For more photos (official + scans) of BLACKPINK for this issue, click HERE
Q: BLACKPINK is a group that doesn’t have a leader, but it’s obvious that Jisoo is the eldest. During the pictorial earlier, you were helping the younger ones check if their clothes were neat, and you also understand how to act with your eyes better.
Jisoo (JS): The kids naturally know things and do things well, and there’s nothing much I have to go out of my way to help them with. Each of us is good at different things, and if necessary, the one who is best at something leads and the others follow.
Q: The members chose you as the funniest one. The fans also say that you have a crazy side to you that’s different from your appearance.
JS: How did you know that? (laughs) Actually, I’m usually more of the quiet type. I’m normally silent, but we don’t do too many broadcasts so I wanted to show a brighter side to the fans and I act more hyper…
Q: You may say that, but you always reveal something extraordinary about you. You said your hobby was to play traditional drums. You used to be part of a traditional percussion quartet club?
JS: In the middle school I went to, the traditional percussion club was the most famous. It was the best club where you had to audition and even interview in order to get in. They got a lot of perks. You could grow out your hair. They give you volunteers hours too. It was a club with a lot of self-esteem. I passed a high bar in order to get in, and it suited me well. I liked the sound.
Q: That’s why you kept playing the drum when you appeared on broadcasts.
JS: Yes. The kids tell me to not play the drum in the practice room. It’s horrible noise pollution they say. That’s why whenever I’m at a place where I think they may have a drum, I always ask “Would you happen to have a drum by any chance? Please give me a drum. I’ll play one song for you”…
Q: I didn’t know that you had this kind of unexpected charm. BLACKPINK has been so mysterious.
JS: Exactly. That’s why we’re planning to go on many variety programs during these promotions. We’re also going on radio. It would be great if people knew us more.
Q: The response to “As If It’s Your Last” has been good. The YouTube views have been high. The MVs for ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Whistle’ both exceeded 1M views last April.
JS: Seeing as we came back after a break, more people than expected listened to our song. Thank you. We’re bewildered by this. We’ve received so much strength. We’re having our first fansign this Sunday and even now we’re very much looking forward to it and very nervous.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about “As If It’s Your Last”?
JS: We’ve always done charismatic or girl crush concepts. This time, we’re doing a feminine, girlish one. Please enjoy the cute movements that we worked hard to prepare for. You might see some fun things if you look very closely. (Shows a very cringey expression) these kinds of expressions, we haven’t gotten used to them yet. (laughs)
Q: Jennie is BLACKPINK’s cook acknowledged by the members
Jennie (JN): Nowadays we all just order food and eat. When we’re promoting, it’s tough to cook. (laughs) The most important item in our daily routine is ‘What delicious thing can we eat today’ so we eat all kinds of things – meat, Chinese food, Japanese food, Korean food.
Q: You mentioned that Kimchi Fried Rice is something you’re confident in making. Anything else you know how to make?
JN: I normally like kiddie things so I’m much better at making dessert. But when living with other people, meals are more important aren’t they? That’s why when I’m at home I learn from my mom when she makes food. I can make cookies and fresh cream cake.
Q: You can make all of those alone?
JN: I can pretend to. My mom assists me. But if she isn’t there I can’t do it. (laughs) My mom prepares all the ingredients and I put them together. That’s why my mom always says ‘In reality I’m the one who does all the work’.
Q: Looking at the nicknames fans made for you, there’s the high-class ‘Human Gucci’, and ‘Jenyangi’ because you resemble a cat. My first impression of you was haughty and coy, but after talking to you, you have a surprising sense of humor.
JN: I’m very afraid of strangers. It’s really bad. And it visibly shows. I’m terrible at things like taking the initiative to be funny. Nevertheless, it’s gotten much better. Before, interviews like this were my biggest fear in the world. When we debuted, I asked, “Can’t I not do interviews?” (laughs) I could barely say ‘Hello’ during my audition.
Q: If that’s the case this concept was probably hard for you. You’ve only done concepts with charisma up until now, so it was okay to be aloof, but this time you have to be girly and cute.
JN: More so than the difficulty I faced, I had a lot of desire to do well. The fans and the public might think, “These girls had a really difficult time. Even then, they still did it.” I thought that I needed to be more confident.
Q: Compared to your debut, when was the moment that you felt you had grown the most?
JN: Uhm, of course we’re very thankful that we charted well and the response was good, but personally, being able to share my thoughts with other people is a huge improvement. (While patting her own arm) Before, I was very shy onstage, but fans accepted this side of me and yelled, “It’s okay, don’t be afraid”. At that time I thought, “That’s right. I have fans like these, so what am I doing hiding myself?”
Q: The most common description for BLACKPINK is ‘Monster Rookie’. In the future, what descriptions/adjectives would you want to be used for BLACKPINK?
JN: For now, I want people to know us more. We want to work hard in order to earn their trust. That’s why I hope we can become a BLACKPINK that people can ‘reliably listen to’.
Q: You auditioned for YG based on your father’s suggestion and was able to debut with BLACKPINK. He recognized his daughter’s talent early.
Rosé (RS): He naturally liked music. But I don’t think I was exceptionally talented. That’s why I was so flustered when my dad told me to go audition. ‘What was he thinking?’ (laughs) Eventually I gave my shot at trying to get in.
Q: And you did.
RS: That’s why I thought, “This company is a bit weird? Why did they pick me?”
Q: They chose you because you’re worthy of being chosen.
RS: I think that I’m pretty good at singing, but I also know that that’s only my own opinion. I would always sing while playing the piano for several hours, but only after I came to Korea did my parents tell me that “To be honest, that was a bit hard (to listen to)”.
Q: What song was it that you practiced that long for?
RS: There are songs that are unbelievably hard right? Like Beyoncé’s ‘Listen’. My pitch doesn’t go up at all, it’s as if they could see the end of my voice.
Q: Then what was your dream before?
RS: I wanted to be a YouTuber. There are many artists who do covers of popular songs on YouTube. That’s why I learned how to play the guitar from an oppa at church. I wanted to improve my skills a bit, then upload a video of me singing while playing the guitar. But my oppa said “You’re going to be a singer”. Even in Australia I listened to many Korean songs. If I wanted to sing Korean songs, I’d have to go to Korea right? I couldn’t imagine that.
Q: But by debuting with BLACKPINK, you set a new record for YouTube views.
RS: Wow, you’re right, the more I think about it the more I’m amazed.
Q: Among fans you’re called “Disney Player”. It’s because you know many Disney songs.
RS: Yes, I’ve liked Disney animation from when I was young. When my mom helped me scrub in the bathtub, I would splash in the water and climb to the edge of the bathtub, spread my arms and sing ‘Part of your world~’. (Manager: Tell the truth. You combed your hair with a fork like Ariel too, didn’t you?) How did you know? When my mom would grill steak and bring out a big fork, I would secretly comb my hair with it.
Q: How could you not be a singer with such overflowing talent?
RS: Exactly. Actually, auditions aren’t usually held in Australia. So to be able to audition and debut and to release songs three times is fascinating. I still get nervous on stage even now, but I’ve also improved in that area. During our debut stage, I really couldn’t show anything. But now even if I’m a bit nervous, I see our fans’s faces and my heart becomes at ease. That’s why next time I’ll be even less nervous right? (laughs)
Q: I knew you were good at Korean, but I didn’t know you were this good. You must study every day.
Lisa (LS): I hear new words everyday. Whenever I talk with my unnies I ask “What does this word mean” and jot it down.
Q: Can you also read books in Korean?
LS: I can read it but difficult vocabulary is… What’s newspaper? Shinmun? (She was asking for what the Korean word for newspaper is.) Yes. I don’t know the Chinese characters that appear in newspapers.
Q: You must miss your parents and family in Thailand. Have you let them listen to your new song?
LS: I communicate with them almost every day. Through text messages. Our title track is in Korean so my mom and my dad can’t understand it but they said that my part is addicting.
Q: Have you ever gone back to your hometown after debuting?
LS: I haven’t been able to go out of the country much after coming to live in Korea and debuting. Everytime I go out we have to be with our manager unnie. But I’ve been back to Thailand alone. The crowds were huge. One person would shout, “Ahhhhh, Lisa?!” and people would suddenly flock. I couldn’t run away. (laughs) I was so surprised.
Q: You must’ve enjoyed your time in Thailand, but you must also receive a lot of stress. Does the food suit your taste? I heard that your favorite Korean dish is Gamjatang (Pork and potato stew)
LS: Yes, Gamjatang is still my favorite. Korean cuisine suits my tastes well. If I want to eat Thai food I ask my manager unnie for a favor and she buys it for me. And when I’m stressed I watch movies and dramas. “Fight My Way” is so interesting. And I watched the movie “Boss Baby” three times. I really love animation. When all of the members are in the dorm, while eating we always ask “What should we watch?” “Let’s watch Disney,” and we get together and watch.
Q: What’s the message from a fan that gave you the most strength?
LS: Every message gives me strength. “Lisa unnie I love you.” “Lisa unnie is cool.” All of them. When our schedule ends and we can see our fans waiting for us, that’s when I’m happiest. I’m looking forward to the fansign. (Manager: You need to use a face mask the night before the fansign. You need to show yourself prettily.) Ah, really? I’ll do my best and use a face mask. (laughs)
Q: Before debuting in Korea, you were part of a dance crew. Is there a stage or choreography that you want to challenge as a dancer in the future?
LS: As trainees, I danced with the members for 6 years, right? We watched American dancers dance as couples, one guy and one girl. I want to be cool and try that out too. Definitely with a male dancer (laughs)
Q: A goal you want to challenge as BLACKPINK?
LS: We’re debuting in Japan at the end of July. In the future, not just in Japan, but in other countries like Thailand, Australia, New Zealand… I want to promote in the countries each of us came from.
YES or NO
Q: “Honestly, I’m the prettiest in BLACKPINK”
JS: NO. It’s not that my self esteem is low, but it’s that there’s a certain kind of face that I like. It’s like Kim Yuna (figure skater). My face isn’t my type. Jennie’s eyes are the type I find pretty.
LS: NO. Jisoo unnie is the prettiest. Unnie’s face is perfect.
RS: NO! For me as well.
JN: NO. I’m the prettiest for me but different people have personal preferences.
It’s based on what you personally think so your answer is YES. Jisoo said that Jennie is the prettiest.
JN: Ah, then my answer is Jisoo unnie too! (laughs)
Q: “I’m lonely nowadays.”
JS: NO. Nowadays I’m working so it’s just fun.
LS: It’s a NO for me too. I’m always with the members so there’s no time to feel lonely.
JN: NO. Because we’re too noisy to be lonely.
RS: YES. A little bit. But it’s the loneliness of missing my family. We communicate often but my schedules conflict with the times my family is awake.
Q: “I have “black history”, things in my past that I want to erase.”
JS: YES. I shot an LG commercial before I debuted. I was supposed to do aegyo while thinking of a guy who liked cameras, and it was so difficult for me. I watched the completed video once and couldn’t watch it again. But they would just deliberately show it on broadcasts and make me do it again (laughs).
LS: YES. When I first arrived at YG I had short hair. Like a boy. It was a terrible decision. My mom said that I should go with this look before my audition but I regretted it. I’ve never do a short hair cut again in the future.
JN: NO. If I say that I have them, then people will look for it, so I think saying that I don’t have any is a wiser choice.
RS: Black history? I don’t think I have any. I didn’t really do anything like that when I was young. The unnies ask, “Don’t you have anything you did that would count as ‘black history?’” And when they say that I think it might be better if I actually did.
Q: “If I was born again I would still be part of BLACKPINK.”
JS: Of course, YES.
LS: YES. Answering NO to this would be difficult wouldn’t it? (laughs)
Even if you were scouted by other places?
JN: I like our team best. We’ve been together through it all since the early stages until it was just the four of us. We match each other well, that’s why I can’t imagine myself being in any other girl group.