Q. Congratulations on your debut album ranking 1st on the Oricon Weekly chart. It’s just been 1 year since your Korean debut. Your YouTube channel has a total of over 1 billion views, and it seems you’ve also gained the attention of many fans in Japan.
LS: We really hoped that many people would show interest, and so we’re extremely happy with this result.
Q. Your debut showcase in the Budokan in July was also sold out.
JN: I think that rather than ‘fans’, more of the people who came where interested in finding out who we were, but I really felt that every single step of our hard work is bringing us further.
Q: The live showcase was your first since your debut, wasn’t it? What did you think about having your first stage in Japan?
RS: Of course, we felt uneasy, but before our live performance, the four of us said together, “Don’t be nervous, let’s show them everything that we’ve prepared!”
Q: Among all of the various artists, what do you think is a charm that only you possess?
JS: When we receive a song, our very first order of business is to internalize it, and no matter what song it is, we make it our own. I think that from that, our “BLACKPINK-ness” comes out. That’s what we obsess about the most.
Q: Speaking about creating music, how do you go about doing so?
JN: First, each one finishes the best of her part, and if there are areas that are lacking, we point it out and correct it for each other, something like that.
Q: Criticizing each other is fine?
JS: Because we’ve done this together since we were trainees, and we know each other thoroughly, we can listen to and accept (criticisms) ungrudgingly. We’re really close, so we almost don’t fight at all.
Q: By ‘almost’, do you mean that you have (fought)?
JN: Not to the point of a ‘fight’, but there are times when opinions clash. Nonetheless, we’re also used to that too, so we’ve come to be able to resolve it well (laughs).
Q: What were your first impressions of each of the members?
RS: Lisa is the youngest, she has aegyo, is mischievous, and has an image like that of a little brother, but when it comes to music, she’s superb and professional. Meaning that she has the largest gap in personality I guess.
LS: I feel embarrassed (laughs). Rose is complete with singing and dancing, but she’s the kind of person who sees things through to the end. I tend to get disheartened, so I really respect her for that.
JS: Jennie is younger than me in age, but as trainees she’s my senior, and I relied on her and she took care of me a lot. And though many years have passed, things haven’t changed from before and she still takes care of me now (laughs).
JN: From my perspective, of course I rely on Jisoo, and I think that among the members she is the one who’s most like an older sister figure.
LS: I think so too!
JS: I’m monitoring everyone closely (laughs). We don’t have a leader, but I’m the eldest, so when there’s a need to decide on something, I think I have the central role of deciding. But the members each have our own strengths, and we respect each other, and rely on each other, something like that, right?
LS: In terms of music, Jennie, who has been active for the longest, is great at harmonizing the individualities and strengths of the four of us, everyone’s roles are different.
Q: Lisa, what’s your role?
LS: The other members have said this, but I’m the little brother figure. It’s because I often play pranks on the members (laughs).
RS: Totally (laughs)! As for me, at first I didn’t really know, but as the main vocal, I have to take the lead on the vocals of the 4 of us. But I’m still dissatisfied with whether or not I can do it properly with my vocals, so I’m still always nervous even until now.
Q: What was it like when you were trainees?
JS: As trainees, we took singing and dancing lessons, and studied foreign languages. From the time we became a team, we had monthly evaluations on different topics. And it feels like the four of us honed and polished our skills together for that (evaluation).
RS: Everyone’s lessons were everyday from 11am to 2am late in the evening. I was the last one among to members to be included, so I wanted to catch up quickly to the level of the other 3. So after lessons, I would practice by myself for 2-3 hours and go home in the early morning.
Q: To that extent?!
RS: It’s something I like, so I want to do my best. If I didn’t have that emotion at that time, I wouldn’t have been able to do so. I had that kind of motivation.
JN: I was a trainee for the longest time; I did it for more than 7 years. Before the current members were completed, I witnessed many other kids who I trained with together give up countless times too. That’s why I tried to make a group by taking charge of it myself. There was a time when the group had 5 and 6 members, but from there, we’ve poured our strength into the work that solidified and developed the group into the form it is today. We were really disheartened so many times, but we’ve made it till the end. But thanks to that, we’ve become stronger.
JS: As for me, I became a trainee when I was 17 years old. I had worries each time, but I never felt that it was rough to that extent. It’s in my personality to not feel down when someone else gets angry at me, or when I get criticized. “It will be okay as long as I try harder, right?” I’m the type to look at it positively instead.
LS: I came from Thailand and trained for 6 years since I was 14, and so at first I couldn’t communicate… But, because we were living in a dorm, the other members taught me vocabulary and helped me out with many things. There were also many times when I wanted to give up and go home, but in rough times, we’d encourage each other that we’d debut no mater what, and somehow we made it here. I guess we were vocalizing the truth.
Q: You’re debuting in Japan one year after your Korean debut. It seems like smooth sailing, but it also looks like you’ve exerted effort proportional to your success.
LS: Of course, I think all of the members take pride in that.
Q: What do you think is necessary in achieving one’s dreams?
RS: As expected, because it’s something you do because you like doing it, I think that rather than it being the result of earnestly doing something continuously, it’s an outcome that will happen naturally.
JN: A resolve that doesn’t give up is still necessary. Do it till the end. It’s true for singing and dancing too, but there are many hardships outside of music too, and I think that it’s because I didn’t give up that I have today. There’s no single method to achieving your dreams, so think clearly about “Why do I want to become this?” and grab opportunities in the different forms that they come.
LS: Believing in yourself. Tell yourself, “No matter what, I can do it!” and continue not to give up, and you’ll arrive at your dream. I was like that.
JS: Don’t rely only on what others tell you to do. Have a firm grasp of yourself, and do something you like according to your own initiative, is, I think, the shortest path. If you don’t have the desire to follow that path, you won’t be able to break through walls when they arise, so first and foremost you must have that desire.
Q: That’s important too, isn’t it? Speaking of that, what are your ‘desires’ for the future?
JS: Through this line of work, I’ve been influenced well by many people, so I hope to become a person who can be a good influence to others too. For that purpose, I should carry the same heart I did when I began, and never forget the feeling of humility, and give my best for each and every single thing.
JN: As for me, if you take away BLACKPINK it’s as if I have nothing to talk about. I have the type of personality that will devote one’s self entirely into one goal, so while I do have a big picture drawn up, for now, I want to clear every single one of the goals I have in front of me. That’s the most important I think.
RS: I’ve always loved music, and I’m living a life moved by music, so I hope that I too will be able to sing a song that can move someone’s heart.
LS: Speaking for myself, my current goal is Japanese. In the future, it seems like we’ll have more opportunities to interact closely with fans, so I’m looking forward to that and doing my best little by little.
Q: But you can somewhat understand Japanese now too right? Particularly Jennie and Rosé, your listening level is high.
JN: Everyone has been continually studying Japanese. My mom is interested in Japanese culture, so since a long time ago, I’ve been watching dramas and variety shows, and I’ve modeled my pronunciation after Japanese actresses (laughs).
Q: What do you do when you have days off? Do you spend it the same way typical young girls do?
RS: We didn’t have that kind of luxury at all as trainees (laughs). Since I came from Australia, I was able to experience the joy of meeting and hanging out with people, but because I know that, I was strict with myself that I shouldn’t end up wasting time on that. But I naturally like people, and now it seems the time I have [for spending time with people] is increasing. But for now, spending time with the other members is very pleasant.
Q: On that note, what things outside of work pique your interest?
JN: We’ve been packed with work after our debut that we don’t even have time to rest (laughs). But this time, we were able to get one day off during this trip to Japan. The night before, my heart was pounding, and I was so bubbly, and extremely excited right? “What should we do tomorrow?”
RS: Yes yes! I went to Disney Sea with Lisa, while Jennie and Jisoo walked around Harajuku and shopped.
Q: Do you always go out in those groups?
JN: Usually we go out as a whole group more often, but there are also times when we split up according to what each person’s goals are.
RS: In reality, I also wanted to go with the shopping team, but there was no way we’d let Lisa go alone, so after losing a round of rock, paper, scissors I accompanied her. But it was fun (laughs).
Q: Lastly, please leave a message for our readers!
JS: There are many people who love us and support us even though we haven’t been able to meet them, and for that we’re really grateful. In the future, we want to give much much better showings of ourselves, so everyone, please look upon us favorably!
JN: Just as the name says, I think BLACKPINK is a group that possesses both the colors of cuteness and coolness, and that fans will be able to find that gap interesting. So while we had a feminine aura for today’s filiming, on stage we have a different image for each song. That’s why I hope that people who think differently will find something they like about us.
LS: In addition, we want to perform live in all countries someday. Because we want to meet all of our fans.
Q: Like going on a world tour in a private jet?
BP: That would be the best dream (laughs)!
RS: As a first step, our promotions in Japan are increasing, so please look forward to it!
Translations by @black2dpink824
Scans by @_youimma
Numéro TOKYO November 2017 No.111 New Me, New Life 「新しい自分に着替えよう！」 #numerotokyo #newmenewlife #magazine #mode #fashion #culture #photo #interview #guyaroch #daphnegroeneveld #blackpink #kinya #sofiacoppola #doverstreetmarket #dsm #dsmg #中村里砂 #吉岡里帆 #AAA #高橋一生 #桜井ユキ #安藤忠雄 #舘鼻則孝 Photo: @guyaroch Model: @daphnegroeneveld Fashion Editor: @heathermaryjackson Hair: @rudymartins Makeup: @deannahaganmua Manicure: @marthafekete Producer: #mirandaneri Cover Design: #tomomitao Edit: @_makisaito_ Special Cover Photo: @kinya_nyc Model: @blackpinkofficial Styling: @otayukari Hair: #SemiPark Makeup: #MyungsunLee Design: #TomomiTao Edit: @hisakoyamazaki Motion Designer: #HajimeBaba Track Maker: #EnterQ