Rising stars of K-pop: girl group Rocket Punch on ‘newtro’ single Ring Ring, other K-pop bands, and what makes them unique
- The single is their first release this year, and its bright, energetic feel puts a new spin on retro sounds, known as ‘newtro’
- Members of the group talk about warming up to Shinee songs and which of them is the wildest and the most talkative
The second girl group ever produced by Woollim Entertainment, the music label that’s home to the likes of Lovelyz and Golden Child, six-member K-pop act Rocket Punch have been releasing infectious songs since 2019. They returned last month with new song Ring Ring on May 17. It was their first release since last summer, and once again showcased the group’s brand of highly energetic music.
Following the release of Ring Ring that features their bright, “newtro” sound – an updated take on retro musical style – plus B-sides I Want U Bad and Ride, members of Rocket Punch shared their thoughts with the Post over a video call.
You last released your EP Blue Punch in August. How does it feel to make your return with Ring Ring?
Yunkyoung: Actually, nine months isn’t a short time, but we tried to show our bright energy to our fans.
What did you hope to show listeners about Rocket Punch with your new single?
Yeonhee: The concept is “newtro”. It was a challenge for us but we wanted to show our energy. We wanted to show that we enjoy what we do on stage. We always try to have fun and enjoy what we do. And also, we think the intro of Ring Ring is addictive. We believe it’s the first time our fans remember the first part of the melody.
You’ve been around since 2019, and always released stellar, exciting music. How do you feel you differentiate yourselves from other K-pop acts?
Suyun: If there is a difference between the other sunbaenim [senior] groups and other K-pop artists and us, it is that we are full of energy. We always monitor and try to learn from them.
Unfortunately, Juri has been unable to promote the release properly due to health reasons. How have the group been performing as a five-member act?
Sohee: To be honest, six members is not that big of a group. One of us is missing, so we tried hard to fill in the empty spot for our performances and on stage.
The phrase “ring ring” evokes an alarm clock, so I was curious who has the hardest time waking up when her alarm rings?
The four other members spoke over one another, and all agreed: Yunkyung wakes up late these days. She used to wake up early. But nowadays it seems hard for her to wake up.
Yunkyoung: Yes, I think I sleep about 20 minutes more than the rest of our members. These days Suyun wakes up really early as she starts her day with massages while getting ready. Also, I am surprised by the fact that Dahyun is so talkative. At first, I thought she was a shy and calm person. But she has so many things to talk about, she talks until we go to sleep. It’s amazing.
Dahyun: I think the reason I talk so much is that when we are all tired and we don’t speak, the silence makes me sleepy. So I tend to talk of the tiredness and keep up the energy. But I also had the same thought with Sohee. When I first saw her I thought she was quiet but I think she has a part that’s often quite different. Her energy is overloaded. She could be tired by going to school and having all the schedules but she never gets tired. The weirdest thing she said was, “I’m afraid that a hippo will swallow me up.” That was funny.
What’s something you think is really unique about another member?
Yeonhee: First of all, I would like to make sure that this isn’t a sad story. That said, Yunkyoung seems to run wild on stage. Restlessly. I’m worried because she has a bad knee. I tell her she doesn’t have to wear herself out but she doesn’t seem to notice that she does. She’s unstoppable.
Sohee: Suyun has really high tension [t/n: “high tension” is slang in South Korea referring to good energy]. What’s surprising is that the tension stays constant and doesn’t go down. During events with fans, I can hear her excitement from across the room.
Members have shared a lot of covers lately. What music is bringing you comfort and inspiration nowadays?
What are your goals for 2021?
Yeonhee: I hope all members are healthy for the rest of 2021, and I want to see the fans in person when the Covid-19 situation gets better. We want to exchange energy with fans, and express many thanks to the fans who always support us even when there is a blank period. We also receive energy, so I hope we can give energy to our fans. Thank you.
Ring Ring recently debuted on the Billboard World Digital Songs Sales Chart. How do you feel about this feat, as it’s your first time being recognised on a Billboard chart?
Yeonhee: Since we were only promoting in Korea, we couldn’t know much about the reactions of overseas Ketchy! Occasionally, we had an opportunity to talk only at a fan signing event through video call, but with the Billboard chart, we knew that overseas people love Rocket Punch too. It’s proven that we’re on the right track. Thank you so much. I will make it possible to look forward to every day in the future. Love you, Ketchy!