Girls’ Generation celebrated their 15th anniversary with their title track “FOREVER 1” as well as several interviews, variety show appearances, and more. They opened up about many topics surrounding their career as a group following their five-year hiatus.
In one of their Soshi TamTam episodes and in an interview with Rolling Stone, they named the current K-Pop norms that surprised them most.
Check them out below.
1. 4K Cameras
The first episode of Soshi TamTam made the division between the music-oriented and acting-oriented members clear. Belonging in the latter group was Sooyoung, someone who expressed confusion upon reading a fan comment about “4K cameras.”
What is a 4K camera?
These are high quality cameras unlike anything that music shows in the past used. They typically capture the K-Pop artist’s entire performance directly.
2. Individual Focus Cams
On that note, the concept of filming a K-Pop idol with a 4K or 8K camera that follows them wherever they are on stage was strange to Sooyoung.
She listened intently to Taeyeon and Hyoyeon, the members who released music most often as soloists, and learned that it is an additional reason why fans love watching them online.
Taeyeon: Now broadcast stations shoot it directly.
Hyoyeon: Our music show is important but fans love those direct shots even more.
3. Broadcast Photos
In their Rolling Stone interview, Yuri further noted that fans are even more dedicated than before. Though it happened half a decade ago as well, it has now become a norm to camp out in front of broadcast studios—rain or shine—just to catch a glimpse of K-Pop groups.
It amazed Yuri that there are so many people waiting for them on a weekday morning. KBS‘s Music Bank, for instance, always draws a large crowd despite being filmed on a Friday.
I’m surprised that taking pictures and videos on the way to broadcasting shows has become a thing. Isn’t everyone just busy trying to get to work or school?
4. Audience-less Performances
Last but certainly not the least, the COVID-19 pandemic has made certain things in K-Pop impossible to keep doing. Sooyoung was most shocked to hear that groups who debuted in 2020 and beyond are only now starting to interact with live audiences.
I think the situation might have gotten better now, but I was surprised to hear that teams that debuted during the pandemic didn’t have a chance to perform with an audience.
Fellow SM Entertainment girl group, aespa, for instance, has been open about the staleness of performing in front of cameras every time they stood on stage. It made all the difference to see and hear their fans enjoying their music in person and in real time.
Giselle: Debuting in the pandemic was obviously a lot different than what we imagined a normal debut would be. When we would stand on stage, there would be no audience, it would just be cameras and that went on for almost a whole year and a half.
Karina: I mean, of course we were happy to finally make our debut, but because we debuted in the middle of the pandemic, we couldn’t meet our fans in person as we had always hoped. Sadly, we were facing and performing in front of cameras.
Sooyoung had an identical sentiment. As a senior who actively performed live since 2007, the idea of being separated from an audience was a sad one.
It was heartbreaking to hear because it’s actually the fans that you get so much energy from when performing.
Girls’ Generation released “FOREVER 1” on August 5. Check out the full music video for it below.