By now, Blackpink should be a familiar name to a lot of people, whether you’re K-pop fan or not. The quartet made their debut in 2016, and has been dominating the charts and fans’ hearts since Day One. Today, their first documentary, Blackpink: Light Up The Sky, will be released on Netflix.
The members, Jennie, Rosé, Lisa and Jisoo, joined by the director Caroline Suh, participated in a virtual press conference yesterday to give us a sneak peek of what to expect.
PS: From today onwards, you can use their photos as your Netflix profile photo!
Rosé: I think because all of us watch a lot of things on Netflix, it’s such an honor to have our documentary air on Netflix. And also the fact that so many people will be able to see a globally, it’s really great. We’re very nervous.
What made you agree to be in the documentary?
Jennie: We always think about ways to get closer to the fans and to the public. When we worked with Director Suh, we thought that we found the right person and so there was no reason to hesitate. We are really looking forward to the release of the documentary.
Netflix is known for creating documentaries for artists like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé. And for the first time in K-pop, they choose Blackpink for the original documentary. What does that feel like?
Jisoo: It’s an honour to be in line with the global female artists such as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. The four of us have come a long way and we will continue to work hard to show more of us to our fans.
Jennie: We were able to go back to times that we even forgot ourselves and that brought back a lot of memories. Since our trainee period to debut and till today, we wanted to show in all the hard work manifested on the glamorous stage of Blackpink, while also sharing the authentic and the more original moments off stage that we didn’t really get to share with the fans before. I hope that Blinks are also looking forward to the documentary and to our story.
You are also the first Korean girl group to perform on Coachella, and you also went through your first world tour and I heard that we can see more footage of these events.
Jisoo: I’m sure a lot of our fans already saw our performance at Coachella, but the documentary also shows some new footage that were not shared before, some of the episodes that show behind the scenes of Coachella, and I’m glad that all of that is included in the film.
Rosé: When we were having the interview, we were able to open up and share some of our genuine thoughts, and we were speaking in the language that we were most comfortable in. For myself and Jennie, we grew up abroad so we spoke a lot in English. Jisoo spoke a lot in Korean, while Lisa spoke in Thai. So there are a lot of languages that are included in the documentary, but I think that in itself symbolises a part of Blackpink and I think that is an aspect that the fans will like as well. When we get no really honest and true to ourselves, it’s embarrassing, but I did shed some tears and I hope fans will also like that part of me as well.
And there is a collaboration of language. Somebody starts speaking in English and then changing to Korean, and later on change in Thai.
Jennie: That’s what happens every day amongst our members. We can speak in any language and we understand each other. So, we are the world, literally.
Lisa: At first it was a little bit awkward. We were not really familiar having camera all around us 24/7, but I think we got more comfortable later on. We would forget that there was a camera or a filming crew that was shooting us and we would start get more playful. I think that environment was created by Director Suh. I think that was something that I wanted to thank her for.
The four of you must have a very special bond with each other. What do you think and the that one becomes stronger as you shot this documentary?
Jennie: We were together since we were teenagers and now we are in our 20s. We were able to see each other grow, and we were able to share all the emotions in the world throughout this journey. So, of course, we are like family, but even when we are working, we still feel that special bond. We are very comfortable with sharing our opinions with one another and when we were shooting the film, I believe that we were able to bring out some of the more playful, girly aspects of ourselves. I think that made our bond and relationship stronger. And I think it got us to think about the relationship that we would have in the future as well.
Teddy Park is also featured in the documentary. How did that came about? And what does Teddy mean to you?
Jisoo: I think Teddy knows us individually very well. He listens to what we have to say to one another and he is able to reflect that in the direction of our music. Teddy is definitely our fifth member.
Rosé: Before we started the shoot and until we ended the shoot, she made sure that we were comfortable and we talked a lot to make that comfortable environment. And I think that really helped bring out a lot more of our natural aspects and I would like to thank her for that. I think she’s really cool and I thank her for all of their efforts.
It’s a documentary, so there are parts in the film that delve into a wider variety of aspects and maybe insecurities and moments of self-doubt. So how did it feel to speak publicly about this?
Jisoo: We started out on this project thinking that we wanted to show the more honest side and genuine side of ourselves. So through having heart-to-heart, very genuine and honest conversations, we were able to get to know one another even deeper and I think we realised just how much we mean to each other. And for Blinks, we really wanted to share more of us with them and that’s why we started this project and I think it was very needed for us.
Jennie: Well, every free time we have, we like to watch content on Netflix. Kingdom is one of our favourites. La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) was also another one. We also love Dark, Black Mirror, Stranger Things… I could go on and on (laughs). But that’s honestly just how much we really enjoyed content on Netflix and I think we always wanted to work with them when we had the chance. So we are very happy and we’re very excited.
What is the motivation that have driven all of you to come to where you are today? If there’s anything you could say to yourself in the past during your trainee yearis, what would that be?
Jennie: I think all four of us had a very clear purpose that we wanted to achieve as members of Blackpink. With every moment that we went through together to achieve that, we wanted to make sure that none of us became tired of it. I think we were all in it together. Although we all have different styles, we have different strengths, but I think we learned how to bring that in harmony and communicate with one another to achieve a common goal. If I were to return in time, I would like to say enjoy the moment. If I were to go back in time, I think not just for me for but for all of us, because you know, we all had monthly grades that came out when we were trainees. So at the time I think we weren’t able to really think those moments were very precious, but we often say to each other, we had a lot of fun back then and we got so close to one another because of that time that we went through together. I would like to say do well and keep going because you will become Blackpink.
Rosé: When we were all together at the studio, and also Director Suh was there through the phone… We have a song called “How You Like That” and a part of those lyrics is “light up the sky”. So when we were asked how does “light up the sky” sounded, we all really loved it. We thought it was very fitting and perfect. So that’s how the title came about and I would say when the four of us are all together. Our skies are lit up the brightest. So right now.
What are some things that you take the most pride in what are some successes that you’re the proudest of?
Rosé: I would say I’m sure there are many. I think every time we made a comeback with new music and new music videos. We really put in our all in it. And every time we see the result, we really feel proud. Sometimes when we are in the grind and we are in the daily toil, there’s just so many things that distract us but once we see the result, that moment I would say is when we feel the most fulfilled.
Jisoo: I would say music is not doesn’t stop at music these days. The visuals are important and the audience listens to music they like to take part in and imitate. I think it’s changed to something that has very different and numerous factors involved. So in that sense, we always want to bring something new to the audience and I think our fans appreciate that and that’s why they love us, so we are very, very thankful for that. And we about to bring you even more going forward.
Like you said music doesn’t stop at music these days. It’s a comprehensive form of art.
Jisoo: Yes, because every time we are preparing to release something new, we all like to chime in. Sometimes a lot of our opinions are denied and some are selected… every time we come out with something new, I think oddly enough, all four of us, we tend to agree on a lot of things. We think of these particular visuals with this kind of song and you know, there are things that we want to do and these things tend to come together. We agree with each other a lot.
Lisa: I think the most important thing is to find what you truly love and always have confidence in yourself. And take care of yourself and love yourself.
When you were shooting the film, what was most memorable?
Rosé: Personally, there was a scene when we were looking at our old footage together—our childhood and trainee clips—that was really fun. And we were talking about some of the old episodes, we were teasing each other and I think that is the most memorable scene.
Jennie: There were a lot of interviews, and we were talking to each other before the interview. I was really, really nervous. But when we started talking, I found myself talking about myself very comfortably about a lot of things.
Rosé: And then also that episode “not bad, but not good”. We just saw that in the teaser as well. I really wondering exactly where that is in the documentary. (Ed’s note: There was a scene where Jisoo said, “Not bad, but not good.”)
Jisoo: I didn’t know that it would become like this much talked-about when I said that but when we were shooting that scene, it was really fun. I haven’t watched the documentary yet, but I know that Teddy is also featured in the documentary. I am really curious to know what he had to say about us because you did the interviews separately.
Lisa: We were all together and we were watching the video clips of our childhood and I felt Rosé’s childhood was most impressive. So I hope that all the fans can also have a look at that as well.
Jisoo: Overall, a lot happened and we were able to grow a lot—our inner selves our exterior ourselves. Some of the dreams that we had as trainees, we were able to achieve one by one and each time we did that, it’s amazing. We would watch Coachella music festival clips during practice, but when we were able to actually perform on that stage, it was really a rewarding moment for us and that’s also included in the documentary. So it brought back a lot of memories as well in the past. We were trying to achieve something for ourselves. But after we made the debut, there are a lot of people who are watching us, so we try to satisfy a broader audience. A lot has changed but still, what the four of us wants, our objectives, our paths, remain unchanged.
Jisoo: Sometimes we are tired and sometimes we want to give up but each time we are together, we remind ourselves that we are headed for the same goals. So sometimes it comfort us, sometimes it gives us more drive. And so I think there is a lot of synergy that is created within the group.
You are a group made up of very different backgrounds and walks of life. How do you think it would have affected you to see a group like Blackpink, one that bridges cultures, while you were growing up?
Jennie: So we grew up in different environments and different cultures, but when we were trainees, we were able to talk a lot with one another, and we would find that the type of music or our goals would be the same amongst all of us. So since then, we were able to kind of hang out with one another … we start to resemble each other, so we were able to kind of make up for any shortfalls. The teamwork is great. We can just look one another in the eye and know immediately what we need to do for them and what we need to do for the team. Because we have this really special and strong teamwork. I think a lot of the fans are able to kind of experience that positive energy. I’m sorry, I’m getting a little bit emotional. So I hope that we are able to give some positive impact to the fans.
Rosé: Since our trainee days, we grew up together from when we were very young. So although a lot has changed after our debut, when we are working together, it kind of feels like it’s just the same from before our debut when we were 16, 17. I think a lot of what we were like back then still is within us today, so I don’t think there’s a lot a whole lot that we miss from before debut.
It’s been four years since you made your debut and you’ve achieved so much success including performing at Coachella and also such huge collaborations with global stars. What are some goals that you have that you want to achieve going forward? And what would Blackpink be like in 2021? And also what would Blackpink be doing in 10 years from now?
Jisoo: Recently, we released our first official album, so we want to do our best on that. Going forward, we want to continue to challenge ourselves and think about what kind of new aspects—we’ve done that, we’ve thought about what kind of new things we want to show to the world. And because music has now become a very extended form of art, we want to be able to provide the best of that to all of our fans. In that sense. I think the documentary Light Up The Sky will be one of the first steps in doing that and I think it will help us to do that even more going forward. So I really look forward to it. In 10 years, hopefully we will still be Blackpink, the way we always have been but also, I think I can imagine ourselves talking about what other new things to do together.
BLACKPINK: LIGHT UP THE SKY is streaming now on Netflix.