KINGDOM Make A Thrilling Debut With ‘Excalibur’
The South Korean rookie boy group unveil a fantastical medieval concept for their first EP ‘History Of Kingdom : Part Ⅰ. Arthur’
As one of the most anticipated K-pop debuts of 2021, expectations for South Korean group KINGDOM’s “Excalibur” were high, but the septet more than meet the mark. The lead single off the group’s debut EP History Of Kingdom : Part Ⅰ. Arthur dives into history, action, suspense and mythology with ease, setting the tone for this rookie group’s artistry.
The music video for “Excalibur” sees the seven members dressed in armour as knights or warriors. This paired with the name of the track, the album and the video’s plot imply that the group are portraying King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The fantastical MV sees the members engage in battle with unknown forces while vocalist and main dancer Arthur (presumably named after the medieval King himself) seeks to fulfil his destiny by pulling the famed mythical sword ‘Excalibur’ from the ground. Once he succeeds, the group are able to defeat their foes and Arthur takes the throne while his bandmates or ‘knights’ pledge their fealty to him. The cinematic music video is also interspersed with clips of sleek choreography performed in water and a desert. With a combination of trap, hip-hop and dark synth, “Excalbur” is a confident track about fulfilling one’s destiny.
This portrayal of the medieval era is a rarity in K-pop. While a few artists have incorporated elements like armour or weaponry for aesthetic purposes, we haven’t seen a group commit to this particular branch of history. Each of the seven members reportedly share their stage names with various kings of legend from across the world–in addition to Arthur, KINGDOM comprises Dann (leader), Mujin, Louis, Ivan, Jahan, and Chiwoo. It’s possible each of their comebacks will explore various stories connected to different kings of history with the members taking on their namesakes’ roles; a clip at the end of “Excalibur” featuring Chiwoo might be a clue as to which story comes next.