After waiting for a long time, the Lumina can finally enjoy the triumphant (and also the most expected, we must agree) comeback of the k-pop girlgroup BlackSwan! You know what? The expectations were so high that just ten hours after the MV was released on YouTube, “Close to Me” got the third place on the trending videos of the platform!
Our team interviewed the four members, who talked about the daily life as BlackSwan, their cultural differences, what the fandom can expect in the future and, of course, a whole lot of curiosities that you, Lumina, will love to know. Let’s go?
First of all, it’s a pleasure to interview such a multicultural group that brings diversity to K-pop, like BlackSwan. Nice to meet you, girls! We are going to start with some questions divided by topics. <3
BlackSwan was like an explosion overseas, exactly because of the diversity. And we love it!
At the beginning, how was it to the korean and foreigner members? Any culture shock? If yes, please, tell us about how your experience was.
Young-heun: At first, the way we lived was different than cultural shock, and there was a small misunderstanding in language communication, so we misunderstood and judged each other. Especially when we didn’t know each other, it was a bit more cautious and difficult to approach, but we got used to each other as we continued to live together.
Fatou: For me the fact that here they use scissors to cut meat left me quite baffled at the beginning. Now tho, I can’t live without it!
Judy: I was really worried because I had to live with foreign members, but when I came in, they were already good at Korean, and our personalities matched better than I thought, so we could get close quickly!
Leia: At first, I felt awkward with the older members. One time I was going to pat her on the head before, but she told me that it is not polite. That was a bit of a shock.
Now, how do the members of the group deal with the cultural differences?
Yeongheun: Now there is no problem with language communication, so we can solve it through conversation. Cultural differences don’t really matter, so rather than dealing with them, we just understand each other.
Fatou: If there are any difficulties due to our cultural differences. In those times we
just sit together and try to work it out and communicate as fast as possible.
Judy: I teach a lot about Korean culture and understand the culture of foreign members! For example, in Korea, you have to do this and think like this! Let me know!
Leia: Now we try to understand each other through words.
What are the positive facts about being part of a multicultural group?
Youngheun: You can easily experience various cultures. And I’m happy to have two precious foreign friends.
Fatou: We learn about other cultures. We can show off a very unique and charming vibe!
Judy: Definitely, the image we have is different from other k-pop groups and it can show more diverse aspects!
Leia: We can learn a lot about other’s culture and manners.
To Youngheun: You are the Leader and a Korean member. How is it to be a leader in a group full of diversity like BlackSwan? Please, tell us more about how it was/is your experience as a leader. Also, as we know, you have a great trajectory as an K-Pop idol, because you already were part of another K-Pop group. How was it to be reborn as a BlackSwan?
First of all, I’ve been a trainee for a long time since I was a teenager, so I’ve had a lot of information and experience in this field.
I became a leader, but I don’t know why. One day, I suddenly became a leader. I think I’m still lacking as a leader, so I’m trying to be a better leader, but it’s hard. And since we’re a multinational girl group, it was more difficult than when we were leaders of other teams.
We had to narrow the cultural difference and each member has a different personality, so the way we treat problems should be different. It was hard to get to know that. It wasn’t easy, but now I’m very thankful and reliable because the members helped me a lot.
To Fatou: Tell us more, please, about your experience as a foreigner in BlackSwan and in South Korea’s musical industry. Which are/were the positive aspects and the difficulties? Also, as we know, you were a model. Why did you decide to be a K-Pop idol?
This is what I’ve always wanted to do. I always dreamed of working with music. Of course there are challenges that let me get more and more out of my comfort zone. About modeling, I never really thought about becoming a model. It was just a good opportunity that I was very lucky to experience. My goal has always been music since I was a kid.
To Judy: We heard that you have an amazing trajectory as a dancer! Tell us more about your trajectory and career as a dancer, please.
Thank you for the nice words! I started working in a dance club when I was in high school. But I wasn’t as good as other friends. So I practiced a lot until late, and I improved my skills by going to dance academy professionally! That’s how I got passionate about dancing, I was able to work hard, and I was able to enjoy it. Then I joined the dance crew at the age of 20 and continued my dancing career!
Let ‘s talk, Leia! <3 As you are the first Brazilian inside the K-Pop industry that had debuted in a girl group, the fans – and even the ones that don’t follow BlackSwan – can be very curious about your experience. Can we talk about it?
Can you please give details about the beginning of your career? Please, answer the following questions:
Why did you decide to debut exactly in South Korea, in a K-Pop group?
I wanted to be a singer since I was young. I got to know K-Pop while preparing to become a singer and fell in love with it. So I naturally wanted to be a K-pop singer.
Previously, you already liked K-Pop? If yes, which were your inspirations? Also, which groups do you love?
Yes, I still like it. I saw SEVENTEEN practice before and they were so cool. I thought I’d try that much harder.
Tell us about your experience trying to be accepted in an agency, please. Did you go to South Korea and did an audition, or was it an online audition?
I auditioned online. I practiced every day, filmed the results every week, and sent it to the company for confirmation, and came back to Korea.
How was your experience after you got accepted? Please, talk about your trainee days!
I was so happy when I got accepted. It was harder than I thought when I was a trainee, but they helped me a lot.
What’s the experience of being a K-Pop idol?
I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream.
What is the hardest and happiest moment you have experienced as an idol?
When I can’t practice well, it’s hard, but when I go on stage and sing and dance, I feel the happiest when I feel that I did well after the performance.
What would you say to Brazilians that dream of becoming a K-Pop idol?
Don’t give up. Practice the basics and keep practicing.
We heard that the fandom wakes up everyday and searches on Google: “BlackSwan comeback”.
What the fandom can expect from BlackSwan in the future?
Youngheun: You can look forward to our progress!
Fatou: Yes we’ll be back very very soon with a different color! But of course still Blackswan’s unique charms.
Judy: We also want to show our performance to our fans! Everyone, our comeback is just around the corner! Thank you for waiting so far. I’d appreciate it if you could wait a little longer. I love you.
Leia: This time it’s an exciting concept. Please look forward to it!
“Tonight” has a sexy concept. Are you planning to continue with this style, or is any other concept you want to try?
Youngheun: I think sexy concept would be good and softer concept would be good. A brighter one would be good. I just want to try many different things.
Fatou: We want to try out as many concepts as possible!
Judy: This comeback song has a totally different concept from Tonight, and it’s sexy, hip, funky and bright than sexy! In a word, it’s a mixture of different concepts! I think you can look forward to our comeback song!
Leia: I want to try other concept styles.
BlackSwan’s debut happened exactly in the Pandemic. We are curious to know about a future where fans can be closer!
Is there any country you want to perform as BlackSwan?
Youngheun: Belgium, Brazil, must be the first!
Fatou : In the future fans can anticipate more music and projects all over the world.
Judy: Brazil, Belgium, and the United States!
Leia: I really want to perform in Brazil and Belgium. Especially in Brazil, I really want to show our performance to my parents and fans.
Do you feel you have more fans inside South Korea or overseas?
Youngheun: I think overseas fandom is much bigger. Thank you so much.ᅲ
Fatou: We have more foreign fans for sure.
Judy: We definitely feel like we have a lot of international fans! If you look at SNS or online, you can definitely see the influence of overseas fandom!
Leia: I feel more from overseas fans.
Is there any difference between South Korean and overseas fandom?
Youngheun: I think everyone loves us in the same way. I think the way of expression is a little different. It’s very subjective because I feel it, but in a more realistic way, Korean fandom gives advice and worries to the artist.
I think they’re communicating with us through interviews. I think overseas fans like us no matter what we do, support us, and encourage us. I think this is just a cultural difference. Both fandoms are so precious and I love both.
Fatou: The only difference would be the language I think. Their love and support for
Blackswan is the same.
Judy: I think the unity of overseas fans is amazing! I think the difference is that Korean fandom only pursues individual members’ fans, while overseas fans love Black Swan as a group.
Leia: I think overseas fans are very passionate and Korean fans are quiet, but they are giving us a lot of attention.
Your fandom is strong here in Brazil! Any plans to visit our country when pandemic ends?
Yeongheun: I think it’s very natural to go to Brazil. I really want to go.
Fatou: Of course! A thousand times yes, I can’t wait.
Judy: Of course I do! If Corona is over, I want to visit Brazil first!!
Leia: Of course I have to go!
Now, some general questions that every fan wants to know! If possible, we would really appreciate if all the members could answer, because the questions are individual! Ok? <3
What is the best memory you have when it’s about being part of BlackSwan?
Youngheun: The first time I wrote a handwritten letter to my fans!
Fatou: The day we made our debut!
Judy: I was the last member, but I was able to get close quickly because the members were cheerful.
Leia: It was fun and nice when I went to Gwangju to film B’Lit for YouTube.
Are the members close?
Youngheun: We’re so close that it’s a problem.
Fatou: Yes! We’re all quite friendly.
Judy: I’m so close that people in the company ask me if I’m here to socialize! Ha ha.
Leia: Sometimes we fight, but it feels like a family fighting, so we make up quickly and get close.
What do you do together in your free times? Do you hang out together?
Youngheun: Let’s order delicious food and chat together at the dorm. When Corona allowed, I walked from the practice room to the Han River and hung out with the members before coming home.
Fatou: We eat, sometimes play games or just enjoy each other’s company.
Judy: I often talk with the members while eating delicious food! I often play with the members, but most of the time, I go to the practice room with them.
Leia: We eat or talk together. We make fun of each other and play jokes.
The members live together? If yes, how is the experience for you?
Youngheun: I don’t live in a dorm, but I think the members would be tired if I lived with them.
Fatou: Yes we live together. And it is good. We usually hang out when the pandemic allows it.
Judy: I’m staying with Fatou and Leia. I think each country’s cooking style and living style are definitely different! In particular, you can find Belgium’s favorite food or Brazil’s favorite food! I cooked kimchi stew, kimchi pancake, etc. for the representative food of Korea.
Leia: Fatou and Judy stay with me at the dorm. At first, it was a little hard because we were different, but now we’re close and understand each other, so there’s nothing hard about it.
How was it to debut at BlackSwan? Easy or your heart almost stopped?
Youngheun: I feel like I’m being rewarded for all the hard work I’ve done so far by debuting with good members. I’ll do my best!
Fatou: Debuting in Blackswan was a dream come true!
Judy: It was a very special and dreamy debut for me.
Leia: I couldn’t believe we made our debut before we went on stage, and it’s amazing that we can meet our fans like this.
What inspires you in being an artist?
Youngheun: I think I get it from watching other singers’ concert videos or good movies. When I’m tired, I get a lot of inspiration from these things and the members inspire me. Everyone has different personalities, so I have a lot to learn.
Fatou: When I was younger I received a lot of inspiration from Beyoncé and Micheal
Jackson. Seeing them performing made me want to do the same thing.
Judy: I get a lot of inspiration from idol seniors. Especially by Girls’ Generation, Red Velvet, and BLACKPINK, we are inspired by each group’s performances!
Leia: I think I am inspired by BLACKPINK’s.
What’s your main dream?
Yeongheun: Have sucess as a group!
Fatou: Have a successful and happy career!
Judy: It’s about promoting Blackswan all over the world!
Leia: I want to succeed with Black Swan and be good to my parents.
Besides singing and dancing, what’s your ability you appreciate the most?
Yeongheun: I’m a good talker.
Fatou: I’m good at laying down and watching anime for about 48 hours. Pretty impressive I know.
Judy: Taking pretty pictures of the members!
Leia: I know more philosophy than I thought.
What’s your hobby?
Yeongheun: Watching dramas, movies, walking…
Fatou: My hobbies are listening to music, writing lyrics, looking for nice songs, watching anime/movies/dramas, meditation…
Judy: Cleaning! Visiting restaurants! Watching eating shows!
Leia: Watching movies!
What about getting closer with your fans? Use this question to suggest the best movie (or drama, serie, animation or etc) and music (your own or from another artist) you love the most! They’ll love to know the things you love. 😀
Youngheun: 1. Movies – Lara Land, Star Isborn, The Great Showman, The Devil Wears Prada, Forest Gump, and so on. I also like thriller mystery genre. I am waiting for Lumina’s recommendation.
2. Animation – The blade of destruction, The Giant of Advance, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Disappearance of Sen and Chihiro.
3. Music – Ariana Grande, Taeyeon, Park Hyo Shin.
Fatou: I would recommend ‘Demon Slayer’ and ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ amazing animes wow! Also this is very random but try making tortilla pizza it is sooooo easy but delicious!
Judy: My best animation is “Senguachihiro’s Missing Place”! Also, I haven’t seen Marvel lately, so I’ve been watching it again from the beginning! Did you all watch it? If you haven’t, let’s watch it together.
Leia: My favorite movie is It, and I like Charles Bukowski. I like to listen Arctic Monkeys.
What’s your motto?
Yeongheun: What is easily gained is easily lost.
Fatou: Keep growing and learning!
Leia: The force will be with you always.
Please, send a message to your fans!
Youngheun: Lumina, I love you yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let’s keep going together ❤ Thank you always.
Fatou: Lumina thank you so much for the amazing amount of love and support you guys have showed untill now! We’re really grateful that we have you guys. You have been so patient up till now. But we’ll see each other very soon. With a new look and a new sound!
So hang in there just a little bit more. I miss you guys like crazy! And I can’t wait to show you guys new stages.
Judy: Thanks to you, Black Swan exists! Thank you so much for always supporting us from afar and waiting for us. ♥ Please be careful of corona and let’s meet soon! I love you!!! ♥♥♥♥
Leia: I can’t wait to see Lumina! Hold on a minute, please. I love you ♥
Ok, so many questions, right? Time to go! Thank you so much for the interview! See you soon in Brazil, when things get better! <3