Everything You Need to Know About The K-pop Group Kep1er

Everything You Need to Know About The K-pop Group Kep1er

If you’ve watched a single episode of American Idol, you’re familiar with singing competitions where strong vocals and popularity are key elements required to win. But in South Korea, the idol recruitment method known as “survival programs” have taken the talent search formula to a whole new level with challenges that incorporate vocals, relentless choreography, detailed performances, and group chemistry. It’s a lot to consider, honestly. Thankfully, if you manage to earn a spot in one of these competitions like the girl group Kep1er did, you also get the change to potentially become one of the most memorable concept groups in K-pop.

Kep1er’s Origin Story

When the survival series Girls Planet 999 debuted in 2021, a total of 99 contestants hailing from South Korea, Japan, and China, each signed up for an opportunity to compete on a roster where only nine would make the cut. Throughout the series’ run, each aspiring artist faced constant evaluations and ever-changing rankings, up until the final roster was determined by a massive global vote. After revealing their concrete lineup, the rookie group was given the name Kep1er as an homage to the planets in the Kepler star systems, with the intent to “catch a dream” by coming together as one. Fun, right?

Kep1er’s Sound and Key Tracks

Kep1er’s style came through on the appropriately titled EP First Impact, where the nine-member unit revealed an infectious title track “Wa Da Da” along with a now iconic music video. By tapping into a thunderous pop persona through the title track’s house genre inspirations, Kep1er became an overnight sensation in the K-pop scene in addition to dropping one of the most iconic debut songs in recent years.

Beyond the widely popular single on the mini-album, the group’s brief introductory track “See the Light” set a confident tone for Kep1er’s poised-rookie era, along with the dark-horse “MVSK.” As of this year, they’ve released the carefree new single “Giddy” and flexed their city-pop charm on the b-side “Back to the City.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the members of Kep1er.


Birthday: August 12, 1996

What You Need to Know: Despite entering the arena with several rookie trainees on Girls Planet 999, there was still space for more experienced artists to compete, including Yujin of the disbanded group CLC. Yujin rapidly caught viewers’ attention with her cover of HyunA’s “Bubble Pop!” and she remained a fan-favorite contestant throughout the duration of the program. Since she’s also comfortable with offering her creativity to two major groups to date, we’re very certain that she’s a permanent industry fixture.

Highlights: There’s her appreciation for dance, or perhaps you’re familiar with her literally carrying the chorus in CLC’s “Devil”?


Birthday: August 22, 2005

What You Need to Know: Other than Yujin, Yeseo brings the most previous group experience to Kep1er, having been a part of the child group CutieL before eventually joining another girl group known as Busters. When Yeseo became a participant in Girls Planet 999, the singer’s prior training became a huge asset and helped lay the groundwork for her evolution as an artist. Who doesn’t love a little growth?

Highlights: Sweet, springtime vocals and her genuine shock every time the group takes home a well-deserved win.

Huening Bahiyyih

Birthday: July 27, 2004

What You Need to Know: Oh, she’s a star. Bahiyyih first entered Girls Planet 999 as a down-to-earth singer in what everyone knows can be a very chaotic industry, but make no mistake, her talent was always leading to success. And despite the fact that she’s inclined to show her soft-spoken, kindhearted nature off-stage, her second-place ranking was definitely the result of hard work and determination. A queen in K-pop!

Highlights: The incredible b-side “Back to the City” feels like it was designed for Bahiyyih, but we’re also kind of obsessed with the friendship she’s developed with Eunchae of LE SSERAFIM.


Birthday: November 12, 1999

What You Need to Know: Chinese member Xiaoting is one of the strongest dancers across Kep1er and arguably recent K-pop groups. And her polished skills continue to gain her notoriety with fans (in addition to her popular solo cams), so stay tuned for more Xiaoting dominance in the near future.

Highlights: You can see a few of her standout performances here, and here, but there’s also the fun fact that she’s a top-tier negotiator.


Birthday: December 16, 1999

What You Need to Know: Japanese member Mashiro is seriously one of the sweetest additions to Kep1er, and if you’ve watched her compete on Girls Planet 999, you know exactly what we’re talking about. In fact, Mashiro became so popular with voters and contestants that she actually was given the opportunity to lead every challenge unit she was involved in before nabbing an uncommon co-leader position in the final lineup. Good for her!

Highlights: Mashiro’s brilliant solo cover of one of JAMIE’s tracks, or maybe the fact that her popularity has reached other idols known to slay?


Birthday: April 26, 2002

What You Need to Know: For starters… Chaehyun has been working towards this for literal years. After beginning life as a trainee at just 13 years old, the singer and dancer spent several years associated with the established company SM Entertainment before going the individual trainee route. By the time Girls Planet 999 concluded, all of Chaehyun’s prep time was validated with a significant first-place ranking in Kep1er.

Highlights: Chaehyun’s cover of Taeyeon’s power ballad “Gravity” is a great start, but she also made fans shed tears with her live Queendom vocals.


Birthday: March 12, 2024

What You Need to Know: Hikaru joined Girls Planet 999 and became a favorite for her dance techniques, and even more so for her fire verses as a rapper. The Japanese artist was also extremely close to joining the XG lineup before earning a spot in Kep1er, so she has the potential to maintain an audience regardless of her platform.

Highlights: She definitely dominated on the collaborative single “Purr,” but her badass rap cover of NCT U’s “Misfit” on Weekly Idol is also 10/10.


Birthday: December 27, 2004

What You Need to Know: Youngeun is probably the most athletically inclined member of Kep1er, with basketball and taekwondo skills. That’s mostly just a fun fact, but it does mean that she has a tendency to captivate audiences when she’s able to demonstrate her capabilities with hip-hop choreography. She goes hard!

Highlights: Bringing the heat to Girls Planet 999, or intimidating the masses with her gaze.


Birthday: March 2, 2023

What You Need to Know: Dayeon is one of the most driven and energetic members of Kep1er, and is known for singing, rapping, and dancing. Her appearance on Queendom was super memorable. Even when faced with an unpredictable on-stage injury, she literally continues to pick herself back up and keep it moving like a total pro. Now, that’s a natural performer!

Highlights: Dayeon’s versatility on the group’s single “Up!” comes to mind, but we’re not mad at her change of demeanor on “The Girls (Can’t Turn Me Down)” either.


Aedan Juvet is a pop culture writer with an unwavering passion for all things K-pop, and when he’s not providing coverage for his favorite groups, he’s likely binge-watching Bravo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or anything remotely spooky. 

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