KARA: Don’t compare us with Girls Generation or Wonder Girls

KARA

When they arrived for the interview, their faces were bright and all were still ecstatic about their first win since debuting 2 years ago.

The members usually get just about 3-4 hours of sleep, and yet, on stage, they perform with much energy and bright smiles on their faces. You cheer up just by listening to them, and so they are often considered as ‘endorphin’ as these 5 girls with 5 different personalities give the much needed boost to everyone.

>Because of the hardships that they have gone through, their outlook is different and special.
(Gyuri) We went on a long hiatus and also there was a change in members. When we came back with <Rock U>, the response was still not that very good, and so the original members had a hard time about it. But with <Pretty Girl>, we received much love from the fans, as well as for <Honey>. So we’d like to thank everyone who supported us, and I’d also say how thankful I am to the other members. We’ve always talked about wanting to be number 1, but when it actually happened, we really couldn’t believe it – we couldn’t think of anything to say, and it felt like we were in a dream.

(KARA) We’d like to say thank you to the members for staying strong all this time. ‘We want to be number 1, we want to be number 1’ – we’d always say it, but upon receiving the award, we couldn’t think of anything, and it was just like a dream. On the Sunday of that week, we had celebrated and had dinner with the DSP family.

(Seungyeon) Before debuting, I was already having a hard time because the time of our debut and the college entrance exams were around the same period, so I had a tough time preparing for both. During our long hiatus, we also experienced a lot of hardships. Maybe because Gyuri and I are of the same age, so our timing was similar, and we have gone through similar things. The day we won for the first time, we hugged each other and cried in the dorm.

After the poor progress of their album and member change, the group had gone through a long hiatus without any activities, and thus, the members suffered a lot more than the average idol groups. When <Honey> won for the first time, it was visible that Seungyeon was the most affected.

>We heard that Seungyeon cried the most?
(Seungyeon) During our hiatus, I remember watching the year-end festivals and award shows while eating noodles and crying by myself. The shows were until the late into the night, but at that time, I didn’t have any schedules except for one weekly show. Seeing the other singers perform grandly on stage while I was at home alone, I just cooked 2 noodles and ate it while crying all by myself.

>We thing that there is something unique about KARA’s music. It makes one feel lighter.
(Gyuri) During <Rock U>, we had so much energy on stage, jumping around, and also with <Pretty Girl>, it was just a song that made people happy. I think that when it is combined together with KARA’s bright and lively image, it gives off strength to others.

>Do the members get energized from hearing their own songs?
(Seungyeon) We sing it everyday so the effectivity is kind of low, but it gets new everyday (Laughter)

>You guys recently held a fan meeting, and we heard that it left quiet a memory
(Gyuri) I think that 2009 has been full of first time experiences for us. We had a first major fan meeting. For the first time, we won the number 1 spot. I couldn’t believe that that many people would come just to see only us. Because of that, I was really nervous at first, but slowly, I began to relax and had fun with the fans.

>You have ‘Uncle fans’ and ‘Army fans’ – do you feel burdened by this?
(Gyuri) Quite a bit. (Laughter) We have older fans and I think we have a lot of uncle fans. Since the army fans can’t see us perform outside, we only get to see them online. For the uncle fans, we don’t think there are those over 50 – usually its just 30-40 years old. Instead of feeling burdened, we actually feel well taken care of by them so we are very grateful.

>Girl groups usually have more male fans, but we heard that you guys have many female fans?
(Gyuri) Yes. Actually, before, we had an equal amount of male and female fans. But with the new track, we gathered more male fans. The female fans that we have were with us ever since our debut. They are the ones that go around cheering for us in different programs and performances. To some extent, they’re like management. They are the ones that disciplines the other fans when they get rowdy while waiting in the performance halls. (Laughter)

KARA successfully entered into the fierce and oftentimes scary competition amongst the girl groups and is now rightly considered as one of the ‘Big 3’. And because of this, they oftentimes get compared to the Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation. But being active at around the same time, they are fans of each other, and KARA has their own unique appeal that is incomparable to that of the others.

>KARA’s charm that is different from that of Wonder Girls and Girls Generation is?
“Nowadays, the girl groups are all cute and bright, but the charm that is uniquely KARA is our being very physically active, liveliness and the comfortable feeling that we give off. But of course we’re not saying that the other groups don’t also have these attributes” (Laughter)

>I’m sure you hear a lot of comparing
(Gyuri) We do get conscious because of the constant comparing, given that they see our groups as in competition with one another. But we are all good friends.. Of course, amongst the fans, there may be rivalry and competition, but we are fans of each other and we consider each other as good colleagues. We enjoy their music and we even sing along to it. I know that there’s a lot to learn from these friends.

>What do you think is the strength of Girls Generation? And the Wonder Girls?
(Gyuri) There are too many. (Laughter) For Girls Generation, how do I say it.. They just look very clean and crisp. Of course, it goes without saying that they’re cute and bright. For the Wonder Girls, they are cute, and at the same time, they are able to give off a sexy vibe. I think all of us have charms that are a bit different from one another.

Once there were Finkl, Sechskies and Click B. Now there’s SS501. Being in a company that made all these groups famous, they say that you guys also carry the pride of DSP.

>Was there any burden our anticipation from DSP?
(Seungyeon) Even before entering the company, I already had a lot of respect for DSP. There are responsible not only for Finkl, but also SS501, Sechskies and Click B, who are all great performers. Eventhough we didn’t do as well as we expected to do upon debuting, we did not lose hope that (popularity) will come one day, and the company helped us along the way – talking to us, consulting with us, working hard with us. And so, I can’t say that they were inadequate or that I every felt they lacked in supporting us.

>There were of course comparison between you and Finkl
(Seungyeon) Rather than comparing us, I think we became more of an interesting topic that people talk about.

>Although you are active now as a group, what are your future plans?
(Gyuri) I’m afraid I don’t have any answer for that. Before, singers were just singers, and if one member is not able to attend a program, then the whole group won’t go. But times have changed. Individual members can go on programs alone, showing off their solo talents. Its not just abour being a singer, but its about being a multi-talented artist. Although I’m concentrating on singing now, I want to give acting a try. But in the end, I want to be remembered as a singer. For example Finkl – just because they went on solo activities doesn’t mean that the group does not exist anymore.

>Girl groups start out as cute and bright, but changes to a sexy concept as time goes by..
When we debuted, we actually had the powerful and boyish concept. So our concept now is new for the original members. But the sexy concept.. I don’t know, I can’t say for sure. Like now, we are wearing girly dresses to match with the song, so at one point, we have to abandon our old concepts and adapt a new one as we move on to a new song.

source: MK NEWS LINK
thanks to mae@KARAholic
translated by: coffeebeanie@KARAholic

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