Reporter Ahn Tae-hyeon
Recently, Loossemble met News1 and talked about being at a new starting point, and about how they feel as they wait for the day when the twelve LOONA members will meet again. We have heard their honest words.
Part 1: 'From LOONA', Loossemble "starts anew with a rookie mindset... Gained hope"
As you debut anew as Loossemble, not LOONA, is there any change in your mindset?
▶ Hyeju: We have started anew as Loossemble, and we are enthusiastically doing things that we have wanted to do before. We are working hard on everything, with the real mindset of rookies. Whether it’s being onstage or doing activities, starting anew like this with the fans brings us a lot of nervous excitement, I think.
Going from twelve members to five, it seems like the environment must be quite different compared to before. How are you adjusting to that?
▶ Hyunjin: Going from twelve members’ parts to five, there are now more parts to pay attention to. So we increased practice times as much as we could and tried to make the most complete album we could.
From doing activities as twelve members to doing activities as five, what is the biggest change that you feel?
▶ Yeojin: Firstly, wait times are shorter now. Makeup time is shorter, and we get home faster. Lesson times are also shorter. Also things have gotten a little quieter. (laugh) And there’s less of a chance of your food going missing. With twelve people there’s a lot of menu items so sometimes things go missing, and that’s less likely to occur now. And with five members, communication is quick. Other than that, with many members, things are bustling and there’s a lot of people, so there were lots of comforts with that. There was the reassurance, but even with the four others now I feel reassured, so I like that a lot. (Laugh)
One part of Loossemble, of course, is to carry on the identity of “LOONA”. While maintaining that prior identity, what other aspects would you like to show that are unique to Loossemble?
▶ Hyeju: We want to carry on the enterprising message that we gave as LOONA. And another differentiating point is that we’ve come back with a song that’s more easy-listening, more accessible to the general public. We don’t really place restrictions on genre, so we expect to continue seeking colors that are unique to us.
Did you not have many concerns about debuting after the dispute with your former agency?
▶ Vivi: Actually, at first we didn’t expect to be able to come back like this, and as there were many issues and situations, we couldn’t help but to worry. But thanks to people around us, we gained strength and hope. And so we gathered together like this thinking, “let’s do well”.
Are there any genres that Loossemble wants to give a shot at?
▶ Yeojin: We have done many genres so far, so we would like to try any song that would fit us, regardless of genre.
Is there any one genre that you think best suits Loossemble currently?
▶ Hyeju: I think it was really difficult to find a song that landed in the middle ground between all five of us. “Sensitive” was just that song. It wasn’t too tough, but it didn’t have too much of a young feeling. I think it had a lot of points that perfectly matched what we could show given our ages. Confident, able to deliver bright energy, but isn’t too light - I think we’re doing a genre that allows us to offer such a performance.
Is there any response from the fans that you remember, after the release of the album?
▶ Vivi: Because we first went on a U.S. tour, we saw the U.S. fans’ reactions first, which was so passionate, they really liked it. So we became even more confident. It felt like we gained confidence.
▶ Go Won: The fans told us this time that this seemed like an album we put a lot of love into. As we really did focus on every little thing, and all the members had lyric credits, a lot of preparations went into this album. It moved me very much to see our fans understanding that part very well.
▶ Hyunjin: Before us, ARTMS (where other members gathered) had their release first. I liked to see this the most because I think that gave the fans hope for the future. Also many people responded saying that the song is really good. I felt very proud of this as well.
Part 2: Loossemble: "When all 12 LOONA members gather, we want to create greater synergy"
How did you prepare for “Sensitive” in the debut album?
▶ Go Won: It contained a bit of the musical feeling that we had done before, as well as Loossemble’s unique traits, and a lot of the direction we would like to move forward in. As we were debuting again after difficult times, we wanted to assure you that our choice was certain.
How were the other LOONA members’ reactions?
▶ Go Won: The members even attended our showcase. When they got there they gave us many compliments like “I like this song” or “I like that song”, and said how much we’ve developed. (Laugh)
▶ Hyeju: Also when albums come out, we promote each other on Instagram Stories and cheer for one another. We raise each others’ confidence.
In Hyeju’s case, you changed your stage name.
▶ Hyeju: First, I wanted to use a name that more easily rolls off the tongue. And although I love and consider precious the name of Olivia Hye that I had before even now, with the mindset of a new beginning I wanted to let my real name be known a little more to the general public.
With Chuu and Yves with solo activities, and other members in the group ARTMS, if there were to come a day where all twelve of you gather, what image would you like to show then?
▶ Hyeju: Nothing has been decided on what style we should do in detail. But when we gather again there is a hope that with each of our abilities improved, we will be able to create an even greater synergy. I would like to not lose the original color of LOONA and carry that on when all twelve of us have come together, and show you songs that are moving.
Any hopes or expectations you have for this album, results-wise?
▶ Yeojin: The reaction has been better than I thought, so I told myself, “Let’s not get even more ambitious.” At the start, I thought, “It’s the first release, so even if the response is relatively poor, don’t think too negatively about it,” but the reaction was better than I thought. It makes me think the most about working even harder.
▶ Hyeju: I think that us hoping for certain results brings pressure onto the fans. With results, I think that if you bring good output, results will follow.
You’re in a situation where you can aim for a rookie award again as Loossemble.
▶ Yeojin: I’m very much looking forward to that. (laugh)
▶ Hyeju: When we were really newcomers, we really wanted to win the rookie award. You can only receive that award at that one time. If you miss out on it, that’s unfortunate. I didn’t know that we would get another chance to win a rookie award, but if we do win, I think it would be a meaningful award.
What is the future as Loossemble that you’d like to create?
▶ Hyeju: As we have successfully wrapped up our U.S. tour, our goal is to meet fans in a wider variety of countries. And I hope to have opportunities to develop as singers individually. I think a good goal would be for all of us to do well until the day we can perform onstage as twelve once again. I would like very much to work happily and healthily.
▶ Hyunjin: As our occupation is one in which we receive love, I hope we can receive lots of love from our fans and the public. (Laugh)
Any final words you’d like to say to the fans?
▶ Hyeju: First, I would like to thank our fans for waiting for our album’s release as Loossemble and for supporting us. Thanks to all your love, we have gained a lot of confidence, so I think we will be able to continue activities healthily and joyfully. I want to say that we have missed you so much and that we love you very much.