[Interview Part I] AOA Lands on Earth on Angel Wings and Guitars
K-Pop is now full of female singers who claim to be goddesses, but just when everyone thought the stream of goddesses was petering out, there landed a group of angels.
Many said worriedly that the angel concept, the team’s name AOA (Ace of Angels) and the group’s big back story was a bit overdone.
That AOA is from FNC Entertainment, which successfully debuted the bands FT Island and CN Blue and the female singer Juniel, was the only thing that had the public looking forward to the debut of this girl group.
As soon as the group was unveiled at its showcase held on July 30, however, the concerns changed to anticipation. The members were not only all beautiful, but could also play in a band just like any other professional band and perform in dance performances that didn’t fall behind other girl groups’.
The drummer Youkyoung was excluded from the dance versions to perfect the performances, and only appeared in the band versions. This is why the group was marketed as the first-ever 7+1 member group.
The members had to get through two years, or four years at the most, of dance practice, foreign language lessons and instrument practice from early in the morning to late in the night, but still they said they wished they had “more time.”
They poured in much more effort compared to other girl groups, and that effort helped them stand out as a different kind of group altogether.
“We think our band versions differentiate us from other girl groups. It was cool and funny to see two teams that had been preparing separately come together. In dance, we want to show off our individual charms while as a band we want to show off our musicality and our sincerity. Aren’t we biting off a bit more than we can chew, you say? If we weren’t going to be perfect, we wouldn’t have started in the first place. Both teams practiced and practiced again to perform in a perfect performance.”
The group’s first single album Angel’s Story tells the story of the angels who had fallen from heaven. Its first single cut Elvis portrayed the girls’ lovers as an Elvis, and talked cutely about how a girl falls in love.
The song was performed in two versions, dance and band; wouldn’t the group have gone through an identity crisis after trying to cover two different areas?
“Everyone wants to be good at both. We all became determined because we were sure we could do it, so we didn’t go through any identity crises. When we’re a dance team we’ll be cute and lovely, while as a girl band we’ll be charismatic and cool.”
The AOA members were, of course, taken aback by the initial angel concept set by their agency. The angel titles they were given outside of their real names—Seolhyunari (Seolhyun), Yunaria (Yuna), Choaya (Choa), Minaring (Mina), Hyejeonglinus (Hyejeong), Jiminel (Jimin), Chanmi T.T (Chanmi) and Y (Youkyoung)—were enough to get their fingers curling in embarrassment.
“It wasn’t easy for us to accept the angel concept, but now we’re used to it, and we even like it. We keep trying to work hard even when others can’t see us so that we can live up to our neat image. It also helps us show off some new images in a twist.
Like Seolhyun recently danced to Gangnam Style at the MBC radio show Shindong’s Shim Shim Tapa, we plan to continuously put on new and unexpected images.”
The group has officials and even the public looking forward to AOA’s future, and the reason is simple; it definitely stands out in the flood of girl groups.
They look forward not only to feats the group will put on in the early stages of its debut, but also to how it will turn out to be years later. The members of AOA, who hadn’t been active for even a month, answered confidently what they thought they would be like three years into the future.
“We think we’ll be even stronger than we are now. Though the structure may be the same, we think we’ll have filled in for the parts we lack in our music or skills. We’ve been studying composition, and maybe three years from now we’ll be able to promote a single we wrote ourselves. We also want to shoot more than 10 commercials. (Laugh) Ah! We also hope we can fulfill our dream of holding an exclusive concert.”
Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan
- AOA (Ace of Angels) 20120902 Seolhyun (AOA) 20120902 Choa (AOA) 20120902 Hyejeong (AOA) 20120902 Mina (AOA) 20120902 Yuna (AOA) 20120902 Chanmi (AOA) 20120902 Jimin (AOA) 20120902 Youkyoung (AOA) 20120902