Expanding their language skills was a way to communicate with fans around the globe: 'This is our way of growing closer to them'
”), and many more.“I think many K-pop artists make English versions since English is a universal language,” Itzy’s sassy dancer Chaeryeong says. “As K-pop has more and more global fans, I think this trend will grow bigger.” The group’s bubbly youngest, Yuna, chimes in after, “Artists can have a new experience recording English versions, and fans can enjoy and understand the lyrics more too.”
https://youtu.be/tvTdg7sgsgUBritish production duo LDN Noise, who helmed the group’s popular B-side “Surf” alongside some of K-pop’s top talents (Twice, SHINee, f(x), EXO), agrees to Itzy’s sentiments. “Any time K-pop can reach a new audience, it’s always a plus,” songwriter, producer, and DJ Greg Bonnick says. “Once your eyes are open to the K-pop world, people are super intrigued and hopefully here to stay as fans.”
While the trend is inevitable as K-pop grows as a global phenomenon, Isabel Chi, A&R and Management for One and Saint Leonard, reminds us that incorporating a line or two in English is nothing new in Korean music.“The rise in popularity of full English versions of songs has to do with acceptance into mainstream Western media,” Chi says. “While K-pop fans and those already interested in alternative music have no problem listening to songs in Korean, I think that making songs only in English is an attempt to make the genre more palatable to the masses who need a segue into the genre. Songs in any language open up that market to the artist — Selena Gomez just released her first all-Spanish track, K-pop groups have regularly made all-Japanese albums — and I do think the main goal of labels is to tap into a yet-unreached market.” headtopics.com
But global recognition is more of a nice than a must for Itzy's future aspirations. “Since the U.S. has the biggest music scene, it’d be a great achievement to have many people know and listen to our music through our new English album,” Lia says. Rather than focus on future possibilities, the five members hope to make their story heard through their music — and by as many listeners as possible. “Our songs have messages of self-confidence, and we hope our English listeners will be able to hear it with our English songs,” Ryujin adds.
“The only thing that matters is the music feels and sounds great. We don’t need to conform,” Bonnick says.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE2h3lGlOsk&ab_channel=JYPEntertainmentOne of the first Korean artists to promote during the pandemic last year, Itzy has successfully taken advantage of using their time at the dorms to not only create content but study, practice their language skills, and communicate with their fans. Yeji, who doesn’t deny feeling a little bit of pressure learning and performing in English, has tremendously improved alongside Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna, who aren’t native speakers.
“English is confidence,” Yeji says with a laugh, remembering a past relay interview where the group was asked to imitate the phrase “cuteness overload.” She adds, “It was tough, but it was also fun. I also took a lot of one-on-one and group lessons, and I had homework. I want to be able to speak to global Midzys in English. I try my best, but I’m not perfect!” Ryujin quickly swoops in to compliment Yeji: “She’s definitely become more confident now and she’s improved a lot.
Lia, the group’s native English speaker, talks proudly about how quickly her bandmates picked up on a new language, to the point that the group’s on and off-cam conversations are spoken in Konglish (a hybrid of Korean and English). “It’s become a sort of a bad habit,” she jokes as the group nods and giggles. “What I felt while living with the girls is that their English has improved a lot! The members try to speak English in the dorms and even while practicing.” headtopics.com
But when it comes to singing for this new album, there’s really no shift in the core messages of their sound. Chaeryeong, however, did notice a change in her tone. “In my case, my voice becomes deeper when I sing in English, so I try to keep my energy up,” she notes. Out of all the four tracks, she believes “Not Shy” sounds stronger in English, to which all members agree.
JYP EntertainmentJust a couple of weeks shy of their second year together, Itzy has plenty of goals for their year ahead. Getting closer with each other is Ryujin’s, “revealing some new and professional vibes” for Yuna, and for Lia, to work harder. “We still have a lot to do,” Lia says. “I don’t know what’s waiting for us, but we’re excited for it. We’re scared, but whatever it is, I’m sure we’ll be able to go through it.”
Whatever the outcome, there is no denying Itzy have transcended their “monster rookie” moniker and become the “monster girl group” of South Korea — and soon, the world. (After all, they areHonorary Ambassadors of the Korean Tourism Organization.) Having seamlessly transformed into one of the nation’s top groups, the new album proves that music and success have no borders.
“[Success is] different for everyone, but personally, I think I achieved it,” Lia says with a sincere look on her face as her fellow members were in deep thought. “My standards aren’t that high, happiness and success isn’t something that should be high, so to be here with my members and all the fans that love us is already so much success and happiness.” headtopics.comRead more: MTV NEWS »
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