[Exclusive Interview] 15& Talks Crushes, Music and GOT7
In an industry where more is always more, and glitz, glam and plastic have become the standard, 15& is still all about the voices.
The two young members aren’t so very young anymore - though the duo debuted when both girls were 15 years old, Park Jimin and Baek Yerin are already 18 (by Korean standards) and very nearly adults.
While Park Jimin hails from K-Pop Star fame, where she made waves internationally with her powerful voice, Baek Yerin, also dubbed a genius, quickly earned accolades for her soulful, and equally strong, voice.
The two debuted in 2012 with the power ballad, I Dream and then released the catchier Somebody a year later - then seemed to drop out of the spotlight.
But both Park Jimin and Baek Yerin continued to remind the public that they could sang - whether through the many covers they uploaded on Youtube, or the short clips they showed via their instagram and/or Twitter accounts, and of course, through the live performances that seemed to never disappoint.
After over a year, 15& finally returned with new material in the form of a full-length album, Sugar. Filled completely with the girls’ artistic sensibilities, both musically and creatively, Sugar is a powerful album - one made possible through of course the skilled production team, but elevated by Park Jimin and Baek Yerin’s vocal prowess.
The two talents of 15& recently sat with Mwave for an exclusive interview prior to their MEET&GREET, scheduled for June 20 for a conversation about music, dancing and of course, boys.
Mwave: How has it been, finally being back on stage, promoting your own music?
Park Jimin: We just finished our last stage on...Thursday?
Baek Yerin: No, Saturday.
Park Jimin: Yea, Saturday. Well it was kind of short, but I really liked it. It was really fun, and [Sugar] is a fun song, so we had a good time performing that in front of our fans.
The song wasn’t really a catchy song for all people - it was a little bit off-genre, so everyone felt that our song was a lot of music, a lot of big sound and chorus and stuff, so I was kind of worried about that. But then, nearly all of our fans liked it, so I feel okay abou tit.
Mwave: Jimin, you came up with part of the choreography for Sugar right?
Park Jimin: Yea! So we have our dancer in JYP and she’s really close to us, so she called me in because I’m really outgoing, and I just play around with stuff. And she said, “Hey Jimin, just try and dance to the song!”
And I was like, “Are you serious…..”
And she was like, “Yea, you have to dance!”
And I was like, “...Are.. you.. serious…”
So I just did it, and she liked it! So she kind of trimmed out the parts that weren’t useful and she kept this part [motions Sugar sprinkling dance] and it was fun.
Park Jimin: This album, we really took a lot of care. We’ve been painting for all the songs and we did a live music video for all of the songs, so we participated a lot in the album.
Mwave: Yerin, you came out on the scene with your dance skills on Star King - do you guys have any plans to come out with a dance-heavy track?
Park Jimin: Our boss said that we have to dance, and he told me, “Jimin, you have to take dance lessons from now on, because you have to dance when you sing.”
And I was like, “So you’re trying to make me into like a BEE-ON-CAY??”
I mean, I wanna try it out, but I don’t think I’m a really good dancer, so I really need to try a lot and work it out.
Baek Yerin I like dancing, but on stage...we’re not better at dancing, we’re better at singing, so I don’t think it’s possible.
Mwave: So no Beyonce?
Baek Yerin No… maybe later?? Maybe at our concert??
Mwave: Okay, okay. So moving on to Can’t Hide It - a lot of fans have been wondering when the full music video is going to be released.
Park Jimin: Oh you mean the teaser...yea...I wanted to tell all the fans that we don’t have a music video for that. It was a preview track, so we couldn’t film a whole video for that.
Mwave: Ah, okay. So when you guys have crushes - how do you act? Are you able to hide it, or do you just put it out there?
Park Jimin: When I was young, everyone told me to just, like, calm down. I don’t know why, I didn’t feel like I was showing all of it but then...HE knew that I liked him, so I was like...heh……
But I hadn’t done anything, but he would be like, “Uh, do you like me?” And I’m like, “How did you know??”
So since I grew up, around like 15? I actually acted more chic now and more cool, and when he says something, I’m just like “Okay.”
And, he’s like, “Are you angry with me??”
So now I don’t know what to do!!! These days, I just act normal and maybe kind of crazy...I just laugh at what he says, at anything. I’m just like, “Hah, that’s so funny!”
And he’s like, “What’s so funny...I just said hello.”
And I’m like, “HAH! That’s so funny!!”
Baek Yerin: Hm, for me, I do express it...I mean, like, in my face, it shows that I’m really happy with him so I can’t even hide it.
Park Jimin: That’s totally like me when I was young!!
Mwave: So would you guys confess first?
Baek Yerin: Yea… I do
Park Jimin: Hm...yea if I like him, I tell him first, I’m like, “Hey, I think I like you...bye.”
Mwave: That’s a good way to go about it….haha. Both of you are really active on social media - and you seem to use it communicate with fans, but also to show your real selves. We asked the Mwave fans if they had anything to ask you, and one was wondering if you remember any specific SNS interaction?
Park Jimin: We don’t have a lot of stages to show our real live selves, so we post a lot because we have a lot of fans out there who ask what we’re doing right now. It’s not bad to upload what I’m doing, so it’s a nice way to communicate, because I don’t have the chance to go to Indonesia or anything.
Park Jimin: When I was on a really strict diet, I wrote, “I wanna eat something.” So my fans kept posting chicken...spaghetti...cheese...and I captured it and tweeted it, and said, “I have a lot of good fans with me,” so a lot of Korean fans began to tweet me a lot of food pics.
Mwave: And Yerin, you upload a lot of short covers on your instagram, and both of you have a lot of covers of a wide range of artists - are you guys going to keep doing that, or would you rather promote your own songs?
Baek Yerin: We try to show our strong points. We have a lot of shortcomings with gayo, so we always try to cover pop songs.
Park Jimin: Well right now, we’ll promote from the album, but before then, we didn’t have a lot of songs in our own name. And we just wanted to sing. But then we’d have to sing only Somebody and I Dream, and it was like, “Sigh. We have to sing those again?”
So we started singing all these pop songs, and they liked it more than our songs! So we’re going to keep doing that AND promoting new songs.
Mwave: Alright, one last question - this one is from the fans. They wanna know if you want to host a show with GOT7’s Jackson, Jimin.
Park Jimin: Oh Jacksooon!! Yea, I really wanna do it! I’ve been talking with Jackson! Did they watch the clip on After School Club??
Mwave: Yea, on Arirang? (Refer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgjlDSAx84Q at 0:53
Park Jimin: Jackson was like, “Oh Jimin, I’m bad to you huh? I’m a bad boy to you, huh?”
And I was like, “I was just kidding!”
But he was like, “But we could do it better than with Mark,” since he did it with Mark before and he was saying how if we did it together, it’d be really fun. So I was like, “Exactly, I wanna do it with you too!”
Baek Yerin: Only Jimin can handle him! I can’t do it…
Mwave: You don’t want to host with Jackson?
Baek Yerin: Noooo!
Park Jimin: Yerin and Mark, and me and Jackson!!
Baek Yerin: Aww Mark! Yea.. that would be so great.
15& recently wrapped up Korea promotions for Sugar but will be heading to Mwave’s MEET&GREET live online fanmeeting on June 20 at 3PM KST so stay tuned for more exciting exclusives from 15& and Mwave - and purchase signed albums here!