‘Decadance’: An introduction to the Korean live idol RIA

If you like your music aggressive, melodramatic, and featuring more guitar strings than is strictly necessary, you may enjoy the latest release from RIA, the frankly tremendously titled “I Curse The Clear Sky At The End Of This World”. And if you did, you’re in luck, because there’s so much more to her story than that.

So much, indeed, that it can be hard to know where to start. So with special thanks to IATFB for the opportunity, I’d like to offer a primer for one of the most interesting artists active in the indie scene.

First catching public attention as lead vocalist with the K-rock band Red Sonnet (best known for their contribution to the King’s Raid OST), RIA subsequently branched out into the nascent Korean indie idol scene as a member of the trailblazing live idol group NEKIRU. Alas, her time with the group was short-lived, graduating not long after their first original release to focus on her rock career, assuming at the time that idol life was behind her.

Following her departure, she debuted as a solo artist towards the end of 2021 under the name of Re:A, releasing the tragically overlooked “Gravitas” (including tracks like this absolute banger) before making a surprise return to the live idol scene as a founding member of LuciDreaM. Encouraged to return to idol life on her own terms by Error-B vocalist and Kirby enthusiast PPOYO, a talented songwriter in her own right, that’s when things really started moving.

Since their debut in early 2022, LuciDreaM have released two self-produced EPs (with a conclusion to the trilogy on the way this April), all the while heavily promoting with live shows, occasionally including full band sets. They make for an interesting duo for sure, as we discovered when we interviewed them over at Homicidols.

Not content with working just for themselves, both members of LuciDreaM have since branched out into writing and producing for other idol groups, and you won’t have to venture far to find traces of RIA’s downtuned hyper-dramatic style turning up in songs from the legendary C.LiTZ and DEATHDATE, all the way to the recent debut release from Ugoke!! Poupée Land.

All this by itself would be enough of a workload for most artists, but despite this she still found time to front alternative metal group IVITs, before returning to the solo fold with “Palette”. That brings us back full circle to where we stand right now, and don’t mind me, but I am going to try and wrap this up before she releases enough new material to need another paragraph.


I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say RIA is one of the most singular, creative, and inspiring figures in the live idol scene, who alongside her bandmate PPOYO is helping shape the sound of a subculture while still finding space to do her own thing. And as something of a sampler, I’ve compiled a short playlist of a cross-section of her work to give some representation of her style, while hopefully making it easy to dive a little deeper at any point you might like. If you like your idol music on the metallic side, I think you might find something to enjoy here.

About farfromsleep

K-pop survivor turned live idol evangelist @ homicidols.com.