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[Article] Daily Star - 'First place' LOONA: "I want to make a better record" (200314)

"My tears wouldn't stop at the sense of joy that 'we finally did it'." "For Loona it's such a precious gift."

So say the members of girl group Loona, who embraced their first trophy since debut. On Mnet's MCountdown broadcasted on the 12th, Loona took first place with title song "So What" out of mini album [#]. As this was the first time they had topped a music show, many members displayed their emotion as they shed tears of joy.

Loona is a team that drew attention through a revolutionary concept of "We meet a new girl each month" in its debut project. Twelve members were revealed one by one beginning with Heejin in October 2016, and in that process, three subunits called Loona 1/3, Loona Odd Eye Circle, and Loona yyxy launched as they showed off content incorporating a dense and detailed story.

The "full group" formally debuted in August 2018 and steadily established itself by showing off diverse charms through songs such as "Hi High", "favOriTe", and "Butterfly". This comeback took place about a year following the repackage album [X X] last February. Some fans expressed concern at the long hiatus, but the group successfully reaped the important achievement of a first-time show win. A written Q&A interview with EDaily follows.

-Curious to know how you feel after receiving your first 1st place trophy since debut.

Kim Lip: "First, I want to express how thankful I am to Orbits. Everyone felt disappointed that our first win came without Haseul unnie, and I really hope that in our next win all of us can cry tears of joy together. I think all the members felt the same things when we won and cried. In particular I want to say thanks to Heejin, who was the first one to start promoting. We'll be sure to never forget where we started, and become a Loona that you can be proud of."

Olivia Hye: "That was a stage where we always congratulated others, and I couldn't believe that we were the ones being congratulated now. I also thought that our message in this album must have been imparted well. I'm sincerely grateful to everyone who helped us to receive this prize."

-Many members were tearful as you received the trophy.

Yeojin: "When I found out that we were nominated, I got emotional because I thought of all the memories since our very first debut performance to now. When we were announced as winners, my tears wouldn't stop at the sense of joy that 'we finally did it'."

Yves: "I thought that it wasn't yet time for us to win on a music show, so I was astonished to even find out that we were nominated. When the winner was announced, I was so shocked that I just blanked out for a little bit. When I was giving the acceptance speech I was able to hold back the tears because I wanted to express our gratitude to many people, but I broke down as soon as I finished."

-The members who were in the debut project since 2016 must be feeling some special things.

Heejin: "Maybe because I was the first one in Loona to debut, many people comforted me for 'going through so much'. Really, even aside from the time it takes, 1st place in itself is something that's hard to achieve. I think what made this possible was that we were 12 instead of alone. I'm so thankful to the members."

Hyunjin: "It was a win I had longed for such a long time, so it was so joyful and good. With this win as just the start, I want to repay the fans with even better things. I also want to say thank you to our family at the agency and staff members who always encourage us and work hard for us."

-How will this win influence your future promotions or direction.

Choerry: "It's our first music show trophy since debut. So I think it might make the bond between members, who have worked hard together for so long, even stronger. I think we have to have even greater goals, work hard, and push towards an even higher peak. I think the win affects our mindset a lot too."

Jinsoul: "This first win, for Loona is just such a precious gift. I think it gives us hope that we can climb even higher in the future. I want to show even greater growth in the future starting with this win. We'll work harder so that this win won't become our first and last."

-What do you think was the driving factor that allowed "So What" to take first place.

Heejin: "I think it's due to our fans who cheered for us until the end. Even though fans sadly couldn't be with us during this promotion, and this was not a short promotion period, they kept believing in and supporting and loving Loona, and I think that immense strength carried through with us to the end."

Olivia Hye: "I think one of the driving factors was each member's unique charm being expressed well on the stage."

Yeojin: "I think the whole experience of coming to work every day, practicing with the members, and improving our teamwork was able to continually upgrade Loona's performance. I and the members are all aware of how important the word "effort" is. We'll keep putting in effort to show you even better performances."

-How was the reaction to the So What challenge that you announced after comeback.

Chuu: "Orbits from so many countries participated. There wasn't a single moment to be bored during this promotion because I was watching many Orbits who uploaded to Tiktok and other social media. People around us and our families participated, too."

Vivi: "I was surprised because Orbits from diverse countries sent us more videos than I expected. I could see their passion and I was moved to see that they got even the little things perfectly. Thank you to everyone who participated."

-What are your plans for future activities. Also, what's another goal you might have for 2020.

Heejin: "I think "So What" promotions were wrapped up well all thanks to Orbits. This win will be a good opportunity to look back upon the path that Loona has walked so far, and to grow further and show you more great things, so I hope we can continue to be happy together."

Hyunjin: "My goal going forward is to meet the fans again as a bit more grown and improved version of myself. We'll also work hard to express the good message in our Loonaverse even more effectively."

Yeojin: "We've just won first place for the first time since debut, and I'll work hard so that Loona can use this as a stepping stone to climb up steadily and flourish more."

Vivi: "I want to show you even more, and more splendid, performances. My 2020 goal is to make Loona better known not only among our Orbits but also to the general public."

Kim Lip: "I think there's a big empty spot in many ways about this win. We couldn't see Orbits there in front of us, and we couldn't be with Haseul unnie either. In our next promotion, I want everyone to be healthy and be smiling as we receive a trophy with our beloved Orbits. Also, I want us to achieve better results on the streaming charts than this time."

Jinsoul: "My goal for this year is to get on many stages both domestically and abroad through a world tour, and meet many Orbits close up."

Choerry: "I think the most important thing is for all the members to have a healthy year. My goal is to meet you in many settings like a world tour, variety shows, and others."

Yves: "My personal goal is to shed some of my thoughts, and my goal for the team is to set even more awesome records, healthily, using this win as a springboard."

Chuu: "I want to concentrate on the new album promotions that are to come, continue the vibrant energy of "So What" promotions, and have that translate to good results. Through that I want to ingrain into the general public that Loona is a group that makes good music."

Go Won: "I want to win again next time in more improved form, and get to do an encore performance with Orbits there."

Olivia Hye: "My goal is to meet with even more fans in an even bigger place."



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