By Tássia Assis
“I’m able to’t wait to listen to the screams,” the beautiful 19-twelve months-ancient dancer Gaeul, eldest member of the rising girl neighborhood IVE, says about performing earlier than a are living target audience. “We by no come heard them on account of COVID[-19 restrictions].” Since their debut in December 2021, the sextet has stormed charts in South Korea and in a foreign country, mercurial turning into the ones to glance in the Sufficient-pop industry. On the opposite hand, as with most pandemic-era teams, all that success has only been skilled virtually — or on a minimal scale, take care of the intimate showcases and fansigns home up for their debut and the free up of IVE’s most recent single album, Love Dive, on April 5.
Nonetheless as the enviornment fastidiously resumes leisure actions, for IVE, the screams come from the 65,000 folks attending the two days of KPOP.FLEX, Europe’s first mega Sufficient-pop competition. Jam to grab build in a stadium in Frankfurt the weekend after the neighborhood’s gradual-night Zoom name with MTV News, the tournament consists of the band’s first tall-scale, in-person, and in a foreign country efficiency. “I’m the truth is taking a discover ahead to seeing our [fandom] Dive and hearing what the target audience sounds take care of,” the sweet-voiced and modelesque Wonyoung, 17, says earlier than the gig.
She and Gaeul are cozying up around a convention-room desk, along with fellow neighborhood mates Yujin, Rei, Liz, and Leeseo. Wearing oversized hoodies and light makeup, they discover take care of customary — albeit impossibly beautiful — Gen Zers: wide-eyed, yet reasonably scared about the entirety. It’s reasonably the difference to the lush, confident image they’ll later cloak at KPOP.FLEX, as successfully as the beautiful belief with which they turned into synonymous all around the place the on-line: chaebol crush.
With only four songs in their discography, IVE personal already carved a sure niche for themselves on account of that belief. Chaebol crush would possibly perhaps perhaps moreover moreover be defined as a blend of the overly confident and boisterous “girl crush” sounds (take care of Itzy’s “Loco” or Blackpink’s “Abolish This Love”) and the beautiful, preppy visuals of chaebol heir tropes in Sufficient-dramas (the esteem formative years who stem from family-owned industry conglomerates). Wonyoung mentions that she had by no come heard of that definition earlier than, but that “it’s so dazzling and I take care of it.” She also adds that Love Dive “is in total terminate to that belief” and that even the B-side is is named “Royal.”
At some level of our interview, Wonyoung and Yujin typically grab the lead when answering questions. They each and every participated in the survival cloak Carry out 48 on South Korea’s music TV channel Mnet and were fragment of its resulting girl neighborhood Iz*One from 2018 to early 2021. Those experiences and their fluency in English personal attuned them to the unrelenting schedules and interactions with media that Sufficient-pop idols robotically face, however the assorted participants are no longer far in the assist of. One among their main targets in prepping for this concert was as soon as studying English “very exhausting,” per the magnetic leader and vocalist Yujin, 18. All of them save ahead their perfect efforts to talk the language as mighty as doable. “We’re repeatedly practicing extra. It would moreover moreover be vocals, dancing, or variety schedules, but we’re repeatedly preparing plenty of issues,” says Wonyoung.
IVE are tasked with the colossal mission to open KPOP.FLEX on day one. Wearing school uniform-impressed outfits and sparkly crimson footwear, they compose “Love Dive,” “Royal,” and their unforgettable debut hit, “Eleven,” which rose to No. 4 on Spotify’s global Viral 50 chart last twelve months and was as soon as the most-streamed song on South Korea’s YouTube for five weeks. On day two, they enter the stage staunch after veterans Mamamoo and compose the equivalent setlist with mighty extra self belief — this time in classy shadowy outfits adorned with glistening jewels.
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“I was as soon as so worried since it was as soon as our very first stage in front of world followers,” unearths the striking Japanese rapper Rei, 18, after the concert via electronic mail. “Nonetheless after our two-day efficiency, it made me would like to enact extra global stages so as that I’m able to talk with Dive in all aspects of the enviornment.” Gaeul, Liz, and Leeseo half identical emotions, calling the trip “of overwhelming emotion,” “unreal yet reasonably worrying,” and “as if I was as soon as dreaming,” respectively.
“The 2d I seen the plump condominium, I was as soon as very shocked to take a look at how mighty Sufficient-pop is loved by many folks. I bought fantastic energy from the target audience,” Yujin says. “Earlier than we bought on the stage, there were plenty of issues that we desired to check and be attentive to, so it did originate us all a little jittery, but when we were up there, we enjoyed [it] to the fullest.” Gaeul also shares that she waved at the target audience “thru a runt crack earlier than going up on the stage, and there was as soon as nearly an ear-splitting deliver from the followers. I was as soon as very amazed and glad.” Her secret for calming her nerves earlier than performing is “making glance contact with the participants.”
IVE’s synergy is what holds them together whereas they navigate landmarks equivalent to turning into trainees, debuting, and now acting at a gigantic tournament take care of KPOP.FLEX. Yujin says that IVE’s lively essence also comes from their individuality: “We’re all the truth is frigid onstage, but we personal now some various, dazzling points off stage. I concentrate on that’s our beauty.” The 17-twelve months-ancient Liz — who has a “pleasing convey,” per Gaeul and the sweetest dimpled smile — believes that IVE participants “work together successfully, so we are able to originate up for every various’s weaknesses.”
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They all are living together in a astronomical dorm overlooking the Han River in Seoul, an trip that Wonyoung says is linked to “living with our besties.” When they feel down, it’s the assorted participants who first purchase them up, equivalent to when Rei misses her family in Japan, or when Yujin is wanting extra motivation. “I’m very grateful to notify the neighborhood [as a leader], but it completely [can be] burdensome,” she says. “Every now and then, the truth is every so typically, I lose my self belief. Nonetheless when I discover at my participants, I acquire it assist.”
Leeseo, the youngest of the neighborhood at 15 and whom Liz calls “goofy, radiant, and bubbly,” says that her fellow participants were very essential for her to debut successfully. “Because Wonyoung and Yujin had been to hundreds of broadcasting TV reveals and stuff [as part of Iz*One], they suggested me plenty about what goes on in the assist of the scenes and the logistics [of] it, so I was as soon as in a squawk to acquire the plump characterize beforehand.”
“Wonyoung compliments even the smallest issues, and she the truth is boosts my self belief plenty,” Rei adds, whereas Wonyoung gingerly fixes a strand of the rapper’s hair. “Earlier than I plug onstage, she typically says, ‘Oh, your coiffure looks good this present day, your makeup looks staunch on you.’ Having Wonyoung by my side helps me to personal a glad, good life.”
“I take care of Rei,” Wonyoung notes with a snicker. “I in total give advice to the participants, take care of who can plug subsequent and how issues plug on. I concentrate on I’m staunch at giving advice” — an announcement with which the total others agree. The round of compliments doesn’t terminate, and Wonyoung then praises Gaeul for repeatedly encouraging them: “After we’re practicing, I feel take care of she’s coping with the center so we are able to acquire in the staunch mindset.” In flip, Gaeul says she loves Liz’s convey, whereas Liz expresses happiness in that Leeseo’s energy repeatedly “brightens up the vibes.” Leeseo looks up to Yujin’s “gentle charisma,” and Yujin ties it up by saying she also loves Rei’s rap model.
That’s impartial how IVE are: on high of the enviornment, but with their feet on the bottom. KPOP.FLEX was as soon as only the commence. “The incontrovertible reality that we’re being loved plenty started to sink in after seeing folks snarl along to our songs,” Liz says via electronic mail after their whirlwind showcase. “I felt extraordinarily grateful.”