Band members of South Korea’s K-Pop idol group TRI.BE belong to different parts of the world but when they come together, they weave magic. The group has released their second single album, Conmingo that amplifies their signature “Girl Swag,” radiating self-confidence and joy. The same spark reflects in the thought process of this seven-member troupe.
The first-of-its-kind quadrilingual group comprises Songsun, Jinha, Hyunbin, and Soeun from Seoul, Kelly and Jia from Taipei, and Mire from Tokyo.
The band speaks and sings in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean and is jointly produced by K-pop songwriter Sinsadong Tiger and Universal Music Group. Earlier this year, they teamed up with two of the most famous K-Pop producers in the world, S.Tiger and EXID’s ELLY, for the two tracks on TRI.BE Da Loca, generating five million-plus streams right out of the gate. The two have come together yet again with TRI.BE to create another exciting mini-album with Conmingo.
In an interview with Opoyi, the septet talks about growing K-Pop culture across the world, their competitions like BTS and other boy bands, and how India is a market for them as artists.
Excerpts from the interview.
Opoyi: You are a seven-member girl band - what inspired you to form this band?
TRI.BE: Among many trainees, we were selected because we were great for each other, and we could create a synergy as a band. Seven girls who have the same dream teamed up to combine our strengths and formed TRI.BE
Opoyi: Tell us about your second single album ‘CONMIGO’ and your recent release ‘RUB-A-DUM’.
TRI.BE: The title of our album, CONMIGO, means 'with me' in Spanish. The title track, RUB-A-DUM, is inspired by the children's story "The Pied Piper". As the pied piper plays his pipe to gather the townspeople, we wanted the audience to have fun with TRI.BE.
In the age and time when K-pop is usually relatable to BTS and other boy bands, how is TRI.BE as a girl band trying to create its own space in the music world?
SongSun: Each of us has our own strengths, and we help each other to maximize them. Also, we are practicing hard to prepare for an incredible performance. Because we are young, we have more potential. Please keep watching how we improve in time, you will not be disappointed!
Kelly: TRI.BE stands for “Triangle”, the symbol of perfection, and “Being”. Together, it means “A perfect being”. We believe that we are perfect as we are, and we should not care how other people see us.
JinHa: There are a lot of different concepts, but we know what suits us the best. We try to maintain our concept based on our individuality.
HyunBin: We try out new genres or concepts that other artists have not tried yet. Then we make it our own to keep our uniqueness.
Jia: We always work hard to maintain our concept and proudly present ourselves to the public.
SoEun: I believe that we can only become perfect by loving ourselves as we are. We should search for our true colors, not follow someone else.
MiRe: I consider our powerful performance and catchy tunes as our strong suit. We try to maintain our uniqueness by nurturing it!
Opoyi: Do you keep a close eye on your competitions while creating music?
SongSun: We meet other artists during our promotions, and I think that every one of them is incredible in his or her own way. I learn a lot by watching the performances of other artists. I would like to get to know them in the future.
Kelly: I want to get closer to other bands rather than feeling competitive.
JinHa: We get to watch senior artists perform on stage during promotions, and we learn a lot from them in many ways.
HyunBin: We have met a lot of different artists. Since they have more experience than us, we have so much to learn from them. Not only do we monitor our own performances, but we also look at other artists.
Jia: We have met many senior artists during our promotions. We have also learned a lot from monitoring their performances on music programs. If I get a chance, I hope I can be friends with other artists.
SoEun: When I watched senior idols perform on stage, I thought, 'I want to be like them someday.' Their performances are truly admirable.
MiRe: There are many things we can learn from other bands. We watch their performance to practice our facial expressions or acting skills.
Opoyi: How do you inspire yourself to be different and unique with your music especially when K-pop is on the rise globally including in India?
SongSun: I challenge myself and try to find my own specialty. In the past, I had practiced impersonating other characters. I even tried to mimic the sound of a machine that I heard on the street. But I realized that it is best to focus on music and choreography.
Kelly: I remind myself that we do not have to follow other bands, and we are perfect as we are.
JinHa: Sometimes, I get discouraged by other people. In those times, I focus on loving and believing in myself. I keep telling myself to not compare myself with other people.
HyunBin: Rather than being afraid of new challenges, I practice even more to embrace them and make them my own.
Jia: I always try new things and challenge myself. I also do my best to show different sides of myself.
SoEun: As I have mentioned before, I believe that I am perfect as is and do not have to follow others.
MiRe: When I have low self-confidence or feel like things are not going well, I go on walks to clear my head. When I am motivated again after walking, I continue my work.
Opoyi: How do you treat India as a market for K-pop music consumption and is there something that attracts you about the country?
SongSun: There are a lot of talented artists in India. India has a lot of cultural heritage, and the arts are delicate.
Jia: I really like Indian music. When I get a chance, I would like to try out various musical styles.
MiRe: The sound of sitar or tabla in Indian music is beautiful. I also think that the curry and the architecture of India are intriguing.
Opoyi: Why do you think K-pop needs equal treatment just like any other art form especially when award functions are applauding it?
TRI.BE: Music is music. No matter what genre it is, we believe that all types of music require great amounts of effort and thoughts. Not only just K-Pop, but all forms of music should be treated equally for the amazing creativity people put into them!
Opoyi: What next for you as band in terms of performances, concerts, albums?
SongSun: We will be coming back with a more powerful song and performance. Also, we will express our identity more with our new album. There is a lot of exciting content on the way, and we will be interacting more actively through our live streams. Please look forward to our upcoming projects, and keep sending us your love! Thank you so much for liking us. We love you.
Kelly: We will come back with upgraded performance. Please look forward to it!
JinHa: We will keep on improving ourselves to show you a better performance. We are also planning to interact with our fans in various ways through online platforms. Please look forward to our development at each stage!
HyunBin: Please look forward to our new concepts, improved performances, and our growth as artists. If the opportunity arises, we would like to perform concerts in other countries, including India!
Jia: Thank you for always supporting and loving us. We will keep on preparing various content and awesome shows, so please look forward to them. We love you
SoEun: TRI.BE will come back with a more amazing performance, so please look forward to our next comeback! Also, I hope that we can hold concerts in India one day.
MiRe: We are planning on showing you different and improved TRI.BE. Also, we will be uploading new content and covers. Please look forward to seeing them!