Whistle (Blackpink song)

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"Whistle"
Blackpink Whistle - logo.png
Single by Blackpink
from the album Square One
ReleasedAugust 8, 2016 (2016-08-08)
Genre
Length3:32
LabelYG
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Teddy Park
  • Bekuh Boom
  • Future Bounce
Blackpink singles chronology
"Whistle"
(2016)
"Boombayah"
(2016)
Music video
"Whistle" on YouTube

"Whistle" (Korean휘파람; RRHwi-param) is a song recorded by South Korean girl group Blackpink. It was released through YG Entertainment on August 8, 2016 simultaneously with "Boombayah"; both tracks are on the group's debut single album titled Square One (2016). "Whistle" was written and produced by YG Entertainment collaborators Teddy Park, Bekuh Boom, and Future Bounce, with additional lyrics penned by labelmate B.I of iKon. Musically, the song consists of a minimal drum and bass beat over a "booming", "exotic" hip-hop melody and integrates a variety of instrumentations, including heartbeats and whistles—directly alluding to the title of the track.

"Whistle" received generally positive reviews from music critics following its release, who praised the song's musical styles and composition, and was further named among the best releases of the year by Billboard magazine. A commercial success in the group's home country, "Whistle" claimed the number-one position on the Gaon Digital Chart for two weeks, marking their first number-one single of their career. Directed by Seo Hyun-seung, the song's accompanying music video was an instant hit on YouTube, achieving over ten million views within five days of its release and was awarded the Best Music Video of the year at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Blackpink made their debut stage with "Whistle" on SBS's Inkigayo on August 14, 2016, and continued to promote the song on the music program throughout August and September.

Background and composition[edit]

On June 29, 2016, YG Entertainment officially confirmed that Blackpink would soon debut as a four-member girl group, marking the agency's first girl group in seven years, since the debut of 2NE1.[1] On July 6, the group uploaded their first dance practice video to their official YouTube channel, which attracted attention among the public in regards to the group's potential style and concept.[2] On July 29, YG announced that Blackpink's debut would take place on August 8.[3] On August 6, the tracks "Whistle", along with "Boombayah", were revealed to be the two title tracks for their debut single album Square One.[4] Both of the singles were released as planned in conjunction with the single album on August 8, 2016. The song was written by B.I, Teddy Park and Bekuh Boom, with production being handled by the latter two and Future Bounce.[5] A Japanese version of the song was included as part of the group's first eponymous Japanese EP, which was released on August 29, 2017 by YGEX.[6]

Composed in the key signature of B major, the track contains a tempo of 103 beats per minute and has a runtime of 3:31.[7] Stylistically, "Whistle" has been described as an hip-hop number with a dreamy rhythm and a mature feel,[8] integrating whistle hooks over a minimal drum 'n' bass melody.[9] Beginning with the gentle whisper, "Hey boy," the song transitions into a hip-hop beat which integrates instrumentations of snaps accompanied with the predominant whistling melody. Just prior to the chorus, the melody shifts into an increase of percussion and guitar, as well as clapping instrumentations. The chorus then employs the same hook from the beginning of the track with the exchange between the primary whistle sounds and snaps. Following the secondary chorus, the track transitions into the bridge where it is followed by a remix of the chorus. Lyrically, the song revolves around the themes of affection and romance. The instrumentations of whistling alludes to the sounds of the racing heart as well as the member's wanting their love interests to call out to her.

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, "Whistle" garnered generally positive reviews from music critics. Billboard K-Town's Jeff Benjamin opines that Blackpink "[embraces] the hip-hop sensibilities and club-ready sounds with which their seniors gained an international following", referring to their labelmates Psy, Big Bang, and 2NE1. He further stated that the song, "brings together impassioned crooning and their youthful hip-hop delivery with minimal drum 'n' bass and an undeniable whistle hook".[9] Rolling Stone's Brittany Spanos placed Blackpink in her list of "10 New Artists You Need to Know: September 2016", saying: "[a]ll low-end boom and high-end tweets, the infectious "Whistle" feels like perfect pop update of the similarly chirpy Ying Yang Twins classic "Whistle While You Twurk."[10] Entertainment Weekly's Joey Nolfi said that the song "quickly turns up the heat, layering irresistible finger snaps, a saccharine bridge, electric guitar riffs, mammoth bass, and, of course, cow bell-accompanied whistles ... it wouldn't sound entirely out of place occupying a lofty position on American charts."[11] In a review of the group's discography in May 2019, Rhian Daly of NME asserted that despite the quieter nature of the track, in contrast to most of the group's songs, "it gives the band chance to command things with just their voices – something they do with ease".[12] Following the release of the group's first Korean-language studio album in October 2020, Palmer Haasch of Insider ranked "Whistle" as their third best single overall, stating that: "From Jisoo's opening "Hey boy," it's cool and confident, stitched together with a whistle hook and minimalist production elements that allow the members' vocals to shine through."[13]

Listicles for "Whistle"
Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard Best K-Pop Songs of 2016
4
The 100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s
26
Insider Every Blackpink song, ranked
3
NME Blackpink songs – ranked
11

Accolades[edit]

Awards and nominations
Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Music Video Won [16]
Golden Disc Awards Best Digital Song (Bonsang) Nominated [17]
2017 Gaon Chart Music Awards Song of the Year – August Won [18]
Music program awards
Program Date Ref.
Inkigayo (SBS) August 21, 2016 [19]
September 11, 2016 [20]
M Countdown (Mnet) September 8, 2016 [21]

Commercial performance[edit]

Commercially, "Whistle" experienced success in South Korea. The song opened at number-one on the Gaon Digital Chart issue dated August 7–13, 2016, making it their group's first number-one single of their career. It sold 150,750 digital units and garnered 4.3 million streams, ranking at number one and number two on the component download and streaming charts, respectively.[22][23][24] The following week, the song maintained its position as the number-one single of the week, selling an additional 124,500 digital units and received 5 million streams, and placed atop the streaming chart for the first time.[25][26] By the end of the month, the song became the best-selling and most-streamed single of August, having sold 413,000 digital units in addition to receiving 17,000,000 streams.[27][28] On the year-end Gaon Digital Chart, "Whistle" was named the 36th best-selling song of the year, accumulating a total of 991,628 in digital sales. Factoring together digital sales, streaming, and background music sales, the song was ranked as the 32nd best-performing song of 2016.[29][30] In November 2019, it was reported that "Whistle" had garnered a total of over 2,500,000 in digital sales, and was certified platinum by the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA).[31] In the United States, "Whistle" entered at number 2 on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. Both songs on Square One single moved an estimated 6,000 digital units each, with "Boombayah" selling slightly more.[9][32] In its second week on the chart, "Whistle" placed at number 3.[33]

Music video and promotion[edit]

The music video for "Whistle" was directed by Beomjin J of VM Project Architecture, and was released through Blackpink's official YouTube channel on August 8, 2016.[34][35] It surpassed nearly ten million views within five days.[36] A choreography practice video for "Whistle" was released on August 18, 2016.[37] As of June 20, 2020, the video has surpassed 500 million views.[38] As of December 30, 2020, the music video has surpassed 600 million views. The music video was awarded Best Music Video of the year at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.[16]

Blackpink began appearing on South Korea's televised music programs with the August 14, 2016 broadcast of Inkigayo, where they received their first trophy for "Whistle" a week later, becoming the fastest girl group to achieve this feat.[39]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Melon and Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA).[40][5]

  • Blackpink – primary vocals
  • Teddy Park – composer, lyricist, arranger
  • Bekuh Boom – composer, lyricist
  • Future Bounce – composer, arranger
  • B.I – lyricist

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats
Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various August 8, 2016
  • YG Entertainment
[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gil, Hye-sung (June 29, 2016). "YG新걸그룹은 4인조 '블랙핑크'..최종멤버 이미 밝힌 4인" [YG's new girl group is a 4-member group called 'Black Pink'.. all 4 members already revealed]. Star News (in Korean). Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "YG, '데뷔 임박' 블랙핑크 첫 완전체 안무영상 공개". Naver (in Korean). Sports Donga. July 6, 2016. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Jin, Min-ji (July 29, 2016). "YG's new group BlackPink debuts in August". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on October 31, 2020. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Blackpink's Other Title Song is a Sexy Hypnotizing Song Titled "Whistle"". YG Life. August 6, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "KOMCA - Whistle". Korea Music Copyright Association. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "Blackpink - EP by Blackpink". Apple Music. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  7. ^ "Key, BPM of Whistle by Blackpink". Musicstax. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  8. ^ "'인기가요' 블랙핑크, 패기 넘치는 '퍼포먼스'…'휘파람+붐바야'" ['Inkigayo' Blackpink, 'Performance' full of energy ... 'Whistle + Boombayah']. Consumer Times (in Korean). August 14, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c "Blackpink's Major Debut: New K-Pop Girl Group Lands No. 1 & 2 on World Digital Songs Chart". August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  10. ^ Spanos, Brittany (September 14, 2016). "10 New Artists You Need to Know: September 2016 – Blackpink, Noname, Dua Lipa, Young M.A and more". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Nolfi, Joey (September 28, 2016). "8 hot under-the-radar singles from emerging artists you need to hear now". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Daly, Rhian (May 7, 2019). "Blackpink songs - ranking their pop bangers from worst to best". NME.
  13. ^ a b Haasch, Palmer (October 8, 2020). "Every Blackpink song, ranked". Insider.
  14. ^ Benjamin, Jeff; Oak, Jessica (December 22, 2016). "20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2016: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
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  19. ^ "데뷔 2주만에 '인기가요 1위' 차지한 블랙핑크 '휘파람' 영상". Insight (in Korean). August 21, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "'인기가요' 블랙핑크, '휘파람'으로 가요계 1위 점령…벌써 '굿바이 무대'". Asia E (in Korean). September 12, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  21. ^ "'엠카운트다운' 블랙핑크, 방송 안 나와도 한동근 누르고 '1위'". Sedaily (in Korean). September 8, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Gaon Chart Search: "Whistle"". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  23. ^ 2016년 33주차 Download Chart [Week 33 of 2016 Download Chart]. Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  24. ^ 2016년 33주차 Streaming Chart [Week 33 of 2016 Streaming Chart]. Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  25. ^ "2016년 34주차 Streaming Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
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  27. ^ 2016년 08월 Digital Chart [August 2016 Digital Chart]. Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  28. ^ 2016년 08월 Download Chart [August 2016 Download Chart]. Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
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  33. ^ "World Digital Songs : Sep 03, 2016 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
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  35. ^ Blackpink – '붐바야'(Boombayah) M/V (Online video). Blackpink. August 8, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2021 – via YouTube.
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