EntertainmentMusicItzy's English Album Not Shy Is An Electrical Reintroduction

Itzy’s English Album Not Shy Is An Electrical Reintroduction


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By Lai Frances

“English queen!” That’s what a fanboy within the viewers enthusiastically yelled after Ryujin launched herself in my native tongue throughout our stay interview at Build Series in January 2020.

On the time, Itzy, whose title is a play on the Korean phrases “to have all of it,” was lower than a yr previous since their debut in February 2019, however the group had already amassed a formidable roster of accomplishments, damaged information, and awards underneath their belt; together with the quickest rookie group to win a music present (9 days from their debut) and a handful of Finest New Artist awards, all whereas capping the yr with a showcase tour in Asia and america.

Throughout the identical interview, Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna stunned viewers by answering a majority of the questions in English, widening the eyes of the in-studio viewers and invoking pleasure from viewers worldwide. The second was later included in a fan-made English compilation video on YouTube that has extra views than the dialog itself.

Whereas 2020 delayed plans and canceled live shows, that didn’t cease the JYP Leisure quintet from releasing their viral chart-topper “Wannabe” final March, adopted by the assured “Not Shy” that summer season. The group used the pandemic to their benefit to supply thorough video interviews and dance-practice clips showcasing totally different dance breaks between promotional cycles. The group managed to do weekly — typically each day — livestreams by way of the South Korean streaming platform VLive and communicated with followers in Korean and English, usually mentioning how they had been finding out and practising their English.

JYP Leisure

Little did followers know, Itzy was going to welcome 2021 with a four-track all-English album Not Shy consisting of all their lead singles (“Dalla Dalla,” “ICY,” “Wannabe,” and “Not Shy”), out today (January 22).

It is 7 a.m. in New Jersey and 10 p.m. in South Korea when the quintet seems on Zoom. Sitting within the entrance row in full glam regardless of the late hour is Yeji, Lia, and Yuna; behind them sit Ryujin and Chaeryeong. Exchanging greetings and the customary “completely satisfied new yr” in English, the group’s tone is energetic and vibrant.

“We’ve ready them in English as a result of all of our followers have given us a lot love and assist, so that is our approach of repaying the love our Midzy have given us,” Itzy’s chief Yeji says with Lia and Yuna to her left. Pointing to the music video for “Not Shy,” the album’s lead single, Ryujin says, “That is truly us thanking our world Midzys and that is our approach of rising nearer to them, in order that’s why we ready this album.”

Contemplating the development within the members’ English within the lead-up to the album, Itzy’s entrance into the Western market was a consideration in its manufacturing. “We hope to, after all,” Itzy’s essential vocalist Lia responds. “It’s not meant for that [entering the Western market], but when we get an opportunity for that, then we’d like to! We’ve all the time needed to. Possibly as soon as every little thing will get higher?”

The English album follows the releases of fellow JYP labelmate Twice after releasing English singles of “More & More” and “I Can’t Stop Me” final yr. Different acts who’ve gone by means of the Korean-to-English launch development in 2020 had been Loona (“Star”), CLC (“Helicopter”), (G)I-DLE (“Oh My God”), and lots of extra.

“I believe many Okay-pop artists make English variations since English is a common language,” Itzy’s sassy dancer Chaeryeong says. “As Okay-pop has an increasing number of world followers, I believe this development will develop greater.” The group’s bubbly youngest, Yuna, chimes in after, “Artists can have a brand new expertise recording English variations, and followers can get pleasure from and perceive the lyrics extra too.”

British manufacturing duo LDN Noise, who helmed the group’s standard B-side “Surf” alongside a few of Okay-pop’s prime skills (Twice, SHINee, f(x), EXO), agrees to Itzy’s sentiments. “Any time Okay-pop can attain a brand new viewers, it’s all the time a plus,” songwriter, producer, and DJ Greg Bonnick says. “As soon as your eyes are open to the Okay-pop world, individuals are tremendous intrigued and hopefully right here to remain as followers.”

Whereas the development is inevitable as Okay-pop grows as a world phenomenon, Isabel Chi, A&R and Administration for One and Saint Leonard, reminds us that incorporating a line or two in English is nothing new in Korean music.

“The rise in reputation of full English variations of songs has to do with acceptance into mainstream Western media,” Chi says. “Whereas Okay-pop followers and people already thinking about different music don’t have any drawback listening to songs in Korean, I believe that making songs solely in English is an try and make the style extra palatable to the lots who want a segue into the style. Songs in any language open up that market to the artist — Selena Gomez simply launched her first all-Spanish monitor, Okay-pop teams have commonly made all-Japanese albums — and I do suppose the principle aim of labels is to faucet right into a yet-unreached market.”

However world recognition is extra of a pleasant than a should for Itzy’s future aspirations. “Because the U.S. has the most important music scene, it’d be an ideal achievement to have many individuals know and hearken to our music by means of our new English album,” Lia says. Relatively than give attention to future prospects, the 5 members hope to make their story heard by means of their music — and by as many listeners as doable. “Our songs have messages of self-confidence, and we hope our English listeners will be capable to hear it with our English songs,” Ryujin provides.

“The one factor that issues is the music feels and sounds nice. We don’t want to adapt,” Bonnick says.

One of many first Korean artists to advertise throughout the pandemic final yr, Itzy has efficiently taken benefit of utilizing their time on the dorms to not solely create content material however research, follow their language abilities, and talk with their followers. Yeji, who doesn’t deny feeling a little bit little bit of stress studying and performing in English, has tremendously improved alongside Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna, who aren’t native audio system.

“English is confidence,” Yeji says with amusing, remembering a previous relay interview the place the group was requested to mimic the phrase “cuteness overload.” She provides, “It was robust, but it surely was additionally enjoyable. I additionally took a variety of one-on-one and group classes, and I had homework. I need to have the ability to communicate to world Midzys in English. I attempt my finest, however I’m not excellent!” Ryujin shortly swoops in to go with Yeji: “She’s undoubtedly develop into extra assured now and she or he’s improved loads.

Lia, the group’s native English speaker, talks proudly about how shortly her bandmates picked up on a brand new language, to the purpose that the group’s on and off-cam conversations are spoken in Konglish (a hybrid of Korean and English). “It’s develop into a kind of a foul behavior,” she jokes because the group nods and giggles. “What I felt whereas dwelling with the women is that their English has improved loads! The members attempt to communicate English within the dorms and even whereas practising.”

However with regards to singing for this new album, there’s actually no shift within the core messages of their sound. Chaeryeong, nonetheless, did discover a change in her tone. “In my case, my voice turns into deeper once I sing in English, so I attempt to hold my vitality up,” she notes. Out of all of the 4 tracks, she believes “Not Shy” sounds stronger in English, to which all members agree.

JYP Leisure

Simply a few weeks shy of their second yr collectively, Itzy has loads of targets for his or her yr forward. Getting nearer with one another is Ryujin’s, “revealing some new {and professional} vibes” for Yuna, and for Lia, to work more durable. “We nonetheless have loads to do,” Lia says. “I don’t know what’s ready for us, however we’re excited for it. We’re scared, however no matter it’s, I’m positive we’ll be capable to undergo it.”

Regardless of the final result, there isn’t a denying Itzy have transcended their “monster rookie” moniker and develop into the “monster lady group” of South Korea — and shortly, the world. (In any case, they’re Honorary Ambassadors of the Korean Tourism Organization.) Having seamlessly reworked into one of many nation’s prime teams, the brand new album proves that music and success don’t have any borders.

“[Success is] totally different for everybody, however personally, I believe I achieved it,” Lia says with a honest look on her face as her fellow members had been in deep thought. “My requirements aren’t that top, happiness and success isn’t one thing that must be excessive, so to be right here with my members and all of the followers that love us is already a lot success and happiness.”

“I believe that there’s no boundary in success,” Yeji provides.“So every time I try to obtain my aim, I really feel profitable each time.”

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