Yang Hyun Suk recently sat down for an interview where he talked about BLACKPINK and their most recent success.
BLACKPINK released their first mini album “Square Up” on June 15, and so far it has been a huge success. Their title track “DDU-DU DDU-DU” recently became the fastest K-pop girl group music video to reach 80 million views on YouTube. The group also achieved perfect and certified all-kills and their mini album topped over 38 international iTunes charts. BLACKPINK not only topped Oricon and QQ Music charts as well, but they also became the first K-pop girl group to enter the United Kingdom’s Official Singles Charts.
Yang Hyun Suk started the interview by thanking those who had supported and loved BLACKPINK. He explained that their success was hard to believe as the music scene was changing significantly and rapidly, and that it was difficult to be one step ahead in such an industry.
He compared the group to soccer and commented, “If you want to beat your opponent, it’s important to have players that are skilled, but I also think it’s important to have a strategy that will beat the other team. If I were to form a small opinion on BLACKPINK’s situation, they are probably receiving so much love because they have a completely different skill set and strategy that has never been seen before in this country.” He added, “This is only the start for BLACKPINK, who are in their third year of promoting since their debut. They’ve only just begun budding, so I look forward to seeing how they will blossom.”
Yang Hyun Suk was then asked how he felt when listening to “DDU-DU DDU-DU” for the first time, as the members had previously shared that they had immediately thought it would be a hit when they first heard it. He commented, “My thoughts were the complete opposite of theirs. For Teddy and myself, the decision to use the song as the title track was a huge challenge and gamble.” He explained, “Compared to the songs that BLACKPINK has released so far, it’s very strong and is rap-centered, so we thought it might not be mainstream enough. At the same time, I thought it was something we had to overcome sooner or later, and so we made our decision.”
He added, “Although I was nervous, the one reason I was confident was the fact they had practiced more music that was closer to the ‘black’ than the ‘pink’ side of their name during their six years of being trainees, so I put my trust in the members. Thankfully, we overcame it and we will work towards a bigger challenge and more diverse music.”
Yang Hyun Suk then talked about the group’s music video, and credited its color, fashion, and performance to Teddy. He explained that they had worked together for so long that they were extremely familiar with each other when working, and that they tended to share their ideas and thoughts freely.
He expanded on the importance of Teddy’s role at YG, saying, “Teddy is YG’s main producer who has unwaveringly released many hit songs over the last 20 years. If Teddy were a designer, BLACKPINK is the amazing model and brand that he clothes with the newest and trendiest music. In the beginning, many people compared BLACKPINK to 2NE1. Their respective debut period and disbandment overlapped and since both groups had four members, there were certain points that we couldn’t avoid having them compared. However, the members as well as their strengths and weaknesses are all different so I believe that comparison won’t last.”
When asked how the group had grown during their one-year gap between releases, he commented, “Rather than saying that they grew during the year, we think it’s a process of showing the things they accumulated during their six years of training little by little. The fans refer to them as a ‘treasure chest,’ but as of now, the lid hasn’t even been opened yet. I believe that their skills and talent will continue to shine brighter.”
Yang Hyun Suk also honestly talked about the group’s weaknesses and shared, “One area that is both BLACKPINK’s strength and weakness is that they have a softer mentality than people think. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t haven’t experienced much of society as adults. If I were to put it nicely, they are innocent and pure. I believe they will become stronger the more they stand on stage.”
The YG Entertainment founder concluded by discussing how he wanted to lead the group as a producer. He answered by touching on their future promotions abroad, explaining how BLACKPINK has been seeing a strong response abroad and it will be to their advantage that three of the four members could speak English fluently.
He added, “It’s a bit early to mention this, but many famous foreign music industry representatives have been watching BLACKPINK, so we think we’ll have good news soon. We plan on releasing another new track within the year. We are also planning on an international tour after that to meet fans who have supported BLACKPINK from far away places, as meeting, communicating, and singing for those fans is a singer’s happiest dream. I want to thank everyone sincerely once again.”