The group, Kim “Ji-soo”, 27, “Jennie” Kim, 26, “Rosé” Roseanne Chaeyoung Park, 25 and Lalisa “Lisa” Manobal, 25, shot to fame in 2016 when they released their debut album Square One, which featured number one singles on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart and the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart.
As the most-subscribed musical act on Spotify, as well as the most-followed all-female group on the platform, with over 29 million followers as of April 2022, the four women grace the cover of Rolling Stone’s June issue speaking to culture reporter Haeryun Kangabout about their ambitions to extend themselves beyond K-pop fame.
Lisa, a Thai rapper, singer and dancer who left Bangkok in 2011 at the age of 14 said in the beginning all they were thinking about was releasing a strong debut.
“That was the only thing on our minds,” she said.
Ten years later, she is pondering the direction of her future.
“Is hip-hop the only thing I’m good at? What if it turns out I’m also good at traditional Thai Music? Rosalia is so cool,” she added, referring to Spanish singer Rosalia Vila Tobella.
“She has her own Spanish culture, that’s inside her person, that influences her music… I’m curious to know how much I can expand what I do. Music-wise, dance-wise, I feel like I still have to learn more.”
Jisoo, the lead vocalist, said her parents were proud of her, but that she doesn’t “feel like a world star.”
“I’m the same person that started training in high school,” she said. “My social standing may have changed, but to me, I’m just . . . too me.”
She also considers a future as a solo artist.
“I’m not sure how much I want to go solo yet. The music I listen to, the music I can do, and the music I want to do—what should I choose? I love songs with lots of instruments.”
“I love different bands and rock music. What do people want from me? There’s a chaos of conflicting questions.”
Rosé (pronounced “Rosy”) joined the group a decade ago, after beating 700 contestants in an audition in Sydney for a place in the pop group.
She was born in Auckland, then moved to Melbourne at the age of 7, where she began performing in church choirs. At 15, she left Melbourne and relocated to Seoul, taking on the rigorous training program to become a K-pop star.
“In Australia, I didn’t think that there was much of a chance for me to become a singer, especially to become a K-pop star,” she told the Herald in 2017.
“I was living so far from the country that it never really occurred to me as a possibility.”
In the cover story of June’s Rolling Stone, Rosé reveals her own perfectionism.
“When I recorded something for the first time, I was so excited,” she said. “I didn’t know any better, so it was fun. I envy that now. Now, no matter how hard I try, a part of me is never satisfied.”
Jennie, who also spent a significant part of her youth in New Zealand, has promoted fashion outside of her stardom, most recently becoming an ambassador for Chanel and eyewear brand Gentle Monster.
“More than anyone, we want to be ordinary girls,” she told Rolling Stone. “Sure, there are times when we talk about what kind of influence we could have. But what we actually love is talking about our cats, dogs, good food, and pretty places.”
She is not the only member to have her face attached to global fashion brands. Lisa has modelled for Celine, Jisoo for Dior, and Rosé for Saint Laurent and Tiffany & Co.
BLACKPINK is famous for breaking a number of records. In 2019, the music video for “Kill This Love” became the most-viewed music video within the first 24-hours of release, (it currently has more than 1.5 billion views) while “How You Like That”, released 12 months later, broke three records that year, including most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours, most viewed music video on YouTube in 24 hours and most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a K-pop group.
Before BLACKPINK’s latest appearance on the cover of the iconic magazine, other female groups who have graced Rolling Stone include the Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child.