“We still have lots of things to show you”
When given a big anticipation from people, the consequences come out in largely two cases. One of them is to disappoint people by failing to live up to their anticipation. The other is to double the joy and feeling of rewards from the anticipation by living up to it or outperforming it. Such principle is applied to the music scene without exception.
On August 8, BLACKPINK, a girl group with four members who is the first-ever YG Entertainment (“YG”) girl group in seven years since 2NE1, proved that they fall under the second case. They stood under a big spotlight with people’s great anticipation and have lived up to it for the past one year.
BLACKPINK made official debut on August 8 last year, releasing single album “SQUARE ONE” with “WHISTLE” and “BOOMBAYAH”. Exceptionally for a rookie group, BLACKPINK took No.1 in TV music shows with “WHISTLE” within three weeks of debut.
BLACKPINK released their second single “SQUARE TWO” with “PLAYING WITH FIRE” and “STAY”, in November last year. The team took No.1 in TV music shows again with “PLAYING WITH FIRE”. At the end of June this year, BLACKPINK proved their potential again, taking No.1 in SBS “INKIGAYO” show with “As If It’s Your Last” for three weeks in a row. That is not all. BLACKPINK has drawn much attention from foreign fans during the past one year. BLACKPINK achieved the 100 million view mark on YouTube for four of their music videos including those of “BOOMBAYAH”, “PLAYING WITH FIRE”, “WHISTLE”, and now “As If It’s Your Last”. It is a surprising record for a rookie artist.
BLACKPINK hosted a showcase on July 20 this year at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan, which is one of the largest arenas in Japan, on July 20. All the 14,000 tickets were sold out. More than 200,000 applications for attendance at the showcase were received. Based on such great popularity in Japan, BLACKPINK is releasing their official debut album in the country on the 30 this month. BLACKPINK is enthusiastic and charismatic on the stage, but they are also shy girls outside of the stage. In celebration of the 1st anniversary of their debut on August 8, Star News met BLACKPINK’s four members: JISOO (22), JENNIE (21), ROSÉ (20), and LISA (20) at café beforegray located in Seoul, to have honest talks. “Healing” was a throw-in of the meeting with BLACKPINK.
It has already been a year since your debut. How do you feel about it?
Jisoo: One year has passed really fast. Just as every performance of mine has some unsatisfactory elements, I still feel a little bit unsatisfactory about myself one year after my debut. However, I also feel proud of myself for fulfilling my long-cherished dream of standing on the stage.
Jennie: Even though I have been performing for a year since my debut, I still feel like I’m in a preparation phase. I have come to know better about good performance, but that’s just a beginning. I feel somewhat unsatisfactory about my own performance but have great anticipation for my future to show people more about me.
Rosé: The past one year has passed so quickly like a dream. During the year, I have gained lots of experiences. I think I have fulfilled one goal I had when I was a trainee after another. I have even greater anticipation for the next year.
Lisa: I have had lots of good memories during the past year. I really look forward to the next one and two years.
How do you evaluate your performances for the past one year?
Jisoo: I would give 80 out of 100 full scores. I’m giving higher scores to raise the average, as I think the other members would give low scores, haha. I’m having more and more opportunities to communicate with fans, while giving performances. During the time of performing for “As If It’s Your Last”, we appeared in more TV shows and radio shows than before. We also visited Japan and considering our potential in the future, I gave 80 points to us.
Jennie: I give 50 out of 100 full scores. I had practiced for six years and it has been only one year since BLACKPINK’s debut. I give low scores for now, as I have many more things to show people from now on.
Rosé: I give 55 points. I think I have not shown the fruits of my long-time practice as a trainee fully yet, as I still don’t have many experiences and skills on the stage. I still have a lot of things to learn and experience from now on. I also want to learn more from senior artists.
Lisa: I give 50 points, too. I’m not following JENNIE, haha. As for me, I’m not good at talking in Korean in a TV show. I think that is my weakness. I want to be better in speaking Korean, so I’ll study Korean harder.
What is your best memory form the past one year?
Jisoo: While promoting for “As If It’s Your Last”, we gave out ice cream in a fan service event. It was the first time for me to see fans directly, so I was really happy. Fans liked the event very much even though it was rainy, so I would like to express my gratitude to fans once again.
Jennie: That was when our fans came to root for us at music festivals last year. Even though the number of fans was not that large, they shouted our names very loudly, so I was really grateful. I was really happy, thinking, ‘Oh, we are now really an idol group who has a fandom anywhere”.
Rosé: The best memory for me was when I met foreign fans for the first time at our showcase held at Budokan, Japan. Even though it was the first time together, they knew us very well. That is an unforgettable memory.
Lisa: The best memory for me was the rehearsal shooting for our very first TV performance. Usually, each artist’s fandom attend the rehearsal shooting to root for their favorite singer. I was wondering if anyone would have come to root for us. It turned out that more than the expected number of fans came to the shooting for us. I was so grateful to them, realizing that there were people who had liked us from the point of our debut.
“YANG HYUN SUK is like a strict but loving father”
Your recent appearance in “Knowing Bros” and “Weekly Idol” show drew keen attention.
Jisoo: I like many people recognizing me. I also like fans liking to see us on TV. I also like that each member can show their talent more fully in TV shows. I’m feeling like I’m taking one step closer to more people.
Jennie: Personally, I still feel a sense of burden about appearing in a TV show, haha, because I still think myself on the stage is not yet perfect. But still, I like it as more people recognize the other members’ unique appeals displayed in TV shows.
Rosé: I’m still nervous about appearing in a TV show, as I don’t have that many experiences. I also feel burdened, thinking that I should make people laugh in TV shows. But when we appeared in TV shows, cast members cared for us much, so I felt more comfortable than nervous at the shooting.
Lisa: We shot “Weekly Idol” and “Knowing Bros” shows. I liked it that we can show BLACKPINK’s appeals and talent outside the stage, one after another.
What the other members mean to you?
Jisoo: It may sound like a cliché, but the other members are essential to me, in terms of my work and private life. When I’m with the other members, I feel reassured and more self-confident. As the four of us had practiced together for a long time, we rely on one another. It has already been three years since we started to live together at a company house. When I go to carry out a schedule alone, I feel lonely. I think I receive great energy from the others for every part of my life. When I’m tired of my daily life, I get better faster when I’m with them.
Jennie: The other members are always like family and friends, as we have been together from the days of training. One thing I have newly realized after debut was that every member supports one another with different appeals. We are now inseparable.
Rosé: I rely on the other members so much. From the days of our training, the four of us have been always together, so I feel like the four of us are one.
Lisa: I feel empty when I’m not with the other members. Notably, all the members become silent when Jisoo is not present, haha. The four of us are inseparable now.
Head producer YANG HYUN SUK of your label YG is famous for being strict when it comes to music. Have you ever been praised by him?
Jisoo: He once sent us a message that went “My personal No.1 priority is always you”, after the end of a TV music show in which we performed. I was really surprised and grateful, as he seldom praises artists generally, haha.
Jennie: I think Mr. Yang raises us strictly. Unlike my image, I sometime feel hurt by every word of his, haha. One thing surprised me after our debut was his message that went “Always do your best, you’re always my No.1 priority”. I felt so much reassured when he said so. More recently, he praised us that we did a good performance. I was surprise to hear him saying “You’re good these days”.
Rosé: He is like a father. He takes extra care of me, as I came to Korea from a foreign country when I was still very young.
Lisa: When I was taking part in trainee evaluation in the past, Mr. YANG just simply said, “Good job” when I did okay, and just those two words made me really happy. He is always like a father. As I’m from a foreign country, too, he always asks me “How’s your parents?” when he sees me.
“Touched everyday… Giving overseas performances with a sense of responsibility”
You’re making an official debut in Japan by the end of this month. You also hosted a large-scale showcase at Budokan in Japan at the end of July.
Jisoo: It is the first time for us to make an official debut in a foreign country, so we were feeling worried and excited. As all the YG artists have been super popular in Japan, we also felt a sense of burden. But more than the expected people visited our showcase and showed great interest in us, so we’re so thankful. We were excited as it was our first performance in a foreign country and we have greater anticipation for the future. We’ll keep doing our best with a sense of responsibility, so that fans in Korea can be more proud of us.
Jennie: Mr. Yang came to our showcase in Japan. After the end of the showcase, he told us “You were good today”. But I still felt somewhat unsatisfactory for my own performances. I thought I will have to present even better performances. After the showcase in Japan, my anticipation for overseas performances grew even bigger.
Rosé: It was a burden for us to sing not in Korean but in a foreign language (Japanese). But people liked our performances. I want to learn foreign languages including Japanese quickly, so that I can communicate with foreign fans as frequently as I do with Korean fans.
Lisa: The showcase in Japan was our first showcase in a foreign country. I was thrilled to see Japanese fans rooting for us with glow-in-the-dark sticks. When I have an opportunity, I want to give performances in Thailand, my home country, as well.
What kind of girl group does BLACKPINK wish to be ultimately?
Jisoo: I wish BLACKPINK will be a girl group that can give energy to anyone who listens to our songs any time, anywhere. I also wish BLACKPINK can share people’s emotions, making them feel even happier when they are happy and feel comforted when they are sad.
Jennie: My No.1 priority is to become a good singer, good team, and good artist. I also want BLACKPINK to become an influential girl group in terms of both music and style. I also wish BLACKPINK would become a wanna-be girl group that everyone wants to follow.
Rosé: I wish BLACKPINK would become a recognized girl group, who is sought by fans for every new album.
Lisa: I wish the name BLACKPINK would become well-known not only in Korea but also worldwide. It would be great if anyone around the world know who BLACKPINK is.
What his your message to fans in celebration of the 1st anniversary of your debut?
Jisoo: I really thank our fans for having great interest in us from debut. It is all thanks to our fans that we could make all the achievements. I’ll continue to work hard to present good performances for our fans. We’ll be a BLACKPINK that BLINK (BLACKPINK’s fandom) can always feel proud of.
Jennie: I’m grateful as well. I feel touched and surprised every day, seeing our fans trusting us from the very beginning and enabling us to celebrate the 1st anniversary of our debut. I really want to be a better artist. I want to stay with the fans always.
Rosé: I feel always grateful for fans. They always give me warm energy and support from far away. I want to be with them for 10 to 20 years from now on.
Lisa: I think it’s all thanks to our fans that we could make all those achievements so far since our debut. I also want to build more good memories with fans.
What are BLACKPINK’s plans for August?
BLACKPINK: We’re working on our new album during August in Korea and then go to Japan to carry out some promotions for our debut in Japan.
Lastly, what are you doing on August 8, the day of the 1st anniversary of BLACKPINK’s debut?
BLACKPINK: We’ll have some enjoyable time with our fans on August 8. We suggested a lot of ideas so we can have fun and meaningful time with fans. Haha.