South Korean Pop Sensation Wonder Girls Hits The States
First Published: November 10, 2009 5:33 PM EST Credit: JYP Entertainment
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- For the first time ever, a music group from South Korea has debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Already a hit in Asia, the Wonder Girls are striking a chord with a young U.S. audience, having just completed their first U.S. concert tour with the Jonas Brothers.
The Wonder Girls are one of Asia’s most successful music artists where they have sold millions of singles including the international #1 songs “Tell Me,” “So Hot” and “Nobody”. Comprised of Sun, Yenny, Yubin, Mimi and Sohee, the group formed just over two years ago and quickly became one of the country’s most popular new acts earning dozens of awards and an unprecedented amount of digital downloads.
Access Hollywood had a chance to talk with these Wonder Girls for this Q&A.
Q: Your single, “Nobody”, cracked Billboard’s Hot 100--making you the first Korean act to do so. How does it feel to make history in the U.S.?
A: SUN: First of all, I feel so honored that I can’t even describe how I feel right now. When I first heard about it, I didn’t think it was real. All I can say at this moment is THANK YOU.
I know that now, there is this title of “being the first Korean act” to do this. But we are just thankful that we are able to do what we love and know that people, no matter where they come from, especially here in the states, are enjoying our music. We know that this is only the beginning for us, and it’s only our first step, making us even more driven than ever before.
Q: You have three #1 hit songs in Asia. How important is it to you to have the same kind of success in the U.S.?
A: YENNY: Well, I want to begin by saying that we are truly grateful for the fact that we’ve been loved by so many different countries within Asia.
We realized that music can transcend everything, go everywhere, and make us united. To be able to share our music with more people, it’s such a great opportunity for us, especially to perform here in the U.S. To feel that we have made some sort of accomplishment here in the states, the place where the music that we love originally began, is amazing.
We feel so lucky to have had the chance to do this. And we would love to have even more opportunities to go to different places meeting new people through our music. This has always has been our dream.
Q: Is it true that the group formed during a TV show called “MTV Wonder Girls”? Was it a reality show or a talent contest?
A: SOHEE: We debuted as group on an MTV reality show called “Wonder Girls” in Korea. It showed viewers our group from the beginning stages, practicing, rehearsing, hanging out together. And this was the show that eventually brought in Yenny through an audition process.
Q: You originally recorded the song in Korean. What was the biggest challenge of doing the song in English?
A: MIMI: Since English is not our native language, I think pronunciation has been the hardest thing when we were recording. There were times when I wasn’t able to show my emotions because I had to concentrate on pronouncing certain words correctly while singing. But we’re still learning English and we’re always trying to improve.
Q: What American music acts have had the biggest influence on you?
A: YUBIN: As a group, our music has definitely been influenced by Motown acts like Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, all the way through 80s retro pop groups. We really want to bring back the music of that time through our songs, our wardrobe, hairstyle, but also add the right amount of contemporary flavor so people nowadays can relate and enjoy our music.
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