Newly debuting Korean pop acts are aplenty but the year 2020 and 2021 acts have made their way to the music industry in unprecedented times. Amid the COVID-19 situation, many rookie groups debuted without an audience cheering for them during the music show recordings. But, their audience has been supporting them virtually. One such group that debuted recently is TRI.BE. They became the first group to debut under Universal Music Group Korea and are jointly produced by ace producer and K-pop songwriter Sinsadong Tiger and the global entertainment giant Universal Music Group.
The name is quite interesting. TRI.BE, pronounced as try-be, is derived from the combination of the words “triangle,” which signifies the most perfect shape, and “being,” leading to the slogan, “We are perfect as we are.” The group conveys the message of self-love and confidence and unapologetically holds their girl power tag. The septet — consisting of members Songsun, Jinha, Kelly, Hyunbin, Jia, Soeun, and Mire — debuted with their two-track ‘TRI.BE Da Loca’ album.
TRI.BE and their commanding sound was produced and helmed by one of K-pop’s most reliable hitmakers in S.Tiger (also known as Shinsadong Tiger) who has spent the last two decades building up his music career. He has produced hits for some of the beloved K-pop stars like HyunA, T-ara, VIXX, Apink, and MOMOLAND, but he was worked and produced closely with popular Korean female group EXID. Interestingly, EXID member L.E, who is the lead rapper and an integral songwriter and producer for the group, also worked closely on TRI.BE’s debut, co-writing and -composing ‘Loca’.
TRI.BE spoke to Bollywood Hungama recently about their finally making debut, their favorite artists, who inspired them growing up, and what they want to achieve as a group. Along with this, the group also sat down for a video interview to showcase their fun side.
Congratulations on the debut TRI.BE. How have you been feeling since the music video ‘Doom Doom Ta’ released along with the mini-album ‘TRI.BE Da Loca’?
SongSun: I was actually surprised when I first saw our ‘Doom Doom Ta’ music video because it was a lot better than I had thought it would be! I’m very happy that we were able to show this to the audience.
Kelly: First of all, thank you so much! We are all super excited about our debut. I’m also glad that our first music video is receiving lots of love, thank you again!
JinHa: Thank you for congratulating our debut! I’m happy to finally make our debut – I’m thoroughly enjoying every moment with our members.
HyunBin: I was delighted that we were able to reveal ‘Doom Doom Ta’ because we prepared for it so long. It’s amazing to see what we prepared finally released and receiving love from so many people.
Jia: First, the moment we had been waiting for so long has finally come! It makes me happier because this was my dream ever since I was young. ‘Doom Doom Ta’ shows TRI.BE’s very own “girl swag” and we will try our best to show you more of our charms in the future!
SoEun: Actually, the day before our debut, I couldn’t sleep because I was nervous and excited for the big day! Sometimes I still wonder if we’ve really debuted.
MiRe: I’m proud and happy that we were able to show everybody what we’ve been preparing for so long. It’s already been about a month since we’ve debuted but I’ve just started to realize we’re actually here!
After years of training and finally releasing the music for the world to see, must be overwhelming, right?
SongSun: I’m very very happy and excited to see my dream come true, after years of practice! I’m always looking forward to our activities because I have so many things I want to show everybody.
Kelly: Yes! We really worked hard for our debut, so please give us love and support! I hope everybody enjoys our album as much as we do.
JinHa: Officially debuting after a long period of training is definitely exciting but at the same time, I think it’s overwhelming too. I get emotional sometimes when I think about our debut day.
HyunBin: Yes! There were moments that were difficult to endure during the preparation period but I was able to blast through those obstacles because of our members’ support. I’m thankful that we made it through together and glad to have them by my side, debuting together.
Jia: Very true! I’m glad and thankful we were able to debut but I remember how overwhelming it was when we first heard our confirmed debut date.
SoEun: Of course!! I really couldn’t sleep the day before our debut… Thank you so much for giving us love; it really motivates me to do better every day!
MiRe: Yes and even though there were hard moments, I believe I was able to make it this far because I had the support from my family and members.
How were you guys feeling leading up to the debut day once everything was decided?
SongSun: I was worried if the public would like our songs. I did worry a lot as our debut date came closer but because I was so anxious, I actually fell asleep very well!
Kelly: We were excited but also nervous. We really wanted to show our fans the best performances, we could.
JinHa: Honestly, up to two days before our debut, I couldn’t believe we were actually going to officially debut so I wasn’t nervous but the day before and on the debut day at the showcase studio, it hit me that our dream was finally coming true! I was definitely nervous but also excited as well.
HyunBin: As the days went by and we were approaching our debut day, I was looking forward to it more and more but also started to feel pressure at the same time. I was glad to finally debut but I was also pondering, if I could pull it off well! I hope everyone liked our showcase!
Jia: When I was preparing for the debut, it felt like time was going by really slow but when we entered 2021 and started to realize that our debut day was coming up, I started feeling both nervous and excited!
SoEun: To be honest, it took a while before I could really ‘feel’ that we were officially debuting; it was almost like I couldn’t feel anything! Thinking about it now, I think I was really, really nervous.
MiRe: Personally, I was way more excited than I was nervous and pressured. So I think I was always saying that I wanted our debut day to come faster!
The music video of ‘Doom Doom Ta’ was so powerful showcasing the strong personalities of each one of you. What was it like to be on the set of your first music video as a group and experience this all together?
SongSun: Throughout the whole music video shoot, even when we were filming too late in the evening, the experience itself was very fun! All of the staff and directors were so kind and they really helped us to stay energetic and successfully finish the shoot. Also, it was a really fascinating experience to see the CG-based scenes become reality!
Kelly: I couldn’t believe that all the beautiful background settings, staff, and everything were for us. It was like a present for us and I’m still grateful for the whole experience.
JinHa: I was actually super nervous when I saw the whole scene and all of the equipment set up for the music video shoot! It was seriously thanks to the staff and directors that we were able to finish the shoot successfully because they were so kind and encouraging! They really helped us feel comfortable throughout the whole shoot.
HyunBin: Hm… it was a very weird experience because I couldn’t believe that everything at the music video shoot was for us! I think the fact that we were able to dance in such a magnificent environment made us perform better, more powerfully, and more happily!
Jia: My individual scene has a CG tiger in it and when we were shooting that scene, I had to act like there was something in front of me when there was actually nothing and it was harder than I had thought it would be! I was worried if I had acted well enough but the director explained everything so well to me that I was able to perform better. And I’m also both happy and relieved that the scene came out so well! I was also amazed at how beautiful the sets were and during the shoot, I was thinking ‘Wow..we’re finally debuting!’ the whole time!
SoEun: I was thinking about how I was finally debuting and also if it was really okay for me to shoot such a cool music video! I remember feeling very emotional throughout the whole shoot.
MiRe: The music video shooting was for three days and I remember that I couldn’t sleep well because I was nervous! But I also thoroughly enjoyed the experience because it was our first ever music video. Also, the food provided at the set was very delicious (laughs).
Your second song ‘Loca’ is a fun track as well. Tell us about it.
SongSun: I think ‘Loca’ is quite different from ‘Doom Doom Ta’. TRI.BE has a lot of powerful choreography to match the powerful beats but I think ‘Loca’ shows a different side of TRI.BE!
Kelly: ‘Loca’ is a trap beat-based song with an addictive drop. The song shows TRI.BE’s unique identity, so please listen to ‘Loca’ as well!
HyunBin: Of course! So about our sidetrack ‘Loca’, the song is based on a trap beat where the drop is very addictive. I think ‘Loca’ also shows TRI.BE’s concept of “girl swag” very well!
Jia: ‘Loca’ also revolves around our concept that refers to us being “newborn puppies”. Even though we’re new and just starting, it’s all about how confident we are and how we wish to stay proud of our true selves!
MiRe: I think that even though it’s a B-side track it’s still a very cool song! I really wanted to perform more for ‘Loca’ but I’m sad we weren’t able to; I hope more people enjoy it because it’s a very catchy song too!
I watched your debut stage and read all the positive comments and seeing the stage presence – no one thought you were rookies. It must be great to receive such praise coming your way, right?
SongSun: I think that’s the best compliment we could receive this year! I believe that means we are performing well so TRI.BE will make sure to show you even better, improved performances! Thank you so much!
Kelly: Thank you so much! We are very happy to receive such praise – it also makes us want to become better so once again, thank you very much!
JinHa: Even though we are rookies, complimenting us for our stage presence is definitely a great honor! We will make sure to show you even better performances.
HyunBin: Before we debuted, we always said that it would be great if we could hear “You girls are so good that you don’t seem like rookies” but I can’t believe we’re actually hearing that! Thank you so much for supporting us!
Jia: First, thank you so much for praising us that we don’t seem like rookies even though we are! We will make sure to practice even more and show you even better performances so please look forward to our journey!
SoEun: I really don’t know what to say other than thank you – this is such great praise and I’m thankful that we can hear this from the audience. Thank you, and thank you!
MiRe: This praise really makes me feel better and more motivated. Even though we still have things to improve on, we will try our hardest to give you better stages and positive energy! Thank you so much!
Your debut has happened at a time where the world is dealing with COVID-19. You did not get to experience a crowd cheering for you as you performed on stage for the first time. But, supporters were leaving such uplifting comments. Does it motivate you guys for the future when you get to showcase it to your fans?
SongSun: The fact that we couldn’t enjoy our performances with our fans together was actually the saddest part for us. However, this also made us want to perform even better on stage for our fans to see us online! We really want to enjoy our stages with our fans later in the future once COVID-19 is gone. Let’s break the stage!!!
Kelly: We are all very sad that we can’t meet our fans because of COVID-19. But fortunately, we were able to do online fan sign meetings. Every time we do online fan sign meetings, our fans cheer us up and this motivates us. After COVID-19, we really want to do showcases with our fans!
JinHa: We’re genuinely heartbroken that we couldn’t enjoy our stages with our fans but once COVID-19 is over we’ll make sure to meet everybody! I really can’t wait to interact with our fans on stage!
HyunBin: We were able to stay motivated and happy thanks to the uplifting comments from our supporters. Until the day we finally get to be on stage with our fans, we’ll keep on practicing so everybody can enjoy our performances!
Jia: I know right… I was really sad. That’s why one of our biggest wishes is that COVID-19 disappears so we can perform for our fans in person! I’m sure we’ll be able to see you soon!
SoEun: It definitely motivates us!! Even though we couldn’t see our fans in person, I was always happy to know that our fans were supporting us; my dream right now is to be able to perform for our fans in person.
MiRe: I cannot wait to meet our fans! It was great to be able to do online fan sign meetings but I would also love to do fan meetings in person… Thank you so much for all of your support!
What was the most fun process of making this album?
SongSun: ‘Doom Doom Ta’ is a song full of memories! The most memorable moment was when we tried randomly switching parts before our debut; we actually did a live dance practice with the switched parts and we were able to realize why we were assigned to our original parts! Switching parts is hard haha
Kelly: Hmm.. I would have to say that filming the music video was the best part! Getting to film for a music video was a surreal experience.
JinHa: A fun fact about ‘Doom Doom Ta’ is that the beat for the song actually changed many, many times until it became the song it is today!
HyunBin: I remember that during our music video shoot, everyone said that they were nervous but ended up performing very well on screen! When we were monitoring the music video scenes, we were laughing at how everyone was trying to look so professional and for a while, we greeted each other with specific expressions/dance moves each member did for the music video!
Jia: When we first heard the demo for ‘‘Doom Doom Ta’, all 7 of our members really liked it and we had it on repeat almost every day We were always singing “doom doom ta, doom doom ta, doom doom ta, doom doom ta check it!”
SoEun: For me, the recording process for the song was the most fun part! I had a lot of fun in the recording studio and I remember S.Tiger helping us out a lot!
MiRe: Same as Kelly, my favorite part was the music video shoot! I can’t wait to do it again for our next release!
You are so young and I’m sure there must be artists you looked up to. Who were your inspirations growing up?
SongSun: Definitely Ariana Grande! I’ve always wanted to be as skilled and charismatic as her and I really want to learn how she captivates her audiences so well.
Kelly: Ariana Grande and BLACKPINK! I hope TRI.BE can also become as professional as them.
JinHa: BLACKPINK! Their performances are always perfect and they’re so professional when it comes to digesting their concepts; they always manage to make their colors unique!
HyunBin: For me, I always looked up to BoA! BoA started her career from a very young age and has always given her all, which is probably why she is at the position she is at now. Whenever I need motivation or feel burnt out, her performances and talks always encourage me and motivate me to get back on my feet.
Jia: BLACKPINK! Mainly because they’re able to spread happiness and joy all over the world; I really wish we could also become a group that can internationally spread love.
SoEun: Ariana Grande! I always listen to ‘Santa Tell Me’ even though winter is coming to an end!
MiRe: BLACKPINK as well! Their performances are always so charismatic – I’m always amazed at their stage presence.
What does TRI.BE want to achieve? Any goals you’ve set for yourself or any dreams you want to fulfill?
SongSun: I want to become an artist that can stay with our fans for a long time. I also wish TRI.BE can become a group that can spread positive energy and happiness globally! Additionally, I really want COVID-19 to be over so we can go to India and perform for our fans in India! We really really want to see you.
Kelly: We really want to receive the Rookie of the Year Award and rank first place on music shows!
JinHa: I wish we could become one of the groups that can represent Korea. And I also wish people can become more confident and happier through our music and performances!
HyunBin: My first goal would be to receive the Rookie of the Year Award. My second one is to be able to meet with our fans in person so that we can enjoy our stages together! Hope to see you all soon!
Jia: Similar for me, I also wish TRI.BE can receive the Rookie of the Year Award and rank first place on music shows! Additionally, if we are fortunate enough, I think it would be amazing if we could go on a world tour!
SoEun: I think receiving the Rookie of the Year Award is also my biggest goal. Ranking first place on music shows would be amazing too! I mean, dreams are meant to be big, right?!
MiRe: Same for me! I also want to receive the Rookie of the Year Award and first place on music shows, but I also want to reach 10M views for one of our music videos!
ALSO READ: K-Pop girl group TRI.BE shows power in ‘Doom Doom Ta’ music video, releases debut mini-album ‘TRI.BE Da Loca’
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