MANILA BULLETIN EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with BLACKPINK on their YouTube concert, success, and fans

BLACKPINK (YG Entertainment) 

2020 became a phenomenal year for K-pop iconic group BLACKPINK. 

They solidified their status as the top K-pop girl group with their achievements and influence. BLACKPINK attained the “million seller” status when their first studio album “The Album,” released on Oct. 2, sold 1.24 million copies, the first girl group album to be certified “million” by the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA). 

“The Album” debuted at No. 2 on Billboard 200, the highest rank achieved by a K-pop girl group, and it also peaked at No. 2 on UK’s Official Charts. 

Their popularity has skyrocketed especially on social media. On YouTube, BLACKPINK holds the distinction of being the most subscribed female artist and Korean artist in the world with 56.3 million subscribers to date. ‘

Last year, two of BLACKPINK’s music videos reached one billion views each. “Kill This Love” music video reached one billion views on Sept. 2 while “Boombayah” achieved the feat on Oct. 13. With their “DDU-DU DDU-DU” MV attaining the milestone on Nov. 11, 2019, the K-pop quartet have three MVs with a billion views each. Four of their MVs are also on YouTube’s top 10 all-time 24-hour music debuts. 

In his New Year’s address last Jan. 11, South Korean President Moon Jae-in cited BLACKPINK’s music as one of the three K-contents that “fascinated people around the world and brought joy.” 

On Jan. 31, BLACKPINK will be holding their livestream concert “The Show” on YouTube and BLINKS are very excited to see them perform. 

MANILA BULLETIN had an exclusive Q&A with BLACKPINK where they talked about their upcoming online concert, their achievements and fans. 

Manila Bulletin: What can BLINKs expect from your upcoming concert ‘The Show’ on YouTube? How are you preparing for the concert?

BLACKPINK: “‘THE SHOW’ is our first live-stream concert so we’ve been excitedly preparing for our BLINKs. We’ve prepared the setlist with songs from ‘The Album’ that we haven’t performed yet and we’ve also prepared an exclusive never-before-seen performance! We’re trying our best to prepare our live-stream as if our fans are actually there with us so we hope you look forward to it!

Manila Bulletin: How important are platforms like YouTube in being able to reach your fans?

BLACKPINK: “YouTube is the platform our fans are very familiar with and has been one of the best partners that allowed our music and performances to reach our fans all over the world. We believe that YouTube’s network and our BLINKs always had such great synergy.

Manila Bulletin: COVID-19 has prevented BLACKPINK from meeting your fans in person. What do you miss the most when it comes to performing in front of your fans in concerts?

BLACKPINK: “Although we are sad that we aren’t able to directly meet and interact with our fans at the venue, we’re trying our best to prepare our live-stream as if our BLINKs are actually there with us in the safety and comfort of their own homes. We have so much in store–from an exclusive never-before-seen performance to the songs from our album that we haven’t been able to perform–so we hope you look forward to it!”

Manila Bulletin: 2020 became record-setting and the best year yet for BLACKPINK. You became a million-seller through “The Album.” You have set YouTube records including billion views on your music videos and have won many awards and accolades. Please describe the year 2020 for BLACKPINK. How do you feel about your achievements in 2020?

BLACKPINK: “2020 has been unforgettable. With the release of our long-awaited full-length album, we’ve received so much love this year. Every time we hear about these new achievements, we become speechless. It’s been another year of gratefulness to our BLINKs.”

Manila Bulletin: What is the most memorable thing or event that happened to BLACKPINK in 2020?

BLACKPINK: “It’ll definitely have to be when our first full-length album was released. We still remember that exact moment. As much as we waited for that moment, we knew that our BLINKs have also been waiting, so when we finally released it, we just hoped that our fans would enjoy this album just as much as we did.”

Manila Bulletin: How do you feel about the immense success of BLACKPINK's popularity, achievements, and album sales? Does this motivate you to work harder when it comes to music?

BLACKPINK: We can never thank enough but we still want to and need to say thank you to all our BLINKs. It really is because of our fans’ love and support that we can think about our next and how to bring better music to them.Manila Bulletin: Please complete this sentence: “For me, BLINKS are _____________.”BLACKPINK: “BLINKs are the reason for our existence. Without our BLINKs, BLACKPINK couldn’t and wouldn’t exist. As said above, we are able to move forward and continue with finding ways to challenge ourselves with our music because of our fans. Thank you so much BLINKs for always giving us positive energy. We will always strive to be the BLACKPINK who continues to show better versions of ourselves.”