After their debut in the music world two years ago, K/DA drops their latest, five-track album that takes the virtual girl group to another level and dimension.
Since the successful launch of their first single “POP/STARS” and their real-life debut stage performance at the World Championship Finals opening ceremony in South Korea in 2018, K/DA’s absence has been felt by their millions of fans.
Their debut single “POP/STARS” reached the top of iTunes (#1 K-Pop Chart, #2 Pop Chart), Billboard (#1 World Digital), and 170M+ DSP streams. The collaboration with MIYEON and SOYEON from (G)I-DLE, Madison Beer, and Jaira Burns reached 340M+ views to-date, making it the most successful debut for a K-Pop group in YouTube history.
Unfortunately, it was also in 2018 that fans last heard from K/DA. Fans began to speculate whether or not Riot Games – the game developer behind the League of Legends and League of Legends: Wild Rift – intends to expand K/DA as a virtual singing group, joining the likes of Gorillaz in early 2000s, or if Riot intends to create a male group counterpart for K/DA instead.
All these speculations and guessing game were finally laid to rest when Riot dropped K/DA’s first single “The Baddest” in August 2020 followed by the announcement that the virtual girl group will release their latest five-track album ALL OUT in November 2020.
“After their smash debut with their hit-single ‘POP/STARS’, they return with a new collaboration featuring rising star Seraphine and a comeback performance at the Worlds. K/DA represents for us the natural progression of where we see music is headed,” Patrick Morales, Creative Director in League of Legends (K/DA and Seraphine), said.
“We have just one simple goal. We just want to create a true pop-culture moment that would invite the outside world in what is the League all about,” he added.
For Toa Dunn, head of Riot Music Group, it is no brainer why they brought back K/DA in 2020: “Fans are waiting and wanting more K/DA.”
“The sheer impact of our fans manifests in many different ways. Like seeing our songs hit number 1 on Billboard charts and incredible number of stream platforms. At the end of the day, we are just happy to create something that our community enjoys as much as we do,” Dunn said.
While the virtual girl group is inspired by the growing K-pop trend, Morales pointed out that they don’t want to box K/DA in a certain genre and expand their spectrum. Each song represents the personality and aspirations of each member, he said.
As for ALL OUT, Morales said K/DA fans will be in one hell of a rollercoaster ride as their ears will be treated with both bombastic anthems and scaled back tunes. It also features collaborations with several female music artists – including members of K-pop’s hottest girl group, Twice.
ALL OUT consists of individualistic singles that represent the creative direction and personality of each member, giving fans a taste of the eclectic styles that make up K/DA.
One of the major changes that they did with K/DA’s latest EP is the entry of former X-Factor contestant Bea Miller and singer-songwriter Wolftyla. Riot believes that the two artists will give K/DA members Evelynn and Kai’sa distinct voices and powerful vibe. The likes of (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon and Soyeon, who voice Ahri and Akali, reprise their position for K/DA’s album.
“What we wanted to do is explore the sound of K/DA and [make it] more in-depth than before. So far, fans of K/DA sort of recognize a single sound. But you’ll hear distinct voices, personalities, perspectives,” Morales explained.
“What this album does is explore who the members are, and their musical tastes. We don’t treat K/DA like specific characters, but they represent different facets of how we defined K/DA as a band,” he said.
Going All Out during the Pandemic
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that Riot Music has to face is launching K/DA’s album during the COVID-19 pandemic. When they visualized the album launching of their most popular virtual band, they imagined launching it in a real-world presence.
Riot admits that at first, the pandemic limited them insofar as promoting K/DA and their latest character Seraphine. But the pandemic itself also provided them with opportunity to think out of the box and utilize a creative social media campaign in revealing K/DA’s comeback.
The campaign started by creating Twitter and Instagram accounts of Seraphine, without Riot Games publicly confirming the account or whether she will be the next League of Legends champion. Using a similar strategy, Riot created social media accounts for K/DA which, to the surprise of fans, announced that the all-female group will be releasing its single “The Baddest” in the last week of August.
“The Baddest” reached #1 on Billboard’s World Digital Sales Charts during the week of September 12, 2020, has been streamed over 38M times on Spotify, and has reached over 29M views since its release on YouTube.