ITZY’s Yeji Chats About Her Motto, Being Impressed By Global K-Pop Fans, And More
As this was Yeji’s first-ever solo pictorial, she described how unfamiliar everything was and joked about enjoying the fast-paced process with less people involved. She then expressed her hope that fans would really like seeing her unique solo photos.
ITZY is currently in the tail end of their “CHECKMATE” world tour and the interviewer mentioned how the group never looked nervous in their concert videos. Yeji clarified, “No, we were really nervous. In my experience, there are two situations when you’re nervous. The nervousness that comes from when you weren’t able to prepare well, or the nervousness from when you’re too excited. But while on this tour, I realized that there’s a different nervousness you can feel even when your preparation was nearly perfect.”
Regarding the incredible phenomenon of K-pop fans around the world singing along to Korean lyrics, Yeji commented, “They’re just good at Korean in general. You could think that they’re singing along to songs from memorization, but when we say something on stage, the audience understands and responds before the translator has translated. No matter what country we go to, we end up saying, ‘Wow, you’re so good at Korean!’ Now, I feel that there are a lot of people who know about Korea well, not just about K-pop.”
Previously, Yeji revealed that her motto is “I believe in myself.” She commented, “It sounds a bit grand to say it’s a motto, right?” Yeji elaborated, “It’s a phrase that came naturally to me. I realized pretty early on that I get in return as much effort as I’ve put in. To be honest, I know best how hard I worked. After learning that I get as much skill, reward, and reaction for the amount of effort I put in, I had to move forward while believing in myself.”
After describing how hard she may on herself sometimes, Yeji explained her approach as a friend-like leader to ITZY. “When I share my thoughts with my members, saying ‘how about we do this?’ rather than ‘let’s do this’ is better,” Yeji remarked. “Having five members may not be a ton among K-pop groups but we’re still a group of five people with different thoughts and values. If someone says ‘let’s do it like this,’ someone else is bound to say ‘but you see…’ I have to speak with a question mark at the end of my opinions so that the atmosphere and the responses are both good. I’m so thankful that my members follow me well and do not think that I am forceful.”
Thinking back to ITZY’s previous releases, Yeji touched on the time she teared up while recording “WANNABE.” “It was even more meaningful because it was a song by the composer who wrote our debut track ‘DALLA DALLA.’ There was a time when the composer asked us, ‘What kind of artist do you guys want to become? What kind of person do you want to become?’ I don’t know if it’s because of my motto but I answered, ‘I just want to become myself,'” which is a lyric in the chorus of “WANNABE.”
When asked about her thoughts on ITZY’s future as their leader, Yeji shared, “When we first debuted, I thought about this and that regarding what I wanted to achieve as a team and on my own. But no matter how many goals I set, I realized that all the team members ultimately needed to have one goal with one mindset in order to get there.”
Yeji continued, “When I think about my seniors in the music industry, there are a lot of people I remember by saying ‘That performance was outstanding’ or ‘That song was so good.’ I hope that when someone thinks of those memories later on, ITZY is there too. I want to become a team that promotes for a long time and is remembered by many people. I will become a Yeji who approaches [ITZY’s fan club] MIDZY with an even better image.”
After recent concerts in Hong Kong, ITZY’s world tour will conclude next month in Bangkok. Check out W Korea’s April issue to see Yeji’s full interview and pictorial!