*Photo credit: QI.X via Instagram
QI.X is looking to make their mark on the K-pop world and they’re not hiding who they are on their road to superstardom.
It’s undeniable how K-pop has left the confines of South Korea and has spread its influence all over the world. K-pop groups like Blackpink, BTS, and New Jeans dominate the charts with catchy hooks, command stages with precise dance moves, and flood social media with viral posts. And while these groups have an undeniable queer fanbase, many of today’s popular K-pop groups don’t boast openly queer artists.
That’s where QI.X comes in.
QI.X, who pronounces their group name by spelling out the letters, are shooting for superstardom while placing their queerness front and center for all to see. The Q in their name stands for queer, I for idol, and X for all of the limitless possibilities that they and other queer people have. Created by K-pop producer Park Ji-yeon and consisting of members SEN, jiGook, and Prin, QI.X is creating music that’s “tearing down the heteronormative walls of society.”
The bandmates use their social media presence to drop inside looks into their rehearsals and performances, uplift their queer fanbase, and to shed light on who they are as individuals.
“I love myself before I started hormone therapy, and I love myself as who I am now,” band member jiGook said in the group’s interview for The New York Times.
With songs like “Lights Up” and “Walk & Shine,” QI.X are encouraging fans to lean into their authentic selves as much as the band does. Known to perform at LGBTQ+ fundraisers, QI.X recognizes that their music is a form of LGBTQ+ activism. But that doesn’t detract from their goals of stardom.
“Someday, we want to be on everyone’s streaming playlist,” said Prin.
And with a combined 85k followers across TikTok, X, and Instagram, they’re well on their way. Band member SEN, who has been a dancer and choreographer for agencies that manage artists like BTS, saw the invitation to join QI.X “as if a genie in a bottle had come to me.”
And if joining QI.X was one wish granted, then the other two wishes could be to reach superstardom and receive a treasure trove of queer fans who feel empowered by their music. If so, those wishes might be closer to realization than they think.