From The Straits Times    |

Strong and powerful: That is the image that popular South Korean pop group Girls’ Generation now hope to embody.

In an e-mail interview with Life!, the nine-member group say in a joint response that they hope to show a different side of themselves with every new album.

And strength is what gives I Got A Boy, their latest and fourth studio album, a fresh angle.

Girls' Generation gets a 'strong and powerful' makeover
Girls’ Generation’s new look for I Got A Boy. PHOTO: RUNNING INTO THE SUN

“With I Got A Boy, we are really trying to express the strong and powerful side of Girls’ Generation. That’s why we wore hip-hop clothes for the title song’s music video and tried to have a funkier look. It is a side of Girls’ Generation that you have never seen before. It’s our new look.”

The massively popular girl group – which comprise Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun, aged 22 to 24 – were fielding questions to talk about their upcoming concert here, their second solo concert after their first in 2011. Tickets to the show sold out on the first day of public sales.

To be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 12, the show is part of their Girls & Peace world tour, which will also take the group to Taipei, Hong Kong and Jakarta.

No matter where they go, the group say that the local fans “always impress us”.

“Fans from every country always prepare special banners for us that showcase their own region and place of origin, so that’s really memorable and special to us.”

For the current world tour, there is one moment in every show that they particularly love: during the performance of the song “Baby Baby”.

“When we perform this song at the concert, fans will all suddenly change their lightstick colour from pink to white. That is really lovely.”

Other than their catchy tunes and perfectly synchronised dance moves, the pretty girl group are also known for their sex appeal. At performances, the members often show off their long legs in tiny shorts and skirts.

Asked about their diet and exercise routines, all they will say is that “we put extra care in our eating and exercise patterns”.

But they add: “Also, to perform at the best conditions at live shows, we drink good tea to protect our voices and take special care not to catch a cold.”

Whatever they are doing clearly works because since Girls’ Generation debuted in 2007, they have arguably become K-pop’s hottest girl group.

Their albums, which include EP Gee (2009) and full-length album The Boys (2011), consistently top the charts, and their concerts around South Korea and the rest of Asia are often sold out.

Forbes Korea’s annual Top 10 Celebs list, which looks at factors including income, endorsement appearances, magazine covers and search engine hit, listed Girls’ Generation as No. 2 on its 2013 list, after singer and global YouTube sensation Psy.

In a 2011 interview with Life!, the group said that they want to be “recognised as South Korea’s No. 1 group”.

So how close are they to that goal?

In a vague reply, they say: “We are loved by our fans from all over the world and they are cheering us on from everywhere. Our desire to be at the top of K-pop is getting closer than ever, with the help of our own efforts and the love from our fans.”

This story was first published in The Straits Times on October 7, 2013. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.