Money can’t buy happiness, but you can buy yourself a piece of cake, and that’s kind of the same thing. On it’s own, cake is already a pretty delectable dessert – but when put together with ice cream, it becomes this idyllic dessert called “ice cream cake”.
Perhaps this is why Korean entertainment powerhouse SM Entertainment decided to debut an idol girl group called “Red Velvet” and name the title track of their first album after the hybrid dessert.
Red Velvet first debuted in August 2014 as a 4-member girl group, and the members from SM pre-debut team “S.M. Rookies” – Wendy, Seulgi, and Irene. Despite the peculiar group name, they garnered positive response from fans for their psychedelic concept, which is said to be a mix of f(x)’s experimental concept and SNSD Girls’ Generation’s mainstream pop concept.
The girls are also known for their infectious bubbly-ness and sugary sweet cuteness. They infected audiences with their cheerful vibe through the music video of their debut hit single, “Happiness”. Soon after, they showed a different side through their sexy and sultry cover of S.E.S’ “Be Natural”. It came as a pleasant surprise for their fans and many applauded them for their versatility in singing and dancing.
But the surprises didn’t end there.
On 11th March, SM Entertainment surprised their fans by introducing a new member to the group – Yeri.
She joined the agency in 2011 and she was formerly part of S.M. Rookies with Irene, Seulgi and Wendy. In August 2014, she performed alongside Irene at the “SMTOWN LIVE” concert in Taiwan. She’s skilled in not only singing, but also rapping and dancing. She then made her music video debut through the music video of “Automatic” on 14th March.
All thanks to our friends from M.E. Malaysia, we were given a chance to interview the members of Red Velvet about their new album and their comeback concept.
Here’s what went down during our interview:
Welcome back to the music scene, Red Velvet! Are you guys worried about your comeback? Tell us more about your concept.
Red Velvet is strong, intense and captivating like the colour red, but at the same time, it is feminine and gentle like velvet. With this image, we produce music and performances that introduces a group that is inspiring and fresh, lively which is captivating and beautiful at the same time. Through our double lead singles “Ice Cream Cake” and “Automatic”, we want to have an outstanding stage performance.
It’s your very first mini album since releasing 2 singles last year, how do you feel having a real physical album out?
Irene: Firstly, I am really excited about it. There is a variety of songs which include 5 of our voices, and the 2 title songs have very different types of atmosphere. Thus, we are really excited.
Seulgi: It feels a tad weird that we have been releasing digital singles and all of a sudden we are releasing a physical album! I hope that people will love the songs that we made sincerely with our voices. I feel proud and thankful for it.
Wendy: It feels really good, but at the same time I am worried. It feels like we are debuting again. I feel like now is the time to actually show what kind of a group Red Velvet is. I am a bit worried about how to show the fans what we have.
Joy: I feel very proud with this release. I am happy that we have various songs and able to present to you a variety of songs that showcase our colours!
Yeri: For me, this is our first album and not a single and I am really excited about it.
The title track exudes a happy and energetic vibe. Tell us more about it.
Just like “Ice Cream Cake”, the song shows the sweet love of a girl who fell in love and it will make your heart flutter. It is filled with this lovely feeling that we hope to show through Red Velvet’s cuteness and lovely charms.
Red Velvet debuted with a cute concept but the group later exuded a more mature and sexy vibe through “Be Natural”. Which concept do you prefer?
Irene: Both title songs are clearly very different, so it is hard for me to choose which one I prefer. I love both and I hope you do too.
Seulgi: When I am doing a mature concept, I really like the calm and natural feeling that comes with it.
Wendy: At first it was awkward for me to do. This was the concept that I like, but it is a bit hard for me to fit in. Thus, I was and am practicing really hard for it.
Joy: I can’t really choose which I prefer, but I like both concepts.
Yeri: Because I am still young, perhaps doing a lively concept would suit me better. But I want to try doing a mature concept too!
What kind of concept would Red Velvet like to try in the future?
Irene: I would like to try out an innocent, hip hop that is a little bit of mature kind of concept.
Seulgi: I hope to show 2 types of concepts. I want to try to do a song that have 2 types of concepts that coexists at the same time.
Wendy: Lately, I have come to like strong, intense concept. There are a lot of concepts that I want to try out in the future because Red Velvet is a group that do various types of genres.
Joy: I like both of the concepts we were having, but in the future I would like to do a more mature concept.
Yeri: I prefer lively, bubbly, and exciting type of songs. I want to do a really, really, really bright concept!
What kind of fans would capture your attention? Tell us more about the most memorable fan encounter you’ve ever had.
Irene: I find that the fans who follow us wherever we go are interesting. We did a fan sign event recently, I really liked it.
Seulgi: Sadly, I can’t really remember anyone’s face very well. I want to remember everyone’s face because they are our precious fans, but sadly it is not easy. But wherever I go, fans who are supporting us give me energy. I’m thankful.
Wendy: I think that there is no specific action that fans should do to catch our attention. Because no matter how small or big, I remember all of them! However, it troubles me that I could not remember it 100% though.
Joy: Not long ago, we had our first fan sign event. I remember everyone and I am very thankful to them.
Yeri: During the fan sign event, there was a fan who said this while holding my hands, “I hope you don’t have a very difficult time due to the malicious comments posted online”.
How has your taste in music changed? What were you guys listening to before debuting as a girl group? Are there any particular artistes that you guys are fans of?
Irene: There are various genres of songs that I want to try to listen, but my preference did not change from before.
Seulgi: I prefer quiet and calming music but when I want to feel energised, I will listen to rap songs. Thanks to rap songs, I feel energised. My favourite singer is Ra.D sunbae.
Wendy: I don’t think my preferences have changed, but it was broadened than before. Before that, I would find and listen to the genre that I like. But lately, I am listening to various types of genres. There are a lot of lyrics that would give you energy in the first album of my favourite singer, Jessie. J. I also want to be an artiste who can give fans energy.
Joy: I listen to various genres of songs. Before debuting, I listened to a lot of R&B. I liked Ariana Grande.
Yeri: Previously I liked quiet, calming music, but after debuting, I like to listen to exciting music backstage.
How does it feel to shoot your comeback music video, “Ice Cream Cake” in California?
Irene: The natural lighting was really good on set, so much so that the colours came out really pretty. The background is also a pretty place!
Seulgi: It felt so free and it made me really happy. Even though the weather was a bit cold, it was really sunny that it gave me a good feeling and made me feel good. It felt like I was on a vacation.
Wendy: The music video’s colour came out really pretty because of the natural lighting. When filming at the desert, I could really feel freedom. Because of this feeling, we were able to film this more naturally.
Joy: While filming in LA, the scenery was really pretty. Since such opportunity doesn’t come along very often, this is a precious memory. I worked harder to film the music video at the time.
Yeri: This was my first time visiting California, which is why I was fascinated with everything. The background and lighting were really pretty. I am happy that we were able to film this beautifully.
Once again, we would like to thank M.E Malaysia for arranging this interview for us.