Very exciting news on the K-Pop front: Newbie singer Holland makes his highly anticipated debut today with the release of his very first single, “Neverland,” which draws upon his own experiences of being openly gay.
“Neverland” explores the feelings of a boy who just wants to avoid the countless times he’s experienced discrimination and escape to somewhere he can love freely. He also refreshingly portrays these emotions in the music video for “Neverland.” Notably, Holland is the very first openly gay idol.
Holland is the first openly gay K-pop idol to debut, though MRSHLL, an alt-R&B artist, came out before releasing his first music last year, becoming the first Korean singer to begin his career while openly addressing his sexuality. Same-sex love is rarely addressed in K-pop and South Korea’s entertainment industry. Only a handful of celebrities, including the entertainer-entrepreneur Hong Seokcheon and the transgender singer Harisu, are publicly out.
Though Holland has no large agency backing, and was a relative unknown on the K-pop scene until last week, when he first started teasing his debut single, he has already caught the attention of many K-pop watchers who have been eager to see more diversity and LGBTQ+ representation in the Korean idol industry. Fans tuned in to see the first publicly out Korean idol debut, and “Neverland” racked up more than 700,000 views within 24 hours of its release. The song also spurred the worldwide trending hashtag #HollandDebutDay on Twitter.
Condragulations, Holland, and welcome to the community!