Simply a few weeks in the past, there have been tweets asking about ITZY’s whereabouts. Whereas they might have been energetic — taking pictures vlogs, birthday track covers, video podcasts, ending up their first world tour and acting at numerous music and school festivals — what followers, particularly their MIDZY, needed to know was the place the new music was.
“Now?” Chaeryeong shyly stated on Good Day New York earlier in the present day (6/21). “We’re planning our subsequent album.”
In different phrases, an ITZY summer season comeback is anticipated.
However earlier than hotter and scorching days offered by the 5 members strategy, they casually sat within the personal again room of Junior’s Cheesecake within the coronary heart of Occasions Sq., catching up with me for a light-weight dinner. Surrounded by plates of disco fries, wings, and some slices of the restaurant’s signature cheesecake, this highly-anticipated meet marked the final cease of their press day earlier than going again to Seoul.
The earlier weekend, the group headlined Day 1 of 88rising’s first-ever Head In The Clouds music competition in New York. Confronted with torrential downpours all through the entire day, the rain stopped proper earlier than Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna took the stage. It was a miracle but in addition ironic, on condition that it metaphorically symbolized ITZY’s coming, whether or not it was foreshadowing them proudly owning the stage and making the competition their very own live performance, or the very fact a comeback crammed with new music and content material is on its means.
“Climate fairies,” the group’s chief Yeji joked on the desk. Talking in English, her tone shifted barely to replicate how she admired concertgoers who waited for all of them day within the rain. “There have been so many individuals at Head In The Clouds, and on the identical time the climate was very robust. I’m actually touched by our MIDZY due to the dangerous climate.”
Although the group has carried out within the States prior to now via showcase excursions, their very own world tour, or convention-concerts like KCON, the 88rising music competition was their first outside competition within the US.
“We have been all actually hyped from our tour,” Lia, the facility vocalist, stated. “So we have been actually very blissful to listen to the information in regards to the competition ‘trigger the thrill from our tour was nonetheless with us.”
In a span of 45 minutes, ITZY, together with a military of backup dancers, took over the primary stage and carried out 10 songs Saturday night. The set included particular dance breaks and prolonged performances to a few of the hit singles like “Not Shy” and “LOCO” in addition to fan favourite b-sides like “SHOOT” and “No one Like You.” (“We remixed the songs to have the rock vibe, understanding everybody loves that within the competition [setting], so we needed to do the band [instrumentals],” Ryujin stated.) To say the least, the set was a live performance because the group invited a sea of attendees in raincoats, hoodies, and ponchos to leap, chant, and sing their hearts within the night time’s breeze.
But, calling themselves “climate fairies” is a brand new title that fits them, together with the various others they’ve collected since their debut in 2019. ITZY is without doubt one of the pioneering acts that launched the fourth technology of Okay-pop artists, or reasonably the emergence of the brand new period; to which some could argue is the three.5 technology. As a consultant of certainly one of South Korea’s best-performing acts, the five-member ensemble are well-decorated in awards, information, and achievements. They’re the queens of confidence, typically praised for his or her charismatic, jaw-dropping performances and stage presence, in addition to their numerous methods of instilling self-love of their music.
Nonetheless, inside the final yr, fourth-generation Okay-pop has seen the rise of lady teams with songs going viral, topping charts, and being extremely in demand. Many may even agree that 2022 was the renaissance of lady teams. The demand was solely met with extra debuts of feminine acts whether or not solo, teams, or sub-units. Somewhat than seeing it as a contest, it’s a second for ITZY to be grateful.
“For me, it’s an honor to be part of it,” Ryujin defined. “There are such a lot of issues that we may study from different teams. So, we’re actually glad that we now have many associates [in the industry] round us. I believe it’s [having] the comradery with different teams, so we are able to see one another and study from one another. And we are able to run [towards our own goals] with one another.”
In a facet dialog regarding the subject, the 5 members brazenly shared their inspirations and present likings of fellow Okay-pop acts, each senior and junior to them — Women’ Era, Chung Ha, NewJeans, f(x), and plenty of extra. However for the reason that yr started, with many teams releasing new music, followers and netizens have been fast to note ITZY’s whereabouts.
“We’re engaged on the brand new album,” Ryujin casually stated whereas nodding at her plate, choosing up a wing together with her fork. “I believe that’s the factor that we are able to inform you. It’s a really typical factor to say however—”
“Solely that!” Lia interjected with fun.
“We’re getting ready the following album!” Chaeryeong stated whereas smiling.
Just about mirroring what was stated on GDNY, followers already knew a comeback was on the way in which simply by the sudden change in Lia’s hair shade. Being the one member who hasn’t bleached her hair since debut, the vocalist went blonde simply final month. “I used to be truly nervous earlier than dying it,” Lia stated, leaning a bit over the desk to emphasise what she was saying. “It’s not like I needed to do it, nevertheless it was a suggestion as a result of I by no means tried dying my hair after debut. It was at all times darkish so in some way I believed ‘Okay. I assume it’s my flip.’”
Across the identical time earlier than Lia’s Barbie blonde transformation, a video of the group exiting a boxing fitness center surfaced on MIDZY Twitter. So it was an apparent ask on my finish to pop the query. Gasping at my discovery, the members have been impressed on the detective work executed however refused to budge and reveal something additional. (“That’s one other degree of deep dive,” Ryujin stated, whereas Chaeryeong sat there with an expression studying “Wow.”) “That’s high secret!” Yuna stated as she turned to me and gestured to be quiet about it. Maybe, boxing is part of it in any case.
“Ooh! You actually do take a look at every little thing,” Lia stated, as she easily shifts the dialog about choosing up the game as a interest. “However lately I field at house with gloves once I get wired.”
Prepping for an album behind the scenes and making an attempt to cowl it up — all whereas fulfilling public appearances — can actually stress out artists like ITZY who’re continually on the go and in demand. Nonetheless, they have an inclination to beat it by accepting all of it and ensuring to deal with themselves tenfold each time they will, like what they’re doing proper now sharing a big slice of cheesecake topped with recent strawberries. (Ryujin, who admits to not being a planner, tends to float, whereas Yuna leans in direction of consuming spicy dishes like spicy rice truffles or spicy dry pot, whereas the others could get a therapeutic massage and do a self-care day.)
Regardless of an extended tiring day, the conversations and laughs shared on the desk grew to become a superb recharge, or “therapeutic time,” session for them. By the top of all of it, the assembly was one other metaphor for realizing the place they’re mentally at: they’re simply preparing for the following chapter of their music careers.
Although brazenly admitting to nonetheless being nervous right here and there, the group is optimistic followers will like the brand new songs. “We’re nonetheless a bit of bit nervous as a result of we had a lot of songs earlier than,” Yuna stated. “Once we launch the brand new music, I believe our followers will love these new songs on the album however that pondering makes me nervous.”
Ryujin leaned a bit nearer to the telephone recording the dialog, as if she was talking on to MIDZY. “We’ll do our greatest to indicate you guys a terrific present, stage, something. So, please sit up for it,” she stated.
The upcoming EP, titled KILL MY DOUBT, is a end result of the arduous work and hustle the group has gone via the previous couple of months. It’s a step towards their aim of being an unforgettable group to the plenty. And with headlines already surrounding the information, ITZY’s impression on this Okay-pop technology is simply getting began. It’s only the start of larger issues forward.
“Coming quickly!” Yeji smirked, confidently confirming new ITZY is certainly on the way in which; already shutting down any doubts. As anticipated from the chief, it’s very ITZY of her to say.