example, the group referenced the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí seemingly at random.
"Dalí in the lyrics could be another hint or another sign that fans can look forward to in their next album," Love said.
Although OnlyOneOf does powerful choreographies, their sound is relaxed and smooth. KB, Love and Nine often partake in the production process as beat makers and top liners and say that their music is a reflection of their personal tastes.
"Because we think doing good music is more important than choosing a certain type of genre, we're not afraid of going down a different path compared to other groups," KB said. "We're trying to find out which type of music [works] for us and what type of music we can actually enjoy."
"Our advantage that we [have] as a K-pop group is [the] restrained sexiness in our concept," Junji added. "[Also,] the confidence that we have in our music is a great advantage that we can show to people."
One of the biggest inspirations for the group at the moment is another artist who also references modern art in her imagery, the Catalan singer Rosalía.
"We are greatly influenced by Rosalía's music, [especially] 'Malamente,' which we covered. We were actually kind of sad that people didn't recognize that 'Malamente' and Rosalía's music were the inspiration for our debut song, 'savanna,' but we're really happy to reveal this little secret that we're fans of Rosalía," said Yoojung, who is the main dancer of the group and took the reigns of the dance cover.
OnlyOneOf have big goals they hope to one day achieve, including charting on Billboard and maybe even appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They're also very close to picking a name for their fans.
"We have a few options for the official fandom name, but they're still options, not a fixed one. We would also like to take options from the fans. But it hasn't been decided," Mill said.
"As soon as we wrap up the album promotions for 'dOra maar,' we'll prepare for the next one," Love said. "We really can't say the details about the album, but right now all we can say is that we're preparing and [we hope] people look forward to [our music].
"It's going to be released very soon. All the songs on the next album will be super good, and it's going to be a blockbuster-type of album."
To promote the contest and the winning version, OnlyOneOf won't release an official music video for "dOra maar." The contest for the English lyrics ends March 31.