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[Article] Hankook Ilbo Interview with LOONA (210127)

"It's an honor to be able to follow after the seniors we admire and be named alongside them."

Girl group Loona has made a big splash. They've charted into the Mediabase North American Radio Chart Top 40, a barometer of local popularity in the U.S.

Mediabase is a chart that analyzes radio play counts within the U.S., considered a leading metric for gauging popularity among the American public.

There have only been four K-pop artists to enter the Mediabase Top 40, including BTS, Blackpink, and Monsta X. Considering that BTS has proven its U.S. popularity by sweeping the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, and Blackpink and Monsta X have established themselves through major achievements there, this record by Loona who are in just their third year since debut is even more meaningful.

Having proven their presence as the up-and-coming global trend, Loona shared their thoughts on the Mediabase Top 40 chart-in through a written interview with the Hankook Ilbo on the 26th.

Go Won, first expressing gratitude that "We had this great achievement thanks to our Orbits and I'm so happy," also expressed her aspirations: "We'll become a Loona who works even harder going forward, so that we can help K-pop be known in more diverse ways, following in the footsteps of awesome seniors."

Olivia Hye revealed her swelling emotion, saying "It's an honor to be able to follow after the seniors we admire and be named alongside them, and we'll show you great things so that we can be just as good of an influence as much as you love us."

Next, Yeojin said "I think of it as an honor that we got to enter this chart following after awesome seniors," and urged looking forward to next steps: "We'll work even harder so that we can show you even more growth as Loona."

Entering the U.S. Billboard 200 main chart for the first time last year with third mini album [12:00], Loona accelerated their popularity there. Not only that, Loona also set own records including entering the U.S. Rolling Stone Top 200 chart for two consecutive weeks and the U.K. official album download chart Top 100, evidencing their rapid global growth.

Loona, having captured the U.S. music market not to mention the domestic one, were asked on the secret traits that helped them capture global fans and named the spirit of trying diverse concepts, members armed with diverse charms, and the "Loonaverse" worldbuilding that connects these things organically.

Jinsoul said "We try to include songs from different genres in each album and try new concepts to show off different sides of us, and I think people enjoy that. With each album release we are always thinking carefully about what new thing to show you next."

Further, Yeojin said "The unique thing about us is that the Loonaverse story is well-incorporated into different corners of the album. I think many fans enjoy this lore and the connections between members and units. And I think they look fondly on our music and performance too so we're always working to improve these things too."

Olivia Hye added a response full of affection for the members. "Another strength is that all 12 members have distinctive character with personality, based on different charms. Along with our strong lore, I think this might be why global fans love our music."

As they garner attention for notable achievements on domestic and foreign charts despite the coronavirus pandemic, Loona wrapped up the interview by expressing plans for continuing to interact with global fans via diverse "untact" [no-contact/remote] activities.

Olivia Hye expressed disappointment regarding the COVID-19 circumstances, saying "As this unfortunate situation has persisted for a while, our disappointment at not being able to meet the fans and our longing to see them are growing."

Continuing, she spoke about her goals: "However, many people have been working hard to give us a chance to meet fans in ways like online concerts, video call fansigns, and untact interviews. Alongside diverse content like this, we're going to keep making and planning opportunities to interact with fans in real time. Though we may be physically apart, we want to help Orbits feel that Loona is always by their side."

Meanwhile, Loona opened recruitment for the third cohort of its official fanclub "Orbit" on the 22nd. Orbit 3.0 recruitment will continue until the 5th of next month.


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