If you’re anything like us, you’ve had (G)I-DLE’s winter theme ‘HWAA’ on repeat since they dropped their fourth mini-album I Burn at the start of the month. Since then, the song has reached almost 50M views on YouTube and made it to No. 2 on the iTunes Top K-Pop Songs Chart. It also featured on Spotify’s K-Pop Daebak, K-Pop Rising, and A-List: K-Pop playlists. I Burn also racked up some serious achievements, claiming the #1 spot on iTunes in 52 countries and topping both the iTunes Top K-Pop Albums and Top Pop Albums charts! As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the group also showcased their songwriting and composing skills on several songs on the album.
The dramatic and addictive lead track ‘HWAA’ is the result of a fierce collaboration between Pop Time and (G)I-DLE’s leader Soyeon. As well as giving us serious ‘HANN’ vibes, the song perfectly embodies the pain of a broken relationship using burning fire, red flowers, and a cold, harsh winter as metaphors. And we cannot get enough. Luckily, the multi-talented K-pop sextet has just released not one but two new versions of the track! ‘HWAA (English Ver.)’ and ‘HWAA (Chinese Ver.)’ are gifts for Neverland, who have been diligently supporting them from all over the world. This means we get to appreciate the hauntingly beautiful vocals of each member in no less than three languages.
To celebrate this blessing to our ears (and our replay buttons), we’ve put together six of our favorite versions of ‘HWAA.’ From new languages to live stages and choreography videos, huddle in and let (G)I-DLE thaw our frozen hearts with these fiery renditions!
Mnet M Countdown
M Countdown is known for putting out stunning comeback stages and (G)I-DLE’s first performance of ‘HWAA’ on the network is no exception. The performance opens with the members kneeling mysteriously on stage while virtual snowfalls behind them. Wearing the gorgeous diamond masks from the MV, they gaze intensely into the camera like beautiful ghosts. This gives a wintery and other-worldly feeling to the performance, playing into the snow version of their concept. By including minimalistic visuals and plain white outfits, the focus is all on the impressive vocals. Yuqi moves particularly gracefully in the clean lines of her simple dress and sounds even more beautiful.
‘HWAA (English Version)’
Not everyone can pull off English versions of their songs, but (G)I-DLE definitely can. After signing with Republic Records in the US, the group released their hit singles ‘Latata’ and ‘Oh My God‘ with English lyrics to try out the American market. Both of these were fresh and intriguing takes on the originals, with ‘Latata’ even making it onto the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart. Yet ‘HWAA (English Ver.)’ sees the girls outdo themselves once again with flawless pronunciation and charm. The lyrics, “reddest red, all these flowers bloom // when my heart forgets your old distant tune,” are hauntingly beautiful as Minnie delivers them with her delicate and emotional voice.
MBC Show! Music Core
There is only one word for this performance from Show! Music Core: stunning. In the introduction, the members lead us one-by-one through a scarlet, chiffon maze to an arch of blooming flowers. This alluring aura carries into the performance in the bright outfits and irresistible backdrop. Dressed entirely in red, the girls elegantly breeze through the choreography. All of this together gives a strong visual representation of fire and flowers, the dual meaning of the word ‘HWAA.’ While every member shines here, we can’t help but be captivated by Miyeon’s powerful vocals and stage presence. And the way the red confetti falls like rose petals on the ending fairies? Perfection.
1theK Originals Special Clip
We had to include this dance performance version of ‘HWAA’ from 1theK Originals and not just for its 4K quality. Combining a music video and a dance practice into one glorious clip, this is the kind of content (G)I-DLE deserves. The set and styling are both dazzling with the members donning red and white outfits and luxurious make-up. Not to mention the iconic gems under Soojin’s eyes looking like the most expensive tears. Because the video has similar camera angles to a dance practice, we get to appreciate all the tiny details of the choreography we missed in the MV. But at the same time, the interwoven close-ups capture each member’s visuals and emotions. Truly the best of both worlds.
MBC Plus Show Champion
The highlight of (G)I-DLE’s Show Champion performance has to be the striking set of gorgeous traditional panels and dramatic red lighting. This is in direct contrast to the retro concept of the flowing party gowns they wear. These outfits, in an eclectic mix of styles and patterns, don’t seem to match the mystical backdrop. But that’s exactly what makes this stage so interesting. Are they representing the feeling of being trapped in an unfamiliar place, like being lost in the woods? Maybe it reflects the girls breaking free of societal standards to be unapologetically themselves? Or something else entirely? But honestly, our favorite part of this stage is that Soyeon’s blue nails match her outfit perfectly. Finally, we can rest easy.
‘火花 (Chinese Version)’
We’ll be real with you, ‘HWAA (Chinese Ver.)’ is everything we never knew we needed. The song sounds as though it was made to be in Mandarin and is possibly our favorite version of them all. There’s just something about the way the Eastern sound of the instruments blends perfectly with the flow of the lyrics that’s so pleasant to listen to. There is a darker tone in this rendition with lines such as “the season that is far away and endless // erase it all” that come across in the stirring delivery. The only thing that could have improved this masterpiece would be Shuhua getting the lines she deserves. Her pretty and delicate voice would have been the perfect addition to this warm winter anthem.
So which dazzling version of ‘HWAA’ is your top pick? Do we have the same favorites, or have we missed a hidden gem? Let us know in the comments below, @theHoneyPOP! on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
Can’t get enough of (G)I-DLE this winter? We got you!
Featured Image: Cube Entertainment via Twitter