[Interview Part 2] Wonder Girls Talks about America and Japan
This is Part II of our interview with the Wonder Girls. Read Part I here.
Wonder Girls became the girl group with its single Tell Me from its first studio album in 2007, The Wonder Years.
Tell Me swept through music show and music site charts, even staying on top for eight weeks in a row. It was so strong it was like a syndrome.
The group then scored again in May 2008 with So Hot, and in September of the same year with Nobody. The girls then flew to the other side of the Earth to try their luck in America.
Yenny said about Tell Me’s success, “A lot of people think of Tell Me when they think of the year 2007. They say it was ‘the song of the year that was playing everywhere anyone went’. That actually made us feel some sort of responsibility.”
After stepping into the States, the group tried to get its name to be known by performing in 49 opening performances for the America tour of the Jonas Brothers over the course of 60 days, and continued to appear on American TV, including an appearance on a talk show on FOX TV.
Whether the girls’ American ventures were a success, however, is highly debatable, and in the meantime, girl groups such as Girls’ Generation (SNSD) and 2NE1 came forth to snatch the throne as the biggest girl groups in Korea.
“Our appearances on TV shows in America gave us important experiences in life,” Yubin said. “We also learned more about language and built a stronger friendship between our members. I can’t really think of anything we lost. I don’t regret anything about our activities in America.”
Their time in America also gave the girls a time of serenity and rest. If they had been in Korea, they would’ve suffered from the burden of expectancy and pressure that comes with sudden successes, but America gave them something different to deal with. They could walk the streets without caring whether anyone saw them, and could have their own time off.
Sohee said, “I debuted when I was really young, so sometimes I got tired when we had to get through a tight schedule. We took a break from Korean promotions, though, after going to America, and that actually made me feel thirstier [for Korean promotions]. Now, every schedule and every performance is precious to me. I’m having the most fun preparing for our tour concert.”
Wonder Girls made a comeback in Korea with its second mini album Wonder Party on June 3, and will soon be embarking on its second set of exclusive concerts, Wonder World Tour, starting from the Seoul concert to take place on July 7.
The group will also be flying to Japan soon with its Japan debut album Nobody for Everybody, to be released on July 25, after signing a label contract with Sony DefSTAR.
“Japan is fairly close, but we haven’t been there often,” Yubin said. “I’m happy we’re starting our promotions there through a great opportunity. We know that a lot of Korean groups have been successful in Japan. It’s difficult and tiring to promote in a different country, but thanks to the groups that are already there, I think we’ll be able to enjoy it.
"Do we feel pressured? No. We’re not going there to top the Oricon Chart," said Yubin. "We’re going there because we just want them to listen to our songs."
Photo credit: JYP Entertainment
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- Wonder Girls 20120621 Sohee 20120621 Sunye 20120621 Yubin 20120621 Ye Eun 20120621 Hye Rim (Wonder Girls) 20120621