“Step Out” into our Hearts- Stray Kids


Sourced from: Teen Vogue 2022

Ananya V (Year 12)

You might have heard one of K-pop’s biggest boy bands’ new songs. If not, here’s all you need to know about the album and the group that released it! 

In the world of K-pop, there are many names that get thrown around. “BTS” and “Blackpink”, respectively the biggest boy group and girl groups of the K-pop scene, but there are many other names that you might have heard of, or even songs that you would know, I mean, “Cupid” by Fifty Fifty seemed to have dominated everyone’s For You Pages.  But there’s a name that grows larger and larger each year. One of K-pop’s biggest boy groups, with an attitude as wild as their name: Stray Kids aims to “step out” into everyone’s hearts.  With No. 1 hits on the Billboard 200 chart such as ‘Maxident’ and ‘Oddinary,’ both recordings have made a mark on the other side of the Atlantic too, cracking the Official U.K. Albums Chart.  

As said before, Stray Kids, also stylised as SKZ is a South Korean Boy band under JYP Entertainment and, like their labelmate TWICE, are formed through a reality show of the same name. The name “Stray Kids” wasn’t defined by JYP Ent, but rather was a concept derived by the members themselves. In their early concepts, it referred to a lost child who wanted to chase their dreams and find themselves, but later evolved to represent a group of people who find a way out of the ordinary, together. Their greeting call is “step-out,” as they convey a message of straying and breaking away from standards so that they can move forward step by step into the world. Their fans also have a unique name (as is typical of K-pop groups), and their name is STAY. Stray Kids have often said “If you take the reason for why Stray Kids exist, then you get STAY,” which leads to their iconic ending in every video, “You make Stray Kids Stay.”   

Now that we know about the group, what about the members?  

The group is composed of 8 members: Bang Chan, Lee Know (real name Lee Minho), Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, (also known as Han Jisung), Felix, Seungmin and I.N (real name Yang Jeongin). Originally a nine-member group, the former eldest Woojin left in late 2019 due to undisclosed reasons.  

Pioneers of the K-pop “Noise” music genre, Stray Kids are renowned for having an extensive discography and composing their own music. To date, they have released 169 songs within their 6 years of being active. They’ve raked up millions of streams and views on all their music videos, topped both Korean and Billboard charts, and have won multitudes of awards, including the Daesang, being is one of the biggest music awards in the Korean Music Sphere.  

The group of 8 members have their own lines and specialised roles (see the ‘A Dummy’s Guide to K-Pop’ article by Beth S for further explanation!). Let’s get to know the members!  

Bang Chan, also known by his English name Chris or Christopher, is the eldest of the group. He is known for how he looks after the other members’ well-being and that the group continues to meet and go beyond expectations. He was raised in Sydney Australia but moved to Korea at a young age to become a trainee. Chan is a part of Stray Kids’ producing and rap line 3RACHA and is also an accomplished composer and producer with a total of 137 writing credits under the KOMCA (the Korean Music Copyright Association) at the last count. Because of this, he is the youngest K-pop Idol to reach the top 10. Chan is also famous for his weekly “Chan’s Room” live streams, where he interacts with fans, talks about the K-pop world, and many other things.  

The second eldest of the group is Lee Minho, who goes by the stage name Lee Know. Lee Know is the lead dancer of the group and leader of Stray Kids’ dance line DANCERACHA. He is well-known for his eccentric personality and his cats. Lee Know is also an accomplished dancer long before he joined the SKZ line-up, having been a backup dancer for BTS and won multiple international dance competitions.  

Next is Seo Changbin, who is also a member of 3RACHA as another well-established composer and rapper. Under the KOMCA, he currently has 131 songs. He appeared in the Korean rap-focused reality TV show “Show Me the Money,” and has been described as having a unique voice in his raps. Changbin is known for being a “gym rat”, releasing many images and videos of him working out.  

Hwang Hyunjin, the next eldest is a part of the Stray Kids’ 00’ line, meaning that he, Seungmin, Felix and Han were all born in the same year. Hyunjin is often described as the 4th Gen (a K-pop classification) prince. He is also a part of DANCERACHA and is known for his great dancing prowess.  

Han, or Han Jisung is next and is only one day older than Felix who was born on September 15. Han is the youngest of 3RACHA and has 115 song credits under KMOCA. Han and Felix go by the “sunshine twins,” a name given by fans to describe their fun and warm personalities, as well as their close age gap.  

Lee Felix, also occasionally known by his Korean name Yongbok, is born, and raised in Sydney, Australia. He’s known as Stray Kids’ Sunshine because of his warm personality and smile. He is an accomplished dancer and a part of DANCERACHA and is well known for his deep baritone voice, often being described as having a voice not suited to his personality. Felix is a known fan of JYP Labelmate TWICE and had covered many of their songs and been to their concerts.  

The two youngest of the group Kim Seungmin and Yang Jeongin (or I.N) form the vocal line of Stray Kids VOCALRACHA.  

Kim Seungmin is known for his “puppy-like” personality and his savage comments and humour. He is an accomplished vocalist having sung many OSTs and songs for Dramas and Movies. He is a well-known fan of another JYP band Day6 (another group I’d recommend) and is known for posting covers of their songs.  

The youngest of the group, or the Maknae, is Yang Jeongin who goes by the name if I.N. He is known for his unique voice, and savage personality (much like the other member of VOCALRACHA). Ironically for both fans and the members, he is also known as the “grandmother” of the group.  


Recently, Stray Kids added to their impressive repertoire of music, releasing a full album just on the heels of their World Tour to cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam and our very own Sydney and Melbourne. Their album “5-star” also denoted by “⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” includes pre-released songs and 10 unreleased songs that total to over half-an-hour of music. Even before their release to the public at Midnight EST, the album was a huge hit, having sold more than 5 million pre-orders. This album is often said to be written to people, either their haters or their fans and includes the message of self-empowerment that has become a common element of their music.  

As pioneers of “Noise” music, “S-class”, their title track, is the noisiest and most boisterous of all, being described as “having an annoying characteristic” by the members. But even disregarding the title, ‘5 Star’ has a multitude of songs ranging from the ballad-like “Youtiful,” which is a song of comfort to the wild, and confident “Hall of Fame.”  

The album even has links to member Chan and Felix’s history in Australia with “FNF” which stands for “flora and fauna.” The song was written as an expression of longing and grief by the members, especially after the 2019 Black Summer Bushfires.  

Stray Kids as a group don’t plan on slowing down, continually striving to create and release new music. So really, why don’t you try and get to know them?  


Some quick resources for those who want to learn more:  

  • K-Profiles: Gives a brief run-down on most of the members.  
  • Youtube Guide: provides a fun, fan-made guide.  
  • Carrd: An interactive website that forms a quick guide.