After the debut of their first girl group, Mamamoo, seven years ago, RBW’s newest girl group, Purple Kiss, debuted with their first mini album, Into Violet. After months of pre-debut activities, Purple Kiss released the MV for their title track “Ponzoña” earlier this week which puts a dark spin on a common theme.
The new girl group consists of seven members: Jieun, Goeun, Dosie, Ireh, Yuki, Chaein, and Swan. It should be noted that “Ponzoña” is not the group’s first release. The group was very active pre-debut, even releasing two pre-debut digital singles, “My Heart Skip a Beat” and “Can We Talk Again,” which are both included on their mini-album. The months of pre-debut activity from Purple Kiss includes not only two singles, but dance covers, vlogs, and even a Disney princess medley. In a competitive industry where new groups can easily be forgotten, RBW has consistently been building hype around their newest girl group to try and ensure they will not be overlooked.
The various activities helps with marketing the group, and perhaps also assist in getting the members accustomed to the K-pop idol life — their official debut song “Ponzoña” is confident and threatening. In the song, which Swan, Goeun, and Yuki participated in writing and composing, Purple Kiss declares that everyone will become addicted to their charm and that they will emerge victorious. It is a theme not uncommon for rookie groups. The MV embraces the confident message, but puts a sexy but sinister spin on it as the members act as femme fatales that lure victims to their end.
“Ponzoña” is dark, and gets only more ominous as the MV progresses. The colour scheme is dominated by black, white, and red, and the colours play an important part in the subtle twist that occurs. The opening shot sees Goeun casting a spell of some kind using a book, one that seems to be engraved with a rune. It quickly switches to individual shots of the members, but they all seem trapped. Ireh lies on a stone table Snow White-style and looks bewildered to find herself in this position, while her fellow member Dosie is stuck in an elevated chair with branches that act as restraints. Swan lies on a mattress that is surrounded by water and fallen flowers, which alternate with shots of her stuck in between white webbing. They are all trapped and alone, and the white outfits that some of them are wearing hint at the idea of an innocent girl being held against her will, much like in a fairytale.
Cue the flashing lights and eerie red lighting, and the true narrative emerges in the MV. Purple Kiss themselves are the sinister forces at play, and instead of being held captive, they are waiting for victims to fall into their trap. No other scene makes this sentiment clearer than the shot of Goeun at the top of the stairs; she sits triumphantly while her victims, dressed in black bodysuits and masks, are chained by black ribbons to the staircase. Ireh and Dosie also have people who are drawn to them, swarming them uncontrollably. Quick cuts between the individual scenes and the flashing lights are dizzying, heightening the sense of confusion that their victims feel once they have been trapped.
Spiders are a recurring motif in “Ponzoña,” and they can be spotted on the hands of members as well as the walls in individual shots. While they add to the overall creepy vibe, they further add to the idea of ensnaring and entrapment. Spiders bring up images of the webs they spin, waiting for their prey to come to them. Once stuck, their victims usually have no other choice than to wait for their captors to deliver their final blow.
The last deadly shock is venom, to no one’s surprise. Venom, which obviously plays a role, being the name of the song, is indicated by the colour red. Yuki is set apart from other members by her flowing scarlet gown, which has large red ribbons that extend from her dress outwards to the walls of the white gazebo she stands in. She has plenty of the fatal venom to spare on the unsuspecting victims; a later shot sees her extended in the air, rising with the power she has gained from victims. Jieun also has red liquid poured over her as she sports a white veil; once ensnared and tainted with the venom, victims cross into a threshold of no return.
In “Ponzoña”, the femme fatales of Purple Kiss put a confident and evil twist on an overused message of conquering the world. Perhaps the crown they wear on each of their heads in the MV is a hopeful foreshadowing for the young group, though their conquest will be a more joyous affair than “Ponzoña”.