Dreaming of making a debut and training in YG for a long 5 years, member of BLACKPINK. A year after debut she has so much more time ahead than the time that has already passed. Her first solo photoshoot after debuting today is one in her days of firsts. “Having always done photoshoots with the members, doing it alone now is making me a little nervous. It’s a natural concept that I haven’t tried before so I’m curious what cuts will come out.”
Q: How do you spend the holidays now that you are currently resting from promotions?
R: Last time we had a lot to do even when resting but recently since my mom is in Seoul. I’ve been spending time with her and we just do normal things. It’s been a while since I’ve had my mom’s cooking too. It’s yummy so I eat a lot so much that the my sister has to tell me to stop eating.
Q: Have you always been a bright and happy person? Your speech is really cute too.
R: I think it’s because I’m the youngest daughter and though my sister and I have a four year gap, we are like friends. When I was in Australia, I attended a Korean church and when someone new came in, even when no one told me to do so I would tell them, “If you need anything let me know.” I remember I was excited about it and I was in elementary school then.
A New Generation of KPOP
From the year 2010 onward, K-POP, Korea’s brand of pop music, has inundated Japan and taken it by storm. Equipped with high quality songs and dances, exceptional visuals, and well-polished MVs, it’s quickly captured the hearts of even the Japanese.
And now, those responsible for K-POP’s new generation are on the rise. One such group representative of this new era is a 4-member girl group, the first to debut in 7 years from the same YG ENTERTAINMENT that brought BIGBANG and “Gangnam Style”‘s PSY — BLACKPINK.
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.
“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.
For more photos (official + scans) of BLACKPINK for this issue, click HERE
Question (Q): About a year after your debut in Korea, you’re now debuting in Japan!! Please let us hear your thoughts right now.
Jisoo (JS): We’re very much looking forward to it!
Jennie (JN): We heard that our Japanese fans have been waiting earnestly, so we want to prepare to be able to show a good performance soon.
Rosé (RS): It’s our first overseas debut after our Korean debut, so we want to show more developed versions of ourselves. We’ve also prepared Japanese versions of our songs, so it would be great if everything went well.
Q: No one has debuted, much less held a showcase in the Budokan – you’re the first. What were your thoughts on hearing that?
JS: We thought, “Are they talking about us?” It was unbelievable.
RS: We were rea~lly surprised.
Lisa (LS): It was beyond imagination.
JN: We’ve done it in music festivals or with other artists before, but we’re very thankful to have the opportunity to perform in such a big venue as BLACKPINK alone.
For more photos (official + scans) of BLACKPINK for this issue, click HERE
YG Entertainment’s “BLACKPINK”. Composed of the 4 members JISOO, JENNIE, LISA, and ROSÉ, they’ve achieved overwhelming popularity not just in Korea and Japan, but the entirety of Asia. Previously, the girls first appeared in the January 2017 issue and graced its cover. The strong impression of how they sold out the issue within 2 days, before even debuting in Japan, is probably still fresh. Those girls have finally made a comeback to NYLON JAPAN! On our second meeting, the girls talked about the high expectations and unease they felt towards their Japanese debut, and many episodes about the hard work they put in for their live performance in Japan. We bring you once again, the charm of the even further improved, next generation girl crush group BLACKPINK!
NYLON (N): It’s been a while! Thank you for coming back to NYLON! We had such a huge response to your previous cover with NYLON that it completely sold out, did you know that?
BLACKPINK (BP): Really?! We didn’t know!
N: It’s been half a year since you were last with NYLON. How was the pictorial this time?
Jennie (JN): To be able to work together again with the staff of NYLON JAPAN, as expected it’s different from what we’re used to in Korea so it was fun!
Jisoo (JS): Each pictorial with NYLON JAPAN feels new so it’s very interesting. We’re able to have a pictorial with styling, hair, and make-up different from our usual selves, and we’re able to show this image to everyone. Because of that, when we see that we also enjoy.
N: This past half-year, you’ve received various Korean rookie awards. Could you please tell us about your feelings and thoughts about receiving the award and when you were receiving them?
Rosé (RS): From our debut till now, even to the point of winning awards, everything was because of all the great love that everyone gave. Our hearts were also thumping very much. When we were going up on stage to speak to receive our award, there were so many people we wanted to thank that we were nervous that we might forget to mention them (laughs). Our feelings of gratitude kept growing as we received each award.
N: You’ve become a wildly popular group. Has that popularity felt real yet?
JS: Friends tell us “Many kids around love BLACKPINK!” but we only spend time with the other members almost every day, so we hardly notice it (laughs). But this time, when we performed for our Japanese debut showcase at the Budokan, it felt real all of a sudden. We felt uneasy and thought things like “Will they know this song too?”, but everyone sang along with us. At that time we were extremely joyful.
N: Each member’s solo activities have also increased since your debut. Lisa is a model, Jennie had a shoot for a fashion magazine, Jisoo is a music show MC, and Rosé was on music programs, etc. Are there differences that you feel doing activities as a group, compared to when you’re active with your own thing?
RS: As for me, I was placed in a situation where the members who I’ve always had around me weren’t there all of a sudden, so I was exceedingly nervous. We’ve been together through it all like family, but all of a sudden I was alone without anyone to lean on. It was a new environment, and of course, it felt different. I’m still not used to it.
N: JISOO is a music show MC once a week, so have you gotten used to it a little?
JS: I’ve gotten a bit used to it recently, but in the beginning it was extremely awkward and a bit tough. It also hadn’t been long since we just debuted, so whatever I end up doing alone, I frequently end up thinking of the group. Thoughts like I want to go back to the group soon and stand on stage together (laughs).
N: Recently, you’ve also appeared on variety shows. How is it?
JN: Variety shows are still difficult. We’re still really bad at it, but we’ve set out to find and unleash our own confidence. The way we usually have fun, our usual selves, we’ll show all of that.
RS: It’s so fascinating. The TV programs that we usually watch together, to appear in those programs, and to watch ourselves there playing as we normally do brings about such a feeling of fascination (laughs).
N: Please tell us a little bit about your new song “AS IF IT’S YOUR LAST”!
JN: No! (laughs) I’m joking ♥ Uhm, our song this time is the brightest and most upbeat among the songs we’ve had so far. In LISA’s case, her rap part in the middle of the song is all in English. A new side is also visible in that part I think. In “PLAYING WITH FIRE” which was released last year, we had a powerful and strong image, but in our new song we show a bit of a girly, bright, and cute image.
RS: It’s a song that suits the summer well.
Lisa (LS): The dance also has many parts that you can follow along to, so we hope that everyone will follow along.
JN: We’re also excited to see what everyone thinks of it!
JS: For us, we’re always thinking of various sides of ourselves to show everyone. We’re trying out a lot of things so I think that we’ll able to show a different us next time.
N: You’ve been promoting and preparing a lot nowadays, so you’ve probably been spending much time together with all the members. How do the members spend time together?
JS: Recently we’ve all gotten into taking pictures. I like photography.
RS: And I’m busy modelling for that (laughs).
N: Looking at your Instagram I see many great pictures. Are those all taken by each of your cameras?
JN: As for me, aside from our live performances, I hardly have any opportunities to meet our fans, so I make lots of plans to share on Instagram. So I’ve started to take pictures and upload them to tell our fans what I’ve been doing.
JS: Jennie has 6 cameras.
LS: Yes. She’s a camera otaku ♥
JN: I feel great if I can take good pictures.
N: Jennie takes pictures, but before the pictorial you were also sending voicemail to friends. Is that something you usually do?
JN: I talk to my Japanese friend and study Japanese at the same time using voicemail. No matter what I do I’m bad at writing, so when my friend teaches me they say it, and we communicate through voicemail.
N: What about the other members?
JS: I also use it. Isn’t it easier to express your emotions through your voice than characters, and isn’t it more fun to speak? So I use it often with foreign friends.
N: You gotten so much more mature and even cuter over the past year. Did you start anything new in terms of beauty?
JN: You must be lying~♥ That makes me happy ♥
LS: JENNIE-chan has been on a low-sodium diet.
JN: Yes yes, I’m the type to bloat easily before filming, so I’ve been trying hard to avoid salty foods. I always start avoiding salt 1-2 weeks before, so it also becomes hard for the other members. Because I can’t eat it, everyone is also considerate enough to not eat it. Thank you.
JS: We don’t eat it in front of her. But I hide and eat (laughs).
BP: We know about it!!!
N: You uploaded a picture of flying yoga on SNS, is this something that everyone does together?
JS: Jennie and I do flying yoga, while Lisa and Rosie do ordinary yoga.
JN: Flying yoga is so fun so we’ve been continuing it.
LS: It looks fun but I don’t have the confidence.
JS: It’s already too difficult for me (laughs). Anyhow, the gym is in a really far place. It’s not that it’s bothersome – it’s extremely fun – but going there is difficult. Although yoga suits my body the best out of all the exercises I’ve tried, this isn’t an excuse but it’s really far! (laughs)
LS: That’s an excuse you know~
JN: But, it’s really far isn’t it (laughs)
N: Are there any cosmetics or make-up you’ve taken a liking to recently?
BP: Japan’s point make-up is red cheeks! We’re interested in the ‘hangover makeup?’!
JS: That make-up style isn’t done in Korea so I want to try new things at least once.
LS: I want to try make-up where you place sparkly things on your eyes.
JS: I like eyeshadow. There are many colors, and while they might look the same, if you look closely they look slightly different.
LS: Yes yes!
JS: There are instances when men can’t tell those colors apart right? I’m collecting those colors. Slightly red, ever so slightly red, and even more so slightly red.
N: Next is about fashion. What are items you got recently? Your personal clothing today is superb. Did you buy it recently?
RS: Recently I’ve been wearing my VETEMENTS long-sleeved hoody over and over. I intend to wear it many times before the weather gets even hotter!
LS: Today, Jennie is all GUCCI from head to toe!
N: What’s trendy now in Korea?
JS: Fishnet tights and high socks I think?
JN: And also chokers!
JS: Ah, I definitely see chokers often. Also, recently I think there are many people who have large piercings. Before, people who appeared on TV were the only ones who had piercings, but nowadays I see it often on the street too.
LS: I went shopping with Jennie in Hongdae. We bought crop tops and off-shoulder tops. It’s become hotter recently, so we want to pair it with short pants.
N: And about your debut in Japan. Congratulations! While enjoying high popularity in Korea, you’re also debuting in Japan soon. Were there any difficulties while recording the Japanese versions?
JS & RS: It was difficult to sustain/connect notes.
JS: We used to sing phrases separately one by one, but we had to elongate them.*
*T/N: One difference is that Korean has no concept of long/short vowel sounds, while Japanese does.
RS: The pronunciation between each sound is also difficult.
JS: There were pronunciation guides in Hangeul for the Japanese lyrics, but listening to our manager’s Japanese guide was different from the textbook. Hangeul is shortened and demarcated, while the guide had vowels and elongated sounds, so I ended up not being able to follow when I was listening while trying to read the lyrics. “Where, where are we?!” is what ended up happening.
N: Were there any difficult pronunciations among the lyrics?
BP: “Su, Zu, Tsu” (す、ず、つ）. We tried our best shouting “Suzutsu” every day!
N: Please tell us your thoughts and feelings about your Japanese debut!
JS: Because we’re debuting in Japan, I found the motivation to study Japanese. We studied Japanese originally, but when we stopped studying I unfortunately forgot it. But our Japanese debut is approaching, so the times when we have to use Japanese are increasing and so I feel that I need to study more. During the showcase, I feel that I need to at least be able to greet in Japanese, so I can feel the pressure to study Japanese even now (laughs).
LS: I’m the same as Jisoo. I’m really trying my best!
N: After your showcase, your appearance also been decided for a-nation, TGC (Tokyo Girls Collection), and others. Do you have any goals or things you’re looking forward to regarding your Japanese debut?
JN: While studying Japanese, we watch a lot of Japanese dramas, movies, and variety shows. We aren’t at that level yet, but someday we want to go on a famous Japanese talk show. We would be very happy if we could show our natural selves on TV.
N: Lastly, please give a message for all the NYLON readers!
JS: BLACKPINK is debuting in Japan. Please look forward to it! We will do our best!
LS: Please support us a lot!
JN: Japanese fans, BLACKPINK is going to Japan. Please wait for us just a bit longer! We’ve prepared many things. We want to meet everyone soon ♥
RS: Japanese fans, and all BLINKs, BLACKPINK will be debuting in Japan. We’ve been wanting to go since long ago, and we’re finally going! So everyone, please anticipate us. We want to meet you! Please look forward to us!