It’s official: as of May 6, 2021, Red Velvet has officially gone more than 500 days without a comeback. While their last release, “Psycho” (2019), became the biggest idol song of 2020, they’re still yet to make their next comeback as a full group. Thankfully, the Red Velvet members have been hinting that a new release is finally on its way, but what have they been doing all this time?
2020 was a year for Irene to try new ventures. In July, she debuted as part of Red Velvet’s first subunit: Red Velvet – Irene & Seulgi. The main rapper was praised by Korean and international netizens alike for her impressive singing skills throughout the Monster mini-album, given that she previously had little opportunity to show off her vocals.
Then, later that month, it was confirmed that Irene would make her big-screen debut as the lead actress in the movie Double Patty. The film was finally released in February 2021 to critical acclaim along with Irene’s first solo OST, “A White Night.”
Alongside her subunit and acting jobs, Irene became an ambassador for two companies in 2020: cosmetics brand Clinique and luxury fashion brand Prada.
In April 2020, it was announced that Seulgi would be joining Irene as part of Red velvet’s first subunit. Their debut mini-album, Monster, featured the full studio version of Seulgi’s solo song from the group’s La Rouge concert: “Uncover.”
In November 2020, Seulgi then added “author” to her incredible list of creative accolades when she translated the book series Art Gallery by My Side: Love, Happiness, Sleep by Shana Gozansky. Seulgi used her extensive knowledge of art to add her own commentary to the books too.
Following the release of “Psycho”, Seulgi also began picking up numerous solo brand deals. Alongside Park Bogum, she became the face of Coca-Cola‘s 2020 Korean campaign, shortly before she was announced as an ambassador for L’Occitane. This year, she also joined car brand Volkswagen, luxury fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo, and cosmetics brand AMUSE as an ambassador.
On top of that, Seulgi recently began hosting a new web music series titled The Wise Music Encyclopedia, which sees her interview some of the biggest stars of the past.
Sadly, Wendy suffered from a serious accident shortly after the release of “Psycho,” leaving her to spend much of 2020 in recovery. After two months in hospital, Wendy returned home with her family to continue outpatient treatment. While the journey can’t have been easy, she was thankfully able to pull through and make a stellar recovery.
In April 2020, Trolls: World Tour was released in South Korea, featuring Wendy as the voice of the female lead character.
Over the following months, she released several OST collaborations, including “My Day is Full of You” with Zico for The King: Eternal Monarch and “Two Words” for Start-Up. Plus, she also featured in a song on Taemin‘s Never Gonna Dance Again album—”Be Your Enemy.” Then, in January 2021, Wendy made her television return with a co-hosting job on Mysterious Record Shop.
But her most exciting development was this April, when Wendy became the first member of Red Velvet to debut as a soloist with double title tracks “Like Water” and “When This Rain Stops”. Her debut album, Like Water, surpassed an impressive 100,000 sales in its first week.
Recently, she also joined POND’S as an ambassador in multiple Asian countries, including Thailand and Malaysia.
Over the past two years, Joy has truly cemented herself as an OST and collaboration queen. In 2020, she released “Introduce Me a Good Person” for the K-Drama Hospital Playlist. The song went on to top the charts and received numerous nominations at major award shows. She also featured on Crush‘s “Mayday” that year, and released “Why Isn’t Love Always Easy?” for Romance 101 this year.
Plus, she picked up several brand deals, including haircare line Aveda in 2020 and luxury brand Hogan in 2021. Her fashion prowess earned her VIP invitation to Michael Kors‘ New York Fashion Week show in February 2020 too, and she featured in numerous sponsored magazine photoshoots.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, she also featured as the manager on basketball reality show Handsome Tigers early in 2020. Now, she could be making her return to K-Drama acting after reports that she’s considering a lead role in Only One Person.
Yeri started 2020 by launching her very own lipstick collection with Notre Colette in January. Then, in July that year, cosmetics brand AprilSkin named Yeri their new exclusive brand model.
That same month, Yeri participated in the Fever 2020 Cool Summer Project which saw her release two Cool remakes: “Woman on the Beach” (with AB6IX‘s Woong and VIXX‘s Ravi) and “Sorrow” (with Ravi and UP10TION‘s Wooseok).
Shortly before that, she also launched her very own reality-variety show: Yeri’s Room. Though the show was sadly canceled earlier this year, the first season saw her have fun with numerous high-profile guests, from TWICE‘s Nayeon to Changmo.
Now, she’s transitioning to acting too. In February 2021, she was cast in tvN‘s one-act K-Drama episode Drama Stage – Mint Condition. The reception to Yeri’s acting was so positive, she soon scored a lead role as Oh Ha Rin in the upcoming web series Blue Birthday too.
Finally, while Red Velvet haven’t released an official comeback in the past 500 days, they have had several activities together since “Psycho.” In early 2020, they gave their voices to the “K-Pop Trolls” characters in the English-language version of Trolls: World Tour.
They’ve even released music together. In August 2020, they participated in an SM Station project for BoA‘s 20th anniversary with a cover of “Milky Way.” Then, in October, they released a group OST for Start-Up: “Future.”
They also became Blue Sky Day ambassadors as part of the “Clean Air For All” project that same month, releasing a commercial film encouraging citizens to reduce air pollution and protect the planet.
And, in January 2021, they finally made their return to the stage together as five members at the SMTOWN Live “Culture Humanity” online concert.