SEOUL – It is par for the K-pop course to have interview questions deemed unsuitable struck off journalists’ notebooks and pesky ones about boyfriends or girlfriends definitely blackmarked as no-go.

The Singapore reporters were read the riot act before the MBC Korean Music Wave press conference held at JW Marriott in Seoul last week.

The mega concert at Gardens by the Bay on Nov 16 features a line-up of 13 acts, including 2PM, EXO and Sistar.

Any query that could be seen as negative, or that might give the glossy stars any suggestion of a personality, was chucked out the window.

For Miss A, there were to be no questions about Suzy, 18, going solo. With a role in the hit romantic film Architecture 101 (2012) and a flurry of endorsement deals under her belt, she is certainly the most popular among the four members.

Korean Music Wave 2013: Miss A girls causes a nickname fuss
(L-R): Jia, Min, Fei and Suzy, who is the most popular of the group Miss A. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

One has to wonder if that has created some strain within the quartet and indeed, they behaved more like a disparate collection of people despite the matching patterned get-ups they wore. Min was the one who preened during the photo call; and Jia and Fei shot off responses in Mandarin during the small- group interview, presumably to the exclusion of the other two Korean members.

Miss A debuted in 2010 as a four-member group with the single “Bad Girl Good Girl”. It topped various music charts, including on KBS channel’s Music Bank programme. The line-up of the JYP Entertainment act comprises Koreans Suzy, 18, and Min, 22, and China-born Fei, 26, and Jia, 24.

What nicknames do you have for one another?
Jia: Fei is “tortoise”. That’s how I have her listed in my phone.
Fei: But you’ve never called me that, so I don’t acknowledge that nickname.

Could you describe your ideal man and who best represents those qualities?
Jia: I quite like that curly-haired actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, in Sherlock. He’s so sexy.
Min: I like someone who is generous and nice. It would be (Korean actor) Won Bin.
Suzy: I like sexy guys (laughs). For me, sexy means being confident and professional at what he does, someone like American actor Ian Somerhalder (of Lost fame).
Fei: I like Cha Tae Hyun from My Sassy Girl (2001), he’s so cute.

You released the EP Independent Women Part III last year. Among you, who’s the most independent and who needs to be taken care of?
Jia: We’re all pretty independent. We live on our own, so we have to handle a lot of things ourselves. From the start, our lyrics have been written from a woman’s standpoint, helping to speak up for women and we like that.

What’s next for Miss A?
Suzy: We haven’t had our own show, so the next challenge would be to hold a Miss A concert.

MBC KOREAN MUSIC WAVE
Where: Gardens by the Bay
When: Nov 16
Admission: $168 to $688, available from www.singtic.com from Sept 2. Priority bookings at *Scape on Sunday from 9am to 6pm
Info: Go to www.musicwave.sg

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on August 28, 2013. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.