[Interview] Teenage Duo Group 15& Does Not Want to Be Seen as Young
A teen duo fearlessly entered the K-pop industry.
Equipped with powerful vocal skills, 15&’s Baek Ye Rin and Park Ji Min fearless entered the K-pop industry, gathering attention for their exceptional singing talents.
Having debuted in 2012 with song I Dream, the duo made hits with Can’t hide it and Sugar, letting its presence be known across the industry. The two girls, who are shaking up the K-pop industry with their vocal skills and unique charms met with enews for an interview.
How was 15& in person?
Baek Ye Rin, who constantly played around and started jokes, and Park Ji Min, who silently accepted them, reflected image of girls in their teens.
When commented that she seems to have a gentle personality, Park Ji Min said, “I’ve contained myself today,” and laughed. Baek Ye Rin said, “Ji Min is the funniest and most enjoyable person to be with.”
Although not related by blood, the two girls had many similar traits, such as age, hometown, blood type and even the zodiac sign.
Baek Ye Rin said, “It’s shocking. We even connected through telepathy several times. We often say the same thing at the same time,” and Park Ji Min said, “When I want to watch a certain movie, Ye Rin tells me first that she wants to watch that movie. It’s really amazing.”
Although they had the thoughts and behaviors of normal teenagers, the two were different when it came to music. Park Ji Min said, “We’re young but we don’t want to be seen as young. We want to try many different things and challenge ourselves since we’re in our teens. If we go through many trials, I think we’ll be able to show our unique color by the time we’re in our twenties or thirties.”
Q&A with 15&
You just finished your promotions with 1st album ‘Sugar’
“We included the songs that we liked the best in the album. It feels different since we actually released an album, instead of just songs. I’m really happy” (Park Ji Min)
“We designed the album jacket ourselves and included ten tracks in the album. We even made a live video. It’s our first full length album. It means a lot to us.” (Baek Ye Rin)
How would you score your promotional activities?
“I would like to give 8 out of 10. I think we’re still lacking to receive a 10. I’m satisfied that we did R&B music, which is what we’ve always wanted to do. We focused on highlighting our vocals in this album.” (Park Ji Min)
“It’s a 9. I took care of many things but my health wasn’t at a perfect condition. We both caught cold so there were not many occasions where we sang with the best condition. I’m satisfied with the album but a bit regretful.” (Baek Ye Rin)
It’s the age of idols. What is the strength that teenager duo 15& has?
“Most idol groups have 5 to 6 members and only one or two members get the spotlights. But since we’re a duet, we can present our songs. And I also think we give hopes to those who dream of becoming singers.” (Park Ji Min)
It’s been 10 months since you debuted. Has anything changed since the time of debut?
“We can’t enjoy it 100% yet, but I think we have a bit more room to feel relaxed on the stage.” (Baek Ye Rin)
“At first we had some disagreements. But these days, we yield to each other a lot. It feels like we have a better teamwork. It also feels more relaxing when I sing.” (Park Ji Min)
You have many love songs. What does love mean to you two?
“I think it’s something that you have to try to solve your entire life. I think you can never know how and when the feeling of love will change. It’s a very difficult emotion as of now.” (Baek Ye Rin)
“I’m not really sure. (laughter) I think it’s something that changes your life pattern when you meet someone. You’re happy all day and smile by yourself and feel unhappy when that person is unhappy. I think it’s an emotion that you have to value and to take care of really well.” (Park Ji Min)
Who is Park Jin Young to you?
“He is someone you have a lot to learn from. You can tell by looking at the fact that he is still a singer. I would also like to become a singer that is remembered by the public, as I also write songs.” (Park Ji Min)
“He is a very smart person. I want to learn about composing songs from him.” (Baek Ye Rin)
We are curious about 15&’s transformation in the future. Have you been thinking about the next album?
“I’m also curious about how our next album will be like. I want to try hip-hop and R&B and all. We’re teenagers. We want to try everything that we can. I want to go through all the pains and mistakes so that we can show our color that fits us.” (Park Ji Min)
You will have a break since you’ve fnished promotions. What are your plans?
“We’ll be performing for ‘JYP Nation’ on August 9 and 10. We’ll begin preparation soon and I’m really anticipating a lot. It’s a dream stage for me. My heart is pounding like crazy.” (Park Ji Min)
“We would have to start preparing for ‘JYP Nation’ first. Then I want to write songs, go to school and learn how to play an instrument. I want to show myself having made a progress.” (Baek Ye Rin)
Photo credit: JYP