With the rise of the Korean wave or Hallyu, the debut of K-pop groups has been increasing too. However, as the debuts increase, companies also divide the members of the same group into different sub-units that showcase the talents of the said members.
One such sub-unit is that of AOA. AOA, which also stands for Ace of Angels, is a girl group that debuted with eight members in 2012. A few years after its debut, FNC Entertainment curated a sub-unit called ‘AOA Black’ with the following members- Jimin, Choa, Yuna, Youkyung, and Mina.
AOA Black is one of those interesting girl group sub-units because they performed as a band that played instruments. Each member holds a position where they play either the lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboard, drums, or bass. They would stand out from the stereotypical image of a girl group who would generally perform songs by singing and dancing.
AOA Black released their debut single album ‘Moya’, which was released on July 26, 2013, about fifteen days after the sub-units debut. The single album contained four tracks, out of which two were songs and the rest two were instrumentals for the said songs.
Moya is also considered the third single album of the girl group AOA. What makes AOA Black a unique sub-group is that the girls also perform the songs of the group AOA in the band style. Songs like Angel’s Story and Wanna Be are the songs that the girls of AOA Black perform as a band-half.
Since there are five members in AOA Black and one of them is not an official member of the group AOA, the group is assumed to have been disbanded as the rest of the four members have seen their way out from the sub-unit as well as the group.
Shin Ji Min, or Jimin, is the former Leader, Main Rapper, and Lead Guitarist of AOA Black was born on January 8, 1991, and is from Seoul, South Korea. Jimin has found great interest in music since a very young age and has always made efforts to follow the same.
Her love for music is immense, which led her mom to gift Jimin a guitar, whom she lovingly calls ‘Mimi’ in 2011. Soon she debuted the next year as the Leader of AOA in 2012, under FNC Entertainment. The following year, in 2013, she re-debuted as the leader of AOA Black, which was a sub-group of AOA. Jimin has an angel name, and that is ‘Jiminel’.
The 32-year-old rapper previously suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which she later got operated on. Jimin, along with her strong, stylish vibes, was also a part of Unpretty Rapstar Season 1, where she made it to the semi-finals through her skills. She has looked up to Jay Park since her school days.
Jimin’s musical skills do not stop here, though, she plays the guitar, and she owns two of those so far, named Mimi and Banana. She also plays the harmonica and the piano. Jimin knows Mandarin Chinese as she went to a language school for two years to learn the same.
But Jimin’s activities as an idol does not limit to AOA and AOA Black, but also Jimin N J. Don, which is a co-ed sub-unit made by FNC Entertainment, and Jimin was a part of it for five years before leaving FNC Ent.
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A former AOA member Mina made her exit from the group in July 2020, stating that the reason she chose to exit the group was because Jimin had been bullying her for the last ten years.
Further, on July 4, 2020, Jimin, too, made an exit from AOA and FNC Entertainment. Soon, on January 3, 2022, her ten-year contract with FNC Ent. also came to an end, and the same year, on July 14, she signed up with ALO MALO Entertainment as a soloist and rejoined the music industry.
Park Cho Ah, who also goes by the stage name Choa is the former Main Vocalist and Rhythm Guitarist of AOA’s sub-group, AOA Black. Choa was born on March 6 in the year 1990. The Incheon girl had dreams since her childhood to grow up and be a singer.
She has been fulfilling her dreams ever since her debut. FNC was not the first company that she auditioned at. She had been rejected by SM Entertainment over fifteen times until she auditioned at FNC Ent. and passed the auditions to become a trainee at the company.
Choa is an incredible vocalist who has sung many OSTs for dramas like ‘What I Wanted To Say’ and ‘I Wish.’ Not just OSTs, but she has hosted Korean TV shows like ‘We Got Married’ and ‘Surprise: Secret Room’ and has also been a contestant in King Of Masked Singer.
However, in the midst of this, she left AOA on June 22, 2017, as she was suffering from Insomnia and Depression. Two years later, in May 2019, Choa’s contract with FNC expired, and she did not renew it. Choa had no activities in the entertainment industry for quite a while since her hiatus, including group and solo activities.
In August 2020, she came back to the industry, where she recorded an OST for a drama named ‘Men Are Men’ and signed a contract with Great M Entertainment on August 21, 2020.
Seo Yu Na also referred to as Yuna, is the former Lead Vocalist and Keyboardist of the AOA sub-unit, AOA Black. She was born in Busan, which is in South Korea, on December 30, 1992. Yuna started playing the piano at age 7 and later moved to Seoul alone to fulfill her dreams. She had to move schools and live at her uncle’s place until she auditioned and got selected as a trainee.
Yuna’s journey as an idol had just begun in 2012 when soon she was re-debuted in two more sub-groups of AOA, they are AOA Black and AOA Cream. Yuna’s family is filled with talent because not only she herself but her younger sibling also became a K-pop idol and debuted in 2014 with the group ‘Berry Good as Seoyul.
Yuna’s piano skills came in handy when she debuted as the keyboardist of AOA Black. She would accompany the band with the keyboard and sing along with songs made by AOA. However, Yuna’s contract with FNC Entertainment came to an end on January 1, 2021, after which she opted to move out of the company.
However, Yuna’s career did not take a halt there, infact she has been working as an actress and has acted in several dramas and musicals like Prince’s Prince and Marries Him If You Dare, and has also appeared in a bunch of reality TV shows. Yuna, after her exit, runs a Yoga Studio and is a Yoga instructor.
She is still working in the music industry by lending backing vocals to songs by various girl groups, some of them being ITZY, Cosmic Girls, and TWICE.
Read: ITZY: Debut, Members, Songs & Albums
Seo You Kyung, or Youkyung, is the former drummer of AOA Black. She was born on March 15, 1993. She is called the half-angel of the group as she participates in the group as a drummer when they need her, which is why after debuting in 2012, AOA Black was formed in 2013 as a band, and Youkyung was appointed as drummer for the same.
Youkyung has been playing drums since she was in grade seven and has also been a part of bands as a drummer. She is the former drummer of bands named Sponge Band, P.AZIT, and Y&Z Project. Recently in November 2022, it was revealed that she is going to be the drummer for the band called ‘UNI’.
Youkyung really is all about drums, as her Youtube page consists of drum covers and vlogs. She can two languages that are Korean and English. Youkyung made an exit from AOA in 2016 and also stated that she would be available for the future activities of AOA Black as a band
. After she saw her way out of the group and company, she started focusing on her studies by pursuing music at the Yewon Arts University and started teaching drums and making drum tabs. The one musician she looks up to the most is Nirvana’s David Grohl. However, drums are not the only instrument she plays; the piano is also included on the list.
Kwon Min-A, who also goes by the stage name Mina is the former Bassist, Visual, Lead Rapper, Vocalist, and Maknae of the sub-unit AOA Black. She was born on September 21, 1993; although she is from Busan, she moved to Seoul with her family later. She is known for her pretty face.
She previously auditioned for FNC Ent. back in 2009. Coming from a supportive family, where she was encouraged to go after her dreams, Mina debuted with AOA and later with AOA Black.
She went by the angel name Minaring. In 2014 due to the untimely passing of her father, Mina decided to pause her group activities since her mother and her older sister were the only families she now had.
After her debut in AOA, her journey had just begun when she made her debut as a Korean actress in the drama ‘Adolescence Medley’. In 2015, she also became an MC at a variety show called Gourmet Road. Mina has been having a successful career as an actress as she won the Hallyu Star award for her part in Hospital Ship. May 13, 2019, was the date for the renewal of the contract with FNC Ent. regarding AOA.
However, she did not renew it and signed a deal on July 1, 2019, with O& Entertainment instead. In 2020, the Busan girl made an exit from O& Entertainment as well and later signed with Woori actors; however, she soon left that agency too. Mina, in July 2020, took to social media to post against Jimin, the former member of AOA, stating that she had been bullying Mina for over ten years and that was the reason she left the group.
This further led to a whole controversy, and Jimin, as a result, also officially exited the group. Mina is said to have left all agencies that she has previously been a part of and is on a career hiatus.
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AOA Black debuted a year after AOA debuted. They emerged as the band-unit of the group with five members, Jimin, Choa, Yuna, Youkyung, and Mina. Earlier in the year 2013, the company had started releasing teasers about the group now debuting a sub-unit.
Finally, on July 11, 2013, AOA Black came into existence, and since all the members have left AOA, it is presumed that this group has been dissolved too.
Songs and Albums
AOA Black being unique it is debuted with a pop-rock song called ‘Moya’, which was also the title track of their debut single album under the same name. Moya was released on July 26, 2013, which was a few days after AOA Black debuted.
This single album consisted of four tracks which were named Moya and Without You; the following two tracks were instrumental tracks for the same. Moya is an energetic song with an upbeat melody that gets one dancing. Additionally, it has rap elements as well.
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