K-pop girl group Blackpink released their long-awaited first full-length album “The Album” on Friday, sending a universal message of hope to everyone who are enduring growth pains in life.
“We wanted to show a more mature part of us through singing not only about love but diverse emotions experienced by girls growing up,” Jisoo of Blackpink said during a global press conference livestreamed following the album’s release. “All the lyrics and songs in overall portray bold and confident energy. As it is our first album, we wanted to convey words that depict Blackpink through it.”
As the first studio album dropped since their debut in 2016, the record embraces the time the four members have gone through since.
“It’s a message from girls who have matured since debut. We wanted to express the longing for freedom inside us through the music video,” Jennie said.
Fronted by title song “Lovesick Girls,” the eight-track record hit the global charts at 1 p.m. on Friday, Korean time, accompanied by the release of the lead track’s music video. In less than an hour from release, the tracks topped the local music charts while “Lovesick Girls” music video garnered a smashing 10 million views on YouTube. The pre-orders of the album also surpassed 1 million units as of Friday morning, according to the group’s agency YG Entertainment.
“The album was symbolic in that it is our very first regular album. We wanted to show all the music that we can do as Blackpink through this album. We put our heads together for a long time, both in and out of studios, on how to better express (ourselves) through songs. Although many songs have been dropped in the process, we are happy to be able to showcase songs of diverse genres ranging from hip hop, R&B to dance,” Rose said.
The girl group ventures on a new genre of country folk through the lead track, in which Jisoo took part as a lyricist and Jennie in both the writing and the composing of the song.
“It’s a song that sends a hopeful message revolving around girls who are constantly hurt in relationships but again set out for a new love. I think many people will be able to empathize with the song,” Jisoo said.
A global project conducted under the cooperation of YG Entertainment and US record label Universal Music Group, “The Album” was produced through the collaboration of a list of renowned producers worldwide, including French producer and songwriter David Guetta as a co-producer for the title track and rapper Cardi B featuring in the pop single “Bet You Wanna.” The album’s pre-released single “Ice Cream,” dropped in August, was contributed by Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande, with Gomez featuring in the music video as well.
“We’re always honored and excited to collaborate with other artists. We want to keep on showing a different side of us, and working with other musicians and combining two different styles (of music), our music also gets a new twist. Such process can affect us even onto our next production, and it results in synergy for both of us,” Jisoo said. It’s been reported that a string of global artists, including Katy Perry and Chainsmokers, have expressed interest in collaborations with the K-pop girl group.
The album includes another pre-released single ”How You Like That,“ along with freshly unveiled ”Pretty Savage,“ ”Crazy Over You,” “Love to Hate Me” and “You Never Know.”
According to Jennie, the members mostly get inspirations for music from their daily lives. “Even when we don’t have work, we come to the studio to share thoughts on life and gather opinions about topics that can possibly convey new messages,” she said.
In marking the band’s fourth anniversary, Jennie said, “it’s grateful and fun at the same time that we can be here together as we turned into our twenties from our teens. We may have experienced different paths as we grow up, but it’s amazing how we become one when it comes to music and stage.”
The foursome also hinted of an event to console the disappointed fans amid the virus epidemic.
“It’s sad that we’ll be standing on stage without Blinks (the name of the group’s global fandom), and a tour is the first thing that we want to do when the world becomes a safer place. We miss Blinks so much, and we’ve planned something for Blinks in the meanwhile, so please look forward to it!” Lisa said.
The quartet is also set to release their first documentary, chronicling their four-year journey, through the streaming platform Netflix on Oct, 14. “We tried to show the path we have walked since our trainee days until after the debut. Filming the documentary, we also had the chance to look back on the steps we‘ve taken,” Rose said.
Asked what their ultimate goal as artists is, Jisoo answered, “We realize our messages are influential. We hope that our music does not stop at giving joy to the listeners but also change their lives positively. We always try to sing what we feel, and it would be best if we can become artists who can deliver the feeling through our songs."
By Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)