JISOO Interview With Marie Claire Korea (September 2023)
You’ve been a global ambassador for Christian Dior for some time now. You must have felt a closer connection to the brand after all of your work?
I think our chemistry is getting better and better. At first, it took some time to align my expressions with what the brand wanted to show, but now we both know what we want and where the synergy comes from, so the process is much easier and smoother. My thoughts and senses about the brand have also become more solid.
The theme for today’s photoshoot was “strength and intensity”. I was curious about how this theme would be expressed, but I immediately got it when I saw you gazing straight into the camera.
To me, strength is not just about appearing strong. It comes from being able to show yourself clearly. So today, I also tried to show my own energy by clearly understanding myself and expressing it in a clear manner.
I can sense in your answer that you put a lot of thought into what strength means.
The theme of today’s shoot is a word that I’ve thought about a lot whenever I needed confidence. Every time I stand in front of the camera or on stage where many people look at me, I’ve tried to show my strong self that is different from just looking tough.
I heard that you don’t get too nervous even on a huge stage, but you still need some time to prepare yourself, right?
Yes. To avoid getting nervous, I’ve been practicing my own form of mind control. As I’ve continued to do that, I feel like I can be more awake on stage, without feeling shaken but feeling more resolute.
BLACKPINK World Tour [BORN PINK] started last October in Seoul and is now entering its fourth season. Perhaps you are on a journey that is not only exciting and enjoyable but also comes with its fair share of difficulties and challenges.
I actually don’t feel too tired physically because I take good breaks in between. I just find it amazing that we’re filling up a whole year with tours. I recently said to our members, “Time has just passed as we tour.” (laughs)
You’ve performed on many stages so far, but I believe you gained something new while touring for such a long time.
Yes, we’ve done many many shows. (Laughs) I definitely feel more experienced than before. All stages come with unexpected variables, but now I don’t panic and can focus on doing my job on my own path. For example, if my shoelaces are suddenly undone, I think, “I should tie them the next time I go behind other members.”
You seemed to have reached a level beyond just being experienced.
All our members are like this. In any sudden situation now, everyone just does their job without flinching. We say it among ourselves, “We must have done this for a long time. We are really seasoned.”
You have an encore concert in the US, after your Paris concert. It must be a different kind of excitement than the first concert.
I’m really grateful to the fans who welcomed us so enthusiastically that we can go there again. So, I think we should step up and deliver an even better performance this time. We’ll be changing the setlist to the one we used at Coachella Festival, so there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation, as if we’re going on a new tour.
I bet you put a lot of thought into the first song when creating the setlist. The music at the beginning can really set the tone for the entire performance.
Yes, we all had different opinions, so it took quite a long time to agree on one. We had an especially hard time choosing the first song, but we all agreed that we should choose a song that could clearly showcase BLACKPINK’s unique style. For the encore concert of the previous tour, we opened with ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’, which was the most popular song at the time. As we prepared for an album afterward, we kept asking ourselves, “Will people like this song? Is it a song that represents us well?” That song was ‘How You Like That’. It was a challenge that we were a bit nervous about, but it turned out to be a success and made us so happy. That’s why we chose it as the first song for this tour. The sound and choreography are fun and clever, so it’s a great way for everyone to start enjoying the show. I was delighted to see the on-site response was much better than expected.
How did you choose the first song, ‘Pink Venom’ for the encore concert? I got the impression that it was a really intense start when I saw the stage at Coachella Festival.
We wanted to clearly showcase BLACKPINK’s presence and identity. Since our official light stick is pink, we thought it would be a good idea to have the whole stage, from the stage to the audience, in pink. And ‘Pink Venom’ was the perfect song for our intention.
When you look closely at BLACKPINK’s music, from ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ to ‘How You Like That’ and ‘Pink Venom’, it seems that there is a certain quality to it. Rather than one specific song representing the group, each listener has their own personal favorite.
I think that’s a really good thing. If there was a perfect BLACKPINK song, we would be stuck with and limited by that song. If you ask our members for their favorite song, they will probably each pick a different one. I think it opens up a lot of different possibilities or paths for us to explore.
What is JISOO’s favorite track?
I actually listen to our albums quite often. (laughs) The song that always puts me in a good mood no matter when I listen is ‘As If It’s Your Last’. And the one that I enjoyed making the most is ‘Playing with Fire’. We had a lot of fun trying out different things in the recording studio, and those memories always come back to me whenever I listen to it. If I had to choose just one, I think ‘Playing with Fire’ is my favorite right now.
When do you usually listen to them?
This might be TMI all of a sudden, (laughs) but I listen to our music a lot when I’m driving. I usually listen to other types of music at home, but for some reason, I always end up listening to our own music when I’m in the car.
Let’s go back to talking about your tour. (laughs) Throughout the [BORN PINK] tour, every stage is being described as the first and the biggest. In previous interviews, you’ve said that you don’t get too excited about these achievements, but do you think they still hold some significance?
Of course, it’s a really happy thing. But it’s not like we’re thinking, “We finally did it!” It’s more like, “I can’t believe we’ve made it this far. This just keeps getting bigger and bigger.” It means even more to me to see our fans clearly loving it so much. It’s like when your national athletes win medals at world competitions, and you’re so happy for them. For me, it’s the same when our fans celebrate our news by saying, “That’s our BLACKPINK!”
When you start out, it’s hard to predict how much your music will have an impact or how far it will go. Are there any thoughts that come to mind?
I don’t think anyone starts with the idea of what kind of impact their music will have. I certainly didn’t. I just wanted to make music, and I hoped that a lot of people would listen to it and enjoy it. If it could give them strength, that would be even better. That was as far as I thought. But now, our music exists in so many different ways and reaches so many more people than I ever imagined. So I feel the need to think about the impact more than I used to. I like reading letters from fans, and there are quite a few people who write that our music has had an impact on their lives. Whenever I come across something like that, I feel like I need to live my life well for those people.
Something you said during the interview with Marie Claire Korea last September comes to mind. “Even just for those who send me endless love, I will continue to make myself stronger.”
I still feel the same way now, but I don’t want to act based on calculations like, “If I do this, they’ll like me more.” I think it’s better to be honest and straightforward in the way I express myself.
cr. Marie Claire