|/ Graphic by Cho Sang-won|
Six-member idol group sports 15 trophies
This is the second in a series of interviews on top K-pop idols. ― ED.
By Kim Jae-heun
K-pop girl group GFriend of Source Music may not be well known abroad yet, but they are undoubtedly one of the hottest idol bands in Korea right now. The six-member group debuted last January and released their third EP, "Snowflake," this January, whose track "Rough" achieved triple crowns at Korea's top three TV music shows. GFriend added their 15th trophy on Sunday at SBS's Inkigayo, one of the country's most popular music TV shows. If the song wins at any of the music shows one more week, the girl band can tie Apink's record-winning 17 trophies for their song "LUV." Girls' Generation's megahit "Gee" and "Lion Heart" are ranked third with 14 champion titles.
GFriend's "Rough" also set a new record on the MelOn chart, the country's biggest music website, for holding the no.1 position for over 400 hours from Feb. 4 to 22. The song has stayed at the top of the chart for the longest period this year.
"Me Gustas Tu," from the group's second EP "Flower Bud" released last July, is currently listed in the top 20 on the chart and their promotional track "Glass Bead" of from their debut EP "Season of Glass" is in the top 70. Both songs regained the spotlight after GFriend's third EP hit the jackpot.
The girl band has already garnered media attention when member Yuju fell eight times on a slippery stage while performing "Me Gustas Tu," last September. The group still managed to finish the song with smiles on their faces and they were praised for their professionalism by the foreign press. Time introduced GFriend with the headline "This Video of a K-Pop Singer Falling 8 Times in 1 Song Will Inspire You to Keep Going No Matter What."
The same year, the group won the rookie award at the 2016 Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards, a major music awards ceremony.
Their success is more notable as they are not from a giant entertainment company like YG, SM, JYP or FNC. However, the group beat many top competitors to maintain the throne, such as S.M. Entertainment's Taeyeon of Girls' Generation and Taemin of SHINee. JYP Entertainment's new girl band Twice also failed to dethrone GFriend on the music chart.
GFriend is one of the biggest phenomena in the K-pop scene and their future is certainly promising. Here is an interview The Korea Times conducted with the group members.
Q. This is the second year since your debut and you have just won your 13th trophy (at the time of the interview). How do you feel?
Sowon: Every time we receive new trophies, we feel different. We display them all on the display case at our company and we always stand in front of them watching them. It just makes us so proud and we still can't believe that our group name is engraved on the trophies. It means many people love our songs and we will have to work harder to give in return.
Q. Did you expect to become this popular? Why do you think the band is gaining so much love?
Eunha: We give off fresh charm and show healthy beauty. The group gives energy to fans and we unite very well with the help of the staff working for us.
Q. What kind of music style do you think GFriend pursues and what would be the group's strength?
Yuju: Fans refer to our songs as ‘innocent and powerful.' We sing songs that are pure but have a powerful choreography to them. I guess that differentiates us from other girl bands.
Q. What kinds of music do you listen to and do you have any role models?
Umji: We always listen to music in the car, while moving in between our schedules. We enjoy the music of many K-pop artists, although the members all have different tastes. Some like rap, but we listen to almost all the songs on the top 100 chart list. We are not allowed to have mobile phones so we listen to music in the car together.
ShinB: There are some songs that circle around my ear that I heard from somewhere. Then, before I go to sleep it pops into my head and makes me think about the lyrics. We tend to listen to the music that is popular at the moment.