Red Velvet is no ordinary K-Pop girl group.
When they made their debut in the K-Pop scene in 2014, the group didn’t resort to the usual cutesy or girl crush concept, but went down the bizarre and eccentric route. Their debut music video, “Happiness“, was extremely colourful and featured very imaginative visuals. “Ice Cream Cake“, “Dumb Dumb“, “Russian Roulette“, and their latest track “Rookie” also left much to the imagination, with the video being as abstract as possible.
The girls were here recently for their “Rookie” mini-album event, and thankfully, we had the chance interview them:
Here’s what went down:
Welcome to Malaysia! It’s your first time here, how are you liking it so far and what has surprised you most?
Yeri: We’ve been to a few countries recently, but the passion we received from the fans at the airport really surprised us a lot.
Your Malaysian fan event sold out in a very short time. In what ways have your international fans welcomed you?
Yeri: They held out placards with our names on it and took pictures of us. They also followed us around to welcome us.
What is it like to be recognised globally?
Irene: When we’re recognised at places, when people are shouting our names and when they welcome us everywhere we go, the recognition and the welcoming makes us happy.
Wendy: Sometimes I get shocked when they shout our names. When they shout and scream our names, I think, “Are they screaming for us? Or are there other artistes or other famous people around us?” But when they scream our names, I’m like… “Oh my god they’re actually screaming for us!”. It makes me think that I should work harder and harder and come out with better songs and try to visit more and see the fans more. I just feel like…I just feel really thankful.
We’re sure you’re used to this by now?
Wendy: No, no, no. Not at all. If you’ve seen my pictures, you can see all my surprised reactions. I’m shocked every time. Because the cheers that I get, it’s different all the time. I don’t know…It’s just always different. I don’t know how you can explain feelings but the goosebumps. It’s different, like how many goosebumps I get, it’s different. Yeah, it’s really different.
Considering that you are quite new to the industry, what are the qualities that make you stand out from the rest?
Seulgi: Our music is very energetic and our performances are cheerful, so our music and performance both give energy to the fans.
Wendy: In our album, there are lots of different genres of songs that you can listen to and I think that shows the colours of Red Velvet.
You’ve performed at SXSW at the United States recently, it’s clearly different from other festivals like K-Con. How do you feel performing for the event?
Seulgi: We went there as a representative of K-Pop and it was very meaningful for us. We really appreciated the chance.
Among the group members, who’s the joker and who’s the serious one?
Seulgi: Everyone is interesting and likes to joke around, but when it comes to serious moments, we can be serious as well. Actually, Yeri! She jokes around a lot and always calls out “Unnie” cheerfully to the older members.
You recently came back with “Rookie”. What was your most memorable moment during this album promotion?
Seulgi: Every moment is very memorable. But if we had to pick one, we were glad that we could celebrate our birthdays together with fans. As our birthdays fell on February and March, we had time to communicate with fans and it was extremely memorable.
Were there any interesting incidents that happened when you were shooting the music video for “Rookie”?
Seulgi: In the music video, there’s a man decorated with flowers – the flower monster. That flower monster was actually our director and he put on the costume, which was specially made for the music video. He was very passionate throughout the whole video in that costume and it was very funny so we took pictures together and we laughed about it. Yea, that was something interesting.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect while working on this album?
Irene: After the first recording, after all the members recorded for the first time, we just sat there listening to the recording and enjoyed the song. That was the most rewarding part.
Seulgi: When fans sing along to our songs, it really touched my heart.
Wendy: For me, when our album came out at midnight in Korea time, it said “The 3rd Mini Album Rookie” by Red Velvet…Oh, it was the 4th! “4th Mini Album Rookie” by Red Velvet. And we were all listening to the album, full songs, full playlist, all together. That was really the happiest moment in my life.
Do you still remember the reaction you had back then?
Wendy: We never screamed but we were like, “Oh our songs just came out!” All of a sudden we were really quiet and we just listened. And I think that kinda showed how happy we were. That quiet moment…that silence…with our songs playing.
Since your debut until now, what’s your favourite track of yours and why?
Yeri: For me, “Rookie”. Because we enjoyed every moment in Korea after the recording. And even after the recording, when we listen to the song, it makes me happy.
Seulgi: It’s “Rookie” for me too. Because it’s our fastest song among all of our other songs and the rhythm of the song allows us to move around. The performance for the song is also extremely energetic and it allows us to share our energy with fans.
What will we be expecting from you in the future – new album, projects?
Irene: We’re always prepared to show better sides of us to fans. We worked on solo projects as well and we’re also preparing projects overseas to meet our overseas fans as well.
Anything you want to add before we wrap this interview?
Wendy: Hello to all Malaysian fans! We’re really happy to be in Malaysia, finally. And we’re very excited to be performing tomorrow and hope to see you guys tomorrow. We’ll try to visit more and more and more often, to Malaysia! We’ll bring you better songs and better performances. Thank you for all the love and support all the time. Thank you very much! Love you all!
Thank you for being such sweethearts, Red Velvet! We can’t wait for your return to Malaysia :)
Special thanks to Universal Music Malaysia and SM Entertainment for making this interview happen.