Big O!cean to debut as 1st hearing-impaired K-pop boy group

K-pop boy group Big O!cean / Courtesy of Parastar Entertainment

K-pop boy group Big O!cean / Courtesy of Parastar Entertainment

By Dong Sun-hwa

Big O!cean, the first K-pop boy group composed of hearing-impaired members, will arrive on the music scene on April 20, which coincides with the Day for the Persons with Disabilities in Korea.

Consisting of Park Hyun-jin, Kim Ji-seok and Lee Chan-yeon, the trio will debut with the digital single, “Glow,” a remake of first generation boy group H.O.T.’s 1998 hit, “Hope.” Through its lyrics, “Hope” delivers a message of hope and solace to those undergoing trying times in their lives, telling them they will see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Big O!cean will perform the song in Korean Sign Language, American Sign Language and International Sign, its agency Parastar Entertainment said.

Parastar reportedly utilized the cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assist the members. It created a sound for their song using their voices generated by deep learning, so that they can showcase a more diverse vocal range and sing with more accuracy.

In February, Parastar secured partnerships with different IT companies at the tech fair MWC Barcelona to resolve the issues surrounding the pitch and singing abilities of the members. It also developed a light metronome that can supplement the limitations stemming from their restricted hearing abilities.

“Big O!cean’s debut will create a new sensation in the realm of environmental, social and governance culture, which is one of the main interests among companies and the public,” Parastar said.

Before making its debut, Big O!cean opened an X account, formerly Twitter, to introduce itself and hint at its upcoming musical activities. Recently, the trio also made headlines for filming a dance challenge with high-profile boy band RIIZE.

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