Feverse, Girls Forever
Five girl characters selected as the final members on Girl's Re:verse are debuting as Feverse. As actual girl group members shrouded behind a veil are reborn into these girls and debut anew, they straddle the virtual and the real and throw us into a joyful confusion. A groundlessly bright and steadily honest interview with these girls, who have achieved all the wacky imaginations they wanted in a virtual world.
Q. Congratulations on becoming the final members of virtual idol survival Girl's Re:verse. For people who still may not be familiar with virtual idols, and with the five members, please introduce yourselves.
Muneo: Feverse is a girl group comprised of the five final members of virtual idol survival Girl’s Re:verse. Our core selves are called “GirlX” and that’s the actual idol out there, and we participated in the show as “GirlV”, which are characters that we helped come up with lore and designs for. Muneo is from deep under the ocean and was one year old when I participated in the audition, and now I’m two, since we’re in the new year. Octopuses live for three years so I really had to debut, and I’m glad I got to achieve my dreams like this.
Seoritae: I used to promote with rookie girl group Five Grain Girls as its maknae Seoritae, but then came the season when pests infest grain, so I tried out for Girl’s Re:verse. This is my second debut but I’m still a rookie. I’ve been learning a lot from the sunbaenims.
Keuang: I’m Keuang, the boss red panda of Red Panda Village. I want to make a lot of money so I can build a chestnut bread factory for the red pandas back home.
Rien: I’m from a planet called Gliese-832C. I used to sing by myself and then I joined Girl’s Re:verse, and thanks to that I made lots of good friends. I’m glad that I’m getting to sing for many people.
Kim Serena: I’m from Jeongseon, Gangwon-do. I had a lot of interest in the stock market and investing, but I got burned really bad by my current agency (Kakao) and figured I needed to debut myself to regain the losses. I ended up selling off the stock and eating the loss, but I did succeed in debuting.
Q. You’re debuting with the name Feverse, rather than the name of the survival show. How did you end up with this name, and what does it mean?
Rien: Feverse is a combination of “Fever” as in passion, “Ever” as in everlasting, and “Universe” as in a world with limitless possibility. So it means a world of girls who possess endless, everlasting passion, and the infinite possibilities of girls who have escaped the limits of reality and become free. I think it’s a name that nicely represents both the identity of Girl’s Re:verse and the message we have.
Q. Girl’s Re:verse, released previously, was a program where 30 K-pop girl group members meet in a virtual world and compete against each other, having crafted the world and identities of their virtual characters. Is there anything that you realized newly while appearing on and experiencing this program, or felt refreshed about because it felt different from other activities?
Keuang: Promoting as the virtual GirlV felt like living a second life. I was able to say and do things that would be too offensive for a GirlX idol in real life. On the first day everyone came in with hair and makeup done, but as filming progressed, everyone started gathering in bare faces and comfy clothes. It let me focus on dancing and singing in a relaxed appearance, and go beyond the character to show how I really am.
Kim Serena: Girl’s Re:verse involved all-day-long filming while wearing VR equipment. The staff were serious about this show, so meetings between GirlXs were minimized so that we could focus on being in character. We covered our faces carefully when coming in, and we had to follow a set path to go to the restroom. So it was tiring, but ultimately I was able to immerse myself fully into the character. When the eliminated girls vanished, it felt so sad even though it was just the virtual character going away.
Q. What’s refreshing is that [the show] emphasized how the members don’t just exist as virtual characters, but that actual K-pop girl group members exist on the other side. As unrevealed members, what did you focus on in order to distinguish your characters from your actual selves?
Seoritae: Rather than distinguishing mine, I was intending to do things freely that I couldn’t do in reality. But I think in the end it just ended up being similar to my real self. I was wishing I’d be a character that isn’t too difficult to approach from the other girls’ perspective, and I was grateful that they all treated me in a relaxed way.
Q. What does title track “Cho” mean?
Muneo: “Cho” expresses that feeling of being anxious while thinking about someone you have a crush on, and the key point is the lyrics that compress those feelings of affection into the word “cho” in amusing ways. Cho-ginjang [super nervous], cho-johan [anxious], cho-yeoreum [early summer], cho-yeonhan [stoic], cho-wallhagireul [hope to transcend]... It might sound like playing on words, but if you read carefully, it also represents the feelings we want to impart to SeeVerse, the fans who have supported and cheered for us since Girl’s Re:verse, on the brink of debut.
Q. The melody rising in tension as the song progresses, and the distinctive and fast rock-based beat, fits very well with the coolness of early summer weather. Are there any emotional notes that the members tried to capture while recording and working on this song, or anything you took special care about?
Rien: The song was coming out in early summer and it was our debut track, so I wanted the zestiness and coolness to stand out. I especially tried to accentuate cute pronunciations like “cho” and “ping”.
Keuang: I had a hard time in recording because the notes were so high, to the point that we made a “Cho” high note challenge. I hope everyone reading this interview will try it too!
Q. Rather than your identities in your respective groups, it seems that the chemistry between the newly joined members would be more important. Was there any unexpected synergy that you felt when you came together to work on music?
Muneo: The Feverse members have good chemistry so I think we enjoyed recording the new song!
Seoritae: When we worked on songs, because we have varying ranges, I got the sense that “Oh this part is mine” as soon as I heard it. Every time I realize how precious it is to have members who handle the high notes.
Q. The album contains three songs in addition to the title track, including “I Promise (Feverse Ver.)” which was the main theme of Girl’s Re:verse. It’s a new Feverse version that’s made it onto the album. What’s changed?
Kim Serena: First of all, the fact that we each have more lines? (Laughs) So recording also took longer than the Girl’s Re:verse version. I think you’ll be able to see the unique characteristics of each member better, with the increased lines. I hope you’ll pay attention to whose part is whose as you listen.
Q. Given that you’re virtual idols, the opportunity to meet with fans is going to be limited to the digital arena. What kind of promotions do you have planned, and how will you encounter fans?
Rien: We can’t reveal it yet, but what we do have planned now are radio appearances and video call fansigns with people who have membership. The members have been discussing and coming up with lots of ideas, too. The activities of a virtual idol aren’t standardized at this point, so there are actually a lot of open possibilities. Rather than thinking about virtual as a limitation, the fact that certain things are difficult in reality but possible in virtual reality makes me use my imagination.
Q. In terms of choreography or performance, what would be the best way to enjoy Feverse? Could you recommend the right way to view the performance?
Kim Serena: If you watch the music video, a lot of scenes are only possible because it’s virtual. Members who climb stairs in different directions within the same frame, or the free-flowing camera work, I think those would be things to watch for. The scene where we dance in high heels on a circular planet with the space background is too dangerous in reality, so you should be careful to not try that.
Q. Given the identities(?) of the members who shift between virtual and real worlds, the fans are surely feeling a different kind of entertainment alongside some confusion. From your positions between your real and sub-identities, can you tell the fans how you’re feeling about redebuting?
Muneo: Hey kids I’m debuting again!!! Muneo will never muneo [collapse]!!!
Seoritae: Thanks to Seeverse and Five Grain Rice, I have gotten to debut one more time even though I am a rookie. Thank you, please keep cheering me on
Keuang: I miss you, my red pandas! Boss worked hard on recording, so listen to “Cho” a lot as you wait for me!
Rien: I’ve finally gotten to debut as Feverse! I think this is going to be a year when I show you a lot of new sides of me. Thanks for always supporting me!
Kim Serena: I’m heading to meet you now, just wait~