Blackpink’s Jisoo On Soloing, New Music, Mental Health And More Soompi
In black Rose, Jisoo Kim is known as the funny one. She’s quick with a joke and loves a good prank, like the time she hid Lisa’s cell phone in the fridge during their apprenticeship days. But Jisoo also has an introverted side, and on this April afternoon, sitting in a conference room at the headquarters of YG Entertainment, the record label and management company of Blackpink, she’s in a serious mood, thinking about big questions while sipping an iced coffee, wearing a cap that says “In time it will get better”.
In Blackpink, Jisoo is the lead vocalist and an expert harmonizer. She loves making music, loves building a song from scratch with a team of experts. But international fame is not always easy. Speaking in Korean, she recounts how she sometimes envies her past: the sleepy, carefree high school student from Gunpo, South Korea, who dreamed of traveling the world. At the same time, she also knows the life-changing force of the music she and Blackpink make.
(On the occasion of Blackpink’s appearance on the cover of Rolling Stonewe publish individual digital covers with each member of the group; check back throughout this week for more.)
How are you today?
Not too good. I have not slept well. I fell asleep around eight o’clock this morning. After this interview, I have to go to the hospital because my leg hurts. I hit a door very hard; It’s not broken or fractured, but it’s been hurting for a month, so I need to get another x-ray. Luckily we haven’t finished recording [for Blackpink’s upcoming album], so I don’t need to use my legs yet. The choreography comes after the songs are done. I hope to heal quickly by then.
What are you doing these days?
My life these days is not too busy, as we are not active yet. I want to come back with music quickly. I live alone, but my parents are in the same building, so we share meals together.
You grew up in Gunpo, a relatively small town. Then, with Blackpink, you experienced a huge world. How has this changed your outlook on life?
You know, not too differently. My mother and father are proud of me, but I don’t feel like a world star. I was going to see a play with some friends, and they were like, “Can you move around like that? You’re Blackpink!” Others say all the time, “Hey, that’s huge!” That doesn’t mean much to me. I’m the same person who started training in high school. My social status may have changed , but to me, I’m just . . . me too.
What do you love most about creating music?
We don’t just receive a finished song. We’ve been involved from the start, building the blocks, adding this or that sentiment, exchanging feedback — and that creative process makes me proud of our music. If we just received pre-made songs, it would sound mechanical. I feel more love for the process, because we’re like, “How about adding this in the lyrics? How about adding this movement in the choreography? »
You are the only member of Blackpink who has not released a solo single. There’s buzz that you’re going this year. How would you approach your solo music?
I don’t know yet how much I want to go solo. The music I listen to, the music I can make and the music I want to make – what should I choose? I like songs with lots of instruments. I like different bands and rock music. What do people want from me? There is a chaos of contradictory questions. So I still tilt my head in confusion. I don’t know what will happen with my solo plans this year.
The question seems completely understandable.
To the right. It is not easy. Honestly, I didn’t know I would do something like this. My friends from high school, who know me well, are still baffled that I do this job, and do it well. They thought I would live simply, freely, doing what I wanted.
At the time — I don’t know what I was thinking — but some days, if I didn’t want to go to school, I just didn’t want to. And my parents let me! I woke up one morning grimacing because I didn’t want to go to school. My dad said, “What’s up? Why the long face? I was like, “Dad, I’m so tired, I just want to sleep.” “Okay, don’t go then!” Then the next day, my teacher asked me: “What are you going to do with your life?”
I can’t believe your parents let you skip school.
It’s not that they abandoned me; I think they adored me, especially because I was the youngest. They were more liberal in letting me do what I wanted. It was therefore difficult for me to switch to [YG], where there were many rules. I had to develop a sense of patience and endurance.
Lisa said you’d be most likely to move to Hawaii if you weren’t at Blackpink.
Oh, even though it’s not Hawaii, I always talk about moving overseas. I’ve always been a truly free soul, ever since my school days. If people asked back then, “What are you going to do with your life?” I was like, “Well, if I can’t get a real job, I’ll have part-time gigs, leech my parents, stay home!” I’m going to save some money, go play somewhere with that money, and eventually I’ll find something I want to do! If that doesn’t work, something else will come! I have always had a strong desire to move freely.
Is it hard to do it now?
More than you think. No matter how I move, there are people who recognize me. And then I have to be careful.
MBTI personality type tests are all the rage in Korea now. What’s your type?
I think I’m ESTP (extroverted-sensing-thinking-perceiving). But in fact, I prefer to be alone. I tend to schedule too many dates and think later, “What did I do? »
What did you dream of as a child?
I never really dreamed of becoming a celebrity. I didn’t particularly want to do anything: “What am I going to do in the future? Will I find something I want to do? Since I was a child, I admired people who had a clear dream, who went down this one path. Will there ever come a day when I fall so deeply in love with something?
For me, down periods for something tended to be quite short. I get bored easily. For example, when you exercise, there is a period of stagnation where your body simply does not change, and then if you endure this, your body improves. I’m not very good at dealing with these periods of stagnation. So I’ve always admired people who can overcome that and go higher.
Did you end up finding that path through Blackpink?
I think I was able to endure this trip, partly because of this refusal to give in. I didn’t want to stop halfway. I would see other children [trainees] fall in the competition and go home. And I refused to give in; I wanted to endure until the end.
Do you have more certainty on your path now? Most people would see you from the outside and think, “Well, she’s part of Blackpink!” It’s his way! But I imagine the actual experience is different.
That’s right. It’s a little different. I still do not know. I think about it every day. What exactly do I like? Sometimes I think it’s a mystery. I love acting, but I don’t always like being in the spotlight.
I think it’s different for the other members: they like to get the spotlight, feel energized by people coming to see us, and then get a little down when the scene is over and silence comes. To feel empty. All of these feelings are part and parcel of the job. I’m a little different. When I’m on stage, I think about not making mistakes. Playing always feels more like a test than something really fun.
When we were playing Coachella [in 2019], I have so much back pain. Every night I received painkillers. I wanted to play seated. But my pride wouldn’t allow me to sit down. And it wasn’t because “I love this scene so much”; stronger was my sense of responsibility and duty.
You are still discovering who you are.
I think I will continue to search all my life. I still haven’t found anything where I feel “That’s it for me!” Maybe I’ll never feel it. I can compromise with my reality because I’m part of Blackpink, and I’m not alone. I have the girls in the same boat, and the fans. And that gives me power and a sense of responsibility.
What makes you happy these days?
I like to sleep. I sleep when I’m stressed — sort of escaping, but I like to sleep and dream. I used to write dream journals, but not these days. I have many different dreams. I don’t know if I’m dreaming in language. I dreamed a lot of Blackpink, but in surreal settings. Rather than a dream of going on tour, it would be like we were flying an airplane and someone was chasing us, and we would be engaged in that pursuit.
Please be honest about your struggles. It’s not easy for public figures to talk about their own mental health.
To the right. There are too many eyes. I think it’s a bit different, having people cheering you on, the members of Blackpink who will always be by my side – and having my own struggles.
I love talking to fans; I am honest with them and talk to them as if they were my friends. We laugh so much. But then, even if these people are present in my life, there are difficulties that are mine.
Music has been your life for over a decade now. How does it feel to realize that?
I’m so proud of myself: Wow, I’ve been doing something for 10 years? What a miracle!
What does music represent for you?
I love the music we make; without it, it would have been difficult to continue. I started listening to more music after I joined this company. Before that, it wasn’t anything bigger. It made more sense to me after we started preparing and making our own music.
How can I have a better influence on someone else’s life through music? I listen to music when I’m having a hard time or when I don’t want to think about anything — I hope our music can have the same effect on many others.
#Blackpinks #Jisoo #Soloing #Music #Mental #Health #Soompi