Talking fame, flair and the future — we caught up with the newest K-Pop girl gang on the block. TRI.BE is a seven-member group debuting their album Conmigo.
Meet SongSun, Kelly, JinHa, HyunBin, Jia, SoEun and MiRe, members of Universal Music Group Korea’s first K-Pop idol group, TRI.BE. They’re also the first-of-their-kind quadrilingual group, speaking and singing in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. And in case you’re wondering, the name TRI.BE is a combination of the words “triangle being,” which signifies the most perfect shape, leading to their slogan, “We are perfect as we are.”
As they debut their second and brand new album Conmigo, we had the chance to chat with them about their rise to fame in the time of a pandemic, what makes them stand out in today’s K-Pop industry, what’s in store for their fans in the near future, and more.
What’s the story behind the seven of you coming together as TRI.BE?
Each of us came from different parts of the world but had the same dream. After tons of assessments, we became TRI.BE. At first, we weren’t so close and barely spoke to each other as just a bunch of girls would. But as we practised and spent time together, we built a bond and eventually became family.
As Universal Music Group Korea’s first K-Pop group, what does TRI.BE represent?
TRI.BE stands for the belief that anything can be accomplished regardless of one’s age. We wish to spread a message, “Be yourself and bravely move forward no matter what others think”. This is something we emphasise on in our lyrics as well. We’re still a young group, but we believe that confidence is our key, and we hope this message resonates with our fans. With this goal in mind, we strive to entertain with great music and fantastic performances. There’s certainly lots on our shoulders, but we’re definitely grateful for where we are today.
Tell us about your new album Conmigo and what were the key influences behind it?
Conmigo is Spanish for ‘with me’, the title of our new album. Our title track, RUB-A-DUM is actually inspired by a classic children’s story The Pied Piper. The story goes, the pied piper played his winded instrument every evening gathering the townspeople in the spirit of dance and music. I think in some way, TRI.BE tries to replicate that emotion with their music.
As a young K-Pop band, what makes you stand out in the industry?
I think all 7 of us have our own charm. We live our daily lives as regular girls, but when we’re on stage, we’re highly charismatic performers. TRI.BE is unique in the sense that we do not have a fixed concept or genre. I believe we stand out simply because we do not set limits or boundaries for ourselves when venturing into new territories. We’re certainly willing to try our hand at new things without fear. I think this fearlessness of our personalities clubbed with the energy of our performances makes us different from other groups in the industry.
K-Pop has a huge fan following in India. What do you have to say about that? Will you be interested in performing in India?
It’s amazing that we have K-Pop fans in India, even though we’re so far apart. We’re so humbled and thankful for all the love but due to the current unfortunate circumstances, we’re unable to meet our Indian fans. Even our parents were unable to see us perform live. It’s upsetting that we can’t, but we’re glad we have so many fans despite the current limitations. Please invite us to visit when it gets better! We’ll definitely return your love with better music.
What were some of the challenges you faced?
The biggest challenge we faced was the inability to meet and perform in front of our fans amid the pandemic. To see them cheering us and enjoying our music and performance was definitely something we’re missing. Even in the instances where we performed, I felt a little emptiness without the cheering fans. I hope we can do that as soon as possible! However, as much as we wanted to, we were always worried about our health as well during the time.
What do you think is the reason behind K-Pop’s massive success in today’s pop culture?
The K-Pop industry comes with a strong sense of unpredictability and diversity when it comes to talent. Its catchy tunes and addictive beats allow its genre to transcend the language barrier. More so, choreography and glamour have a strong presence. I also believe senior K-Pop artists have played a key role in its early development. Through this, various TV shows, K-dramas, and the regional cinema industry too has been successful. Finally, I think it’s also about how relatable and easy-to-consume the craft is. Since anyone can follow the moves and sing along, people could easily enjoy our music.
We’d like to hear from each of you what it takes to become a successful K-pop star today?
SongSun: First and foremost, as an artist, I believe one must be really thankful and humbled for everything. Second, is tons and tons of effort and practice.
Kelly: Having great singing and dancing skills is a must in today’s K-Pop industry. After that, it’s also important to be polite and humourous on talk shows, you certainly need a bit of charm there.
JinHa: Passion and perseverance. You’ll be faced with moments where you’d want to give up. But if you wish to make it to the top, you need to hang on and believe in your dream.
HyunBin: Simply never giving up, believing in yourself, and moreover, improving yourself.
Jia: Great talent, bold personality, and politeness are crucial in becoming a successful K-Pop artist. Above all, you should work hard for it. I believe that if you keep on trying, you will be successful one day.
SoEun: You need passion because I believe that anything is possible only if you are passionate about it.
MiRe: Countless effort, confidence, and perseverance are almost given. But most of all, you should always be grateful.
What can we look forward to from TRI.BE?
We’re waiting to do a world tour and TRUEs living in other countries. However, due to the pandemic, we couldn’t showcase our performances or let the world see our many sides. But we still strive to spread joy with our music. In these difficult times, I certainly hope we’re able to cheer our fans up with our music. We plan on releasing another album and creating new content on online platforms. Jia also aspires to win the rookie award, which can be only won once in a lifetime. We have so much left to show you, so please look forward to our upcoming projects!
All images: Courtesy artist