The Rose (Hangul: 더 로즈) is a South Korean band formed by J&Star Company. The band is composed of four members: Kim Woosung, Park Dojoon, Lee Hajoon, and Lee Jaehyeong. Prior to its debut with J&Star, the band had long been a popular indie group before making its official mainstream release with “Sorry” on August 3, 2017.
Dojoon and Jaehyeong met as the two were busking in Hongdae. Often busy as a DSP Media trainee, Dojoon rarely had the time to meet with Jaehyeong and later confessed on a radio interview that he was not the type to disobey his management company. Jaehyeong started busking with Hajoon later in the year after the two met while practicing in the same studio, and the duo set out in search of another member.
By the end of 2015, Jaehyeong recruited Dojoon, who had left his company and returned to busking. The trio started the indie band Windfall and began to write their own music, while posting musical covers on YouTube and performing in the streets. When the band decided to search for their fourth and final member, Dojoon worked to recruit Woosung, who he had met through a mutual friend.
In 2016, the band entered J&Star Company.
On August 3, 2017, the band debuted its mainstream single, “Sorry”, penned by Hajoon and under a new name, The Rose. Later that month, the Rolling Stone India lauded The Rose’s single for being “a fantastic introduction to the band’s soft-rock vibe” and described “Woosung’s immense control over his raspy vocals… particularly impressive.” The group then made a subsequent comeback on October 31 with its second single, “Like We Used To.”
On December 14, Billboard named The Rose’s “Sorry” as one of the best Korean pop songs of 2017. By this time, the music video had garnered over 3 million views on YouTube, a startling number for an amateur group. Later that month, the band announced its first Europe tour titled Paint It Rose, scheduled to perform in Brussels, Moscow, Istanbul, London, and Budapest throughout the month of February 2018. Woosung later announced during a radio interview with Arirang K-Show that the tour had sold out.
On December 24, the band hosted its first solo concert The Black Rose Day at the Mpot Hall in Seoul. The group performed its two existing singles, covers of English songs, and unreleased songs from the group’s busking days titled “Photographer” and “Beautiful Girl.”
On January 5, 2018, The Rose performed at the Rolling Hall 23rd Anniversary Concert, alongside other established indie artists such as Cheeze, O.WHEN, and Fromm. The band showcased three new unreleased songs, titled “Baby,” “OMG,” and “ILY.”
On January 12, the band was listed as one of the top 5 Korean breakout artists to watch in 2018 by Billboard. The article wrote that it is “rare for rock-leaning bands to make a major K-pop impression upon debut, but The Rose’s gorgeously emotive “Sorry” was able to do that, scoring a spot on Billboard’s year-end critics’ song list and confirming themselves a multifaceted, new talent on the scene.”
On January 24, Soompi announced The Rose as one of the nominees for Rookie of the Year for its 13th Annual Soompi Awards.
On March 17, the band headlined the closing ceremony concert of the 29th Korean American Students Conference, hosted by Northwestern University in Chicago.
On April 16, The Rose released their first mini-album entitled Void. During their American tour, the group sat with Billboard to talk about their latest release: “through the five-track effort, The Rose’s intent was to highlight the darker elements of human emotion through dynamic pop-rock.”
On August 14, The Rose was featured on the Tofu Personified (두부의 의인화) original soundtrack. “With You” (너와) was written, composed and arranged by Jaehyeong, with vocals performed by Woosung.
On October 4, they released their second mini-album entitled Dawn.