posted on 15 Aug
Q. You finished promotions for "Hurt Locker"
Hyemi: To be honest, the last broadcast didn’t feel like the last broadcast. It feels like we’ll be here again next week. I became accustomed to this environment during these past 2 months. I want to quickly prepare something new and show it to the public.
Minha: It feels like we’ll release another album this year, it’ll probably be released soon!
Q. What are you doing to prepare for the next album?
Hyemi: I think with each new album, Nine Muses was able to show development and a changed image. The next album will be the third one for this year, and because we’ve been showing development ever since “Drama”, there’s the burden of us having to improve even more for the next comeback.
Q. What’s the difference between “Hurt Locker” and “Drama”?
Hyuna: First off, we took off our heels and flung them away. We did think about wearing heels to highlight our unique identity (T/N: probably referring to their label of 'model-dols') amidst the girl group war. But beyond that, in order to show the powerful performance that we prepared, we decided to take off our heels. The choreography became powerful, and the chorus of our song also demanded powerful vocals; I think we changed a lot.
Hyemi: Performances are difficult. After fans saw us panting after a single recording, they said they felt sorry for us. But they also said that they want us to show an image like this next time too. We also like this image because it actually looks like we’re really doing something on stage.
Q. You promoted amidst the girl group war.
Hyuna: I learned a lot while watching other groups. I was able to watch SNSD sunbaenims doing a dry rehearsal and pre-recording of their songs “Catch Me If You Can” during their comeback week. While watching them, I felt “We’re not really tired”. They’re our seniors by a long shot.. While seeing Sooyoung-sunbaenim continue to dance even after her necklace got caught on the mic stand, I felt a lot of things. I learned a lot during this promotion period.
Q. A while back you celebrated your 5th anniversary. You’re also creating an official fanclub.
Hyemi: If you look at it one way, I guess you could say that our fanclub is being formed pretty late but if you look at it another way, it’s touching to think about the fact that we can finally be with our fans under an official fanclub. I’m really thankful for our fans. Honestly, our team has had a lot of tumultous events. If you look at it one way, we are a team that has has had a lot of crises where fans could have left the fandom. But ignoring all that, our fans never let go of us; because of our fans who are always with us, we were able to come this far. Our affection towards our fans is really big because of that. I’m very thankful and sorry.
Q. I heard you had a day of rest on the day of your 5th anniversary. Are there any plans to have a 5th anniversary celebration party with the members?
Hyemi: We’re going to have one after promotions end. A proper party. We’re waiting for the right moment.
Keumjo: A proper party..!
Q. What was the most memorable moment while promoting?
Sungah: Every moment.
Hyuna: We recently recorded ISAC and that was really fun.
Kyungri: After going to ISAC for 5 years, I think we’ll finally be broadcasted properly.
Sungah: We really didn't want to give in.
Hyemi: To be honest, I wasn’t that confident. We may be tall but..
Hyuna: We were a team that only had a nice body line but after looking at Sungah’s eyes during practice I felt it. She’s going to win. She’s got it!
Hyemi: In order to be able to win, we put willpower as our priority over physical power. We wanted to win and appear on broadcast.
Sungah: We wanted to win a gold medal in the name of Nine Muses!
Hyuna: Without excluding a single member, everyone who participated did a good job and they had fun while doing it. I’m looking forward to the broadcast. I have all the scenes from the match on my phone. I even have slow motion videos. After the broadcast, I’ll post what skills were used on SNS.
Kyungri: A male idol came up to us and said it was like watching a male wrestling match.
Q. During this promotion period, junior girl groups such as APink and GFriend said that they wanted to be close with Nine Muses.
Kyungri: A while back in an “MCountdown” video, someone said “We like Nine Muses sunbaenims!”. But when we met them in person, their facial expressions didn't look like they want to be close with us. I think they’re shy.
Sungah: I want us to have a lots of little sister girl groups. (OP note: see below!)
Hyuna: The best thing about promoting within a war is that you can become close with a lot of people. We always said in interviews that we don’t have a lot of celebrity friends but when we see juniors saying that they want to be close with Nine Muses, it’s fascinating. Why? Us? We can definitely be close.
Sungah: It looks like wearing sneakers for this round of promotions was worth it. (T/N: When wearing sneakers as opposed to their usual heels, they look shorter than usual and less intimidating, so other idols may find them more approachable.)
Hyuna: It was an honor to be part of the girl group war.
Q. Through this promotion, lots of good stories regarding Nine Muses came out. Fans also worked really hard. Give a message to your fans and make a resolution for this round of promotions.
Hyuna: Fans always come with us to our schedules; they suffered more than us during this hot summer. Even to the fans that couldn’t come to our schedules, I feel like they must be tired too because they’re always worried about us. I want our fans to sleep and rest as soon as we’re done with our last broadcast. We’re going to comeback soon. I’m also prepared to fight the company. Because it’s fighting for a better quality, it’s fun now. (T/N: referring to negotiations with the company over creative control of their promotions and songs)
Hyemi: Now I sort of know what I have to do to talk the company into it.
Hyuna: The company's goal and ours are the same. We'll give everything we can and with all our passion to prepare an album with improved quality.
GFriend talks about their love for Nine Muses
Q: An idol group that GFriend has displayed affection towards in interviews and broadcast shows?
Answer: Nine Muses
All members shouted the answer at the same time. "Nine Muses sunbaenims!" They shouted the answer for that at the same time too. "Because they're pretty!!" In a backstage video for MBC's Show Champion, GFriend revealed their sincere love for Nine Muses and became a hot topic. In the video, they stated that Nine Muses has the best appearance and body, and that they want to be close with Nine Muses. Why do they like Nine Muses so much?
Yerin: When I first saw them, I felt that they were completely different from us.
Sowon: Someone like that is the definition of a celebrity!
Umji: I saw them and I was at a loss for words. Nine Muses have an unnie image and I felt that I wanted an unnie.
SinB: Nine Muses sunbaenims are our celebrities (T/N: basically an idol's idol). Every time we do interviews, we talk about how much we like them.
GFriend's message to Nine Muses
Umji: Even in our daily life, we listen to Nine Muses sunbaenims songs a lot and really like them. Thank you for liking us so much and I hope we get closer in the future!
Eunha: All of the members like Nine Muses sunbaenims but there are members that can't approach them because they're so shy!
Sowon: We hide our faces a lot and we're not that sociable; there was a time when you talked to me and I simply replied with "Ahhaha~" and couldn't form a proper reply. I regretted it a lot. It's a shame.
Yerin: Ah, I have a comment. I heard that the other members talked with Nine Muses sunbaenims as ISAC.
Umji: We even took a selca at ISAC. Nine Muses Sojin unnie and SinB know each other so I put myself in between them.
SinB: Sojin unnie and I know each other, at ISAC she came over with Kyungri sunbaenim and started a convo and said that we should become close, that's why I love her.
too cute haha I like how 9m tweeted about them, calling them pretty kids
Ryu Sera, "Not too late to continue making music"
Q. Through a video floating around SNS, I learned about your current whereabouts. Making and singing songs, you’re not a girl group member now; you’re singer “Ryu Sera”. It was nice to see you singing again but at the same time I felt a rush of emotions. How have you been doing. Let’s talk about your activities after leaving the company.
Sera: I went on a backpacking trip in Vietnam for around a month. I suffered a lot (laughs). It’s a long story, but I was pickpocketed. I thought it would be a healing experience.
Q. A month in Vietnam, that’s not a short amount of time. Is there anything you gained from that trip?
Sera: I was shocked after being pickpocketed. The feeling of wanting to be successful that’s been with me ever since I debuted suddenly disappeared. I took all of my equipment to Vietnam because I wanted to do music freely. I was engulfed in the fear of possibly losing all of it (the equipment), and carrying all of that around by myself was really difficult. At one point, the thought of “How long can a person live…” crossed my mind. Everyday I contemplated on going back to Korea, but because I came with a confident mindset to stay for a month, I tried my best.
Q. You went to Vietnam, but it’s like you went to India (laughs).
Sera: Seriously (laughs). I lasted like that for a month, I even thought, “We don’t live forever, is it necessary to live like this?” As a result, I lowered expectations and I came out of the shell of “What do I have to do to please other people?”. Things I like, things I want to do. That’s how this album came out.
Q. I was really shocked after watching the video. You started working officially after the Vietnam trip.
Sera: After the trip, I looked into companies. But all of them recommended that I become a performer. All this time, I’ve been making songs. After I withdrew (from Nine Muses), I’ve learning how to compose little by little.
Q. Seeing as how you released an album after withdrawing, it seems like you’ve been consistent with making music.
Sera: I made a studio at my home in Busan so I could work on music. It’s not amazing, but I practice singing there.
Q. You never let go of music. And that’s how you ended up doing it alone.
Sera: To be honest, the process wasn’t easy at all but because I wanted to do it, I was able to withstand it. Because I was doing everything by myself at first, the future seemed gloomy.
Q. Is it possible to do everything by yourself?
Sera: When I first decided to release music, I was 50/50 on whether I could even sell 100 copies. The fans are the ones who gave me the assurance to make more copies. After seeing an old video of fans saying that they miss me, my heart hurt. When a date is set, there’s that time period where your heart flutters. I wanted them to experience that feeling again. A friend helped with ordering copies of the album and helped confirm album orders.
Q. From A to Z, start to finish.. you were able to do it.
Sera: My little brother helped out. But his help is only a small portion (laughs). If I had planned on making 1000 albums from the start, I would have entered a company and created an album there. Spraying and drying the paint alone, and even the packaging. I wanted to make it pretty. And because I had a lot of time (laughs).
Q. You were a member of a girl group for 4 years, you must have felt a rush of emotions while making the albums.
Sera: To be honest, I cried while spraying the packaging. When I was in a girl group, they would do my hair for me at a salon, I would eat in the car, sleep, and perform. These events basically repeated every day. But now it’s different. I have to look into the hair salons and make a reservation (laughs).
Q. So you delivered the albums in person? I laughed for a long time after seeing the comments from fans.
Sera: I wanted to deliver them in person. I was thankful, the fact that they ordered my album. Because I didn’t call before delivering, there were lots of cases where the fans weren’t there. I went looking for 10 people, but there were 2-3 people who were home. It would have been nice if I called beforehand. It was regretful for me too. I wanted to deliver the albums to every single person but because I couldn’t do that, I reduced it to 10 people. I was really thankful. Fans didn’t forget about me even after a year, they registered + joined (the fancafe), ordered the album…. I’m thankful
Q. The video that was uploaded on SNS after you withdrew from the group, it left a deep impression. Did you do that alone too?
Sera: The video where I rapped! It took a week and a half to edit that. I couldn’t record the video alone so two colleagues from school helped me. Because I didn’t pay them… (laughs), I couldn’t ask them to edit the video too so I did it myself. My friends brought me the source video and I watched. There were times when I thought, “Do I have to go this far?”
Q. If you opened up a little bit to the people around you, I’m sure there would have been lots of people willing to help. Trying to do everything by yourself, it’s touching.
Sera: Of course there are people that are willing to help. However I felt sorry to just finish after receiving help. Anyhow, I had the mindset of wanting to do everything by myself this year, receiving help and then just saying “bye bye”…
Q. Is there a reason you insisted on working alone?
Sera: While making the album, I had ambition. There are young people that want to do music alone. These days, they have to enter a training system so they can release music. I wanted to be a source of strength to people who do music alone. Although it’s a bit early to reach that goal.
Q. There are aspects that are lacking when you’re alone, and you have to naturally sacrifice some things but because you can’t do that, you must have worried a lot.
Sera: I didn’t think I would be able to meet my own standards while working alone. The quality of the music video was one aspect, and I already had an idea of what I wanted my music to sound like. The standards that I have for lives, sessions.. I couldn’t meet them so it was difficult.
Q. Do you.. regret?
Sera: Rather than regret, I don’t think my desire to write songs will ever change. Also if I hadn’t ended up alone, I don’t think I would have these thoughts right now.
Q. Now you’re really “Ryu Sera”, not “Nine Muses Sera”.
Sera: I always introduced myself as “Nine Muses Sera”, it was hard to adjust myself to saying “I’m Ryu Sera”. My heart hurt.
Q. The fact that you’re currently doing music like this, how did you want others to know about this?
Sera: I wanted to find a balance between something that would become an issue and my sincerity. Finding that balance was a big worry for me. Is something that would become an issue a good thing, or is it better to express my sincerity for the minority who likes my music
Q. Should I say that you were being careful?
Sera: I have a lot of worries. I feel like I’ll change. I didn’t lose anything big, but even while promoting as a girl group member, I worried about what I would do if I changed. (laughs) I have self esteem and confidence, but I always thought that I shouldn’t become arrogant.
Q. I thought that you’d be strong, but you have a weak side too.
Sera: Even though it’s something that a random person said, I had the feeling of “Oh? You’re saying that to me?” Because my self esteem was low, if someone said something hateful towards me, I would become teary-eyed. For the last two weeks of my trip in Vietnam, I stayed at a female-only hostel. I ate with the people together and discussed stories together. We became close but I learned that humans are humans. It’s not like there’s a specific title, but it’s like living after forgetting people that are close to you. Accepting yourself, that’s difficult.
Q. Why on earth is your self esteem so slow, you’re so pretty (laughs).
Sera: My outward confidence was extremely low too. Taking (hateful) words to heart, and even non-hateful words seemed like they had no truth to them. It’s not like I was personally attacked, I essentially made my own trap and trapped myself in it.
Q. Withdrawal, vacation, solo producing… “Ryu Sera” has changed a lot.
Sera: When I say that I’m looking forward to being 30, everyone becomes puzzled. First off, when I have meetings at a company, they say something like “If everything doesn’t fall into place this year…”. But I wasn’t worried because of the enlightenment I gained from Vietnam.
Q. For the time being, no. For this year, you’re set on working alone right?
Sera: I want to work alone for now. There are lots of things that I gain by working alone and new ideas pop up too
Q. Next month on the 19th, you have a performance (OP note: her first solo concert!). It must be difficult to do it alone but you will be able to withstand it.
Sera: Preparations for the performance are really difficult right now. Although the date is set, I don’t know what’s going to happen (laughs). Getting a band, venue, rent, shopping, I do all of it alone. Once a week I try to practice with a band. It’s not a situation where I can only focus on singing. Although it’s difficult, all of this is training my confidence and I’m going to do as much as I can.
Q. Because you’re going to continue living as a person who does music.
Sera: There are lots of things I have to do, and the areas that I have to focus on so I’ll be more noticeable are much more wider now. Because I have to do everything alone, there are risks but this is much better than being consumed by my own thoughts for a year after withdrawing. In many ways, Vietnam was a huge source of strength. If I hadn’t gone on that trip, I would have probably stayed at home as always. I don’t think it’s too late to continue making songs. While finding my own color, I’m going to study as well. I don’t wanna chase after money, that’s not my goal and even when I become a grandma, I can continue to make music (laughs).
interviews by tenasia 1 2 3
translations by @icebox_gang 1 2 3
with Star Empire's $$$ woes and their boy group IMFACT that's supposed to be debuting this year, idk how hopeful we can be for another 9m comeback..? and I'm so happy that Sera's holding her first concert already, she's GETTING THINGS DONE!