"What is this?" many adults said upon hearing f(x)'s new song "NU ABO." Strange words such as 'ggong-di ggong-di' appeared in the lyrics while the melody sounded as if it was heading toward an anti-climax of a drama with the increasingly languid vibe it gave off. But the group, who positioned themselves as an undefinable girl group by kicking off their singing career with peculiarly named songs like "Chu~?" and "LA chA TA" last year, went on to grow and place "NU ABO" first place on real-time charts upon its release early this month.
10Asia met with Victoria, Amber, Sulli, Krystal and Luna, who like their song "NU ABO," have quite oddly started to draw people's attention.
10: Do you feel that you're a bit popular? Your song "NU ABO" topped real-time music charts as soon as it was released.
Sulli: I was very surprised because it was the first time we placed atop real-time charts.
Luna: I'm happy that we were No. 1 but I'm glad that a lot of people are saying the song is very unique and addictive yet is easy to sing along to. People around us say 'Nananana'. (laugh)
10: How did you feel when you first received the song? Some people were saying it's difficult for a title track.
Amber: I thought the song might be a bit hard when I first heard it but I was surprised at how it was received so well.
Luna: We didn't understand it that well either when we first heard it. And our foreign members had an even harder time understanding it. (laugh) So we had been trying to figure out how we would interpret the song when we came up with a story for the music video. We would ask Victoria about love and she would tell us what love is about.
10: It seems like you took it for how you felt about it rather than understanding it.
Luna: That's right. And we worked hard at interpreting the lyrics too. We put a lot of thought into the individual performances each member would put on according to their appeal because since the lyrics could be difficult, we wanted to help our fans understand through our performance.
10: Isn't it hard to perform your song live? Not just because of the song but you constantly change positions and have to halt in between too for the dance moves so I think you guys would be extremely exhausted when you dance it once.
Luna: If we just do the dancing, it's so tough that we can't even breathe properly.
Kyrstal: Since we're singing live, if giving it our best means we'll put in 100 percent effort, we're probably putting in about 80 percent effort. But if we weren't singing live and performed the choreography properly, we might die. (laugh)
Luna: That's how hard we practiced. (laugh)
10: How hard?
f(x): Until we got it!
10: Wasn't it difficult to memorize the choreography? It's very complex.
Krystal: Since we worked so hard (laugh) and because all five of us like to dance, we learn very quickly. Our dance teachers are like, "Hey, you guys are going air on Friday but let's just rehearse once. (laugh)
Luna: Everyone is so eager to do well that if our teachers point out a single thing about us, we fix it the very next day, no matter how small it is. And it'll turn out that member had worked all night to fix it. We surprise each other by such actions.
10: You practiced that hard but Sulli, you made a mistake once, right? (laugh)
Amber: I made a mistake this time too. (laugh)
10: Don't try and laugh it off (laugh) -- what was going on in your head when you made the mistake?
Krystal: I'm curious. (laugh)
Sulli: It was the part where I sing "Fight exactly three times." [Opens up three fingers] I do this while singing it. But I ended up saying 'creatively.' So it became 'Fight creatively.' (laugh) And I was saying 'fight' but had three fingers up. All I thought was, "Huh? What am I doing right now?" (laugh)
10: I saw Amber looking flustered in the back.
Sulli: Her eyes all big. (laugh)
Amber: I was monitoring us through my earphone since I'm good at understanding Korean now, when I noticed that Sulli stopped singing. I asked why she wasn't singing and that's when I realized she got the lyrics wrong.
10: Victoria, how is it learning the various styles of dance with f(x) after having been an actual dancer?
Victoria: It's difficult. The force I have to use is different. When dancing before, I had to elongate my arms but now I have to put force here [shoulders] and my knees. I had to forget everything I had learned... I had to learn everything all over again as if I was in elementary school. I asked and learned a lot from my members.
Krystal: We learn a variety of dances. Sexy, cute, powerful -- all sorts of dances.
10: How did you come up with the move where Victoria lifts up her leg in the middle of the song?
Victoria: When we were playing while taking a break, I just kicked my foot up [at that part]. But the choreographer said it looked good and that we should add it in. I too thought it would be good to emphasize that part.
10: Victoria, you can lift up your leg as others would lift up their arms. (laugh) And you did a high kick when you threw the first ball for a baseball game. (laugh) How did you learn to pitch a ball? The game isn't popular in China.
Victoria: My manager just told me that person who catches the ball. Pitcher? Catcher? Oh, catcher. He said I just need to throw while looking at him. So I said, "Oh really?" and threw it and I said it surprisingly feels good. (laugh)
Krystal: They say that girls usually can't throw all the way to the catcher but her ball did.
Victoria: I was worried in the beginning so I asked if I could go closer but they said I couldn't. (laugh) So I just threw but it somehow went the whole way.
10: How did it feel performing at the Dream Concert? It's Korean culture for fans to cheer for their favorite singer by waving balloons.
Amber: Uh, there are many fan clubs. I thought a lot about whether other fan clubs would like us too but I'm really happy because they've received us warmly. (laugh)
Krystal: They all rooted for us a lot. I was very nervous.
10: Someone shot a video of you and your sister Jessica of Girls' Generation holding hands at the Dream Concert. What did she say to you?
Kyrstal: Oh her? Nothing. She just held my hand and kept waving to people. So I was like, "Ah, what?", "Oh okay okay," and kept waving my hand. (laugh)
10: You've also appeared on KBS sports show "Let's Go! Dream Team Season 2" and SBS' "Star King." What did you talk about then?
Krystal: "Star King" was my first variety show appearance and I got to go on it with my sister. I was relieved to have her next to me because I didn't know what variety shows were about. She had had a lot of experience on them. And she would cover for me if I made a mistake. And I really did make a lot of mistakes, fumbling with my words, but she spoke for me so people said, "You must feel reassured. We saw her [Jessica] just as a young person but look at how she takes care of her younger sister." It felt great.
10: I think you've established yourself as a character that makes mistakes on "Star King." You're funny when you copy workout motions.
Krystal: Oh, that. (laugh) I actually thought I was doing great. But people looked at me weird. So I wondered why but I realized later on that I had acted funny.
10: I noticed earlier on that you mind too much about your looks -- you don't try too hard to look pretty in photographs and you didn't care about where you sit.
Amber: She's really easy-going.
Krystal: I'm just like that. It was actually the first time I tried high jumping. But Minho [of SHINee] told me what I should do, I did, and it worked. And I like to run. I don't think about anything else other than the fact that I should run fast. (laugh)
10: Krystal, you look very different from how you look now when you tie your hair back and remove your make-up. Actress Kim Na-woon said on KBS quiz show "Star Golden Bell" that you look "pure."
I like both because I want to show a variety of sides to me. But I think I prefer more of the natural look. Even with my hair, I like to go out while leaving it more natural instead of having my stylist have every piece of hair in place.
10: There are many segments in "Star Golden Bell" which involve using the Korean language. Isn't it difficult for Victoria and Amber?
Amber: Everytime she [Krystal] gives the right answer, a question is tossed to me and Victoria so I kept mumbling "Please don't ask me, don't ask me." (laugh)
How would they answer questions that even we can't answer?(laugh)
Victoria: When Krystal gives a wrong answer, she says she's sorry to me but I tell her it's no problem at all since I don't know the answer either. (laugh)
Krystal: The writer for the show told me that the other members of my group would not be caught on camera if I keep giving the wrong answers but I wasn't able to get any of them right.
Victoria: I can't answer them properly either. (laugh) But I learned a lot on "Star Golden Bell." Like words I didn't know and things about the culture.
10: Luna, your reaction was great on "Star Golden Bell." You laugh out very loud.
Luna: No. (laugh) I really don't pay much attention to the camera. I just get so immersed into what's going on around me. But I noticed that I'm always the only one that's laughing. Laughing out loud used to be my complex. But I guess my reaction is so large that I seem like a member of the audience.
10: You appeared on SBS variety show "Game of Truth" in the past.
Luna:Ah... [slumps over]
10: Oh, don't worry, I won't talk about the wave moves you showed back then. (laugh) I don't talk about what I already have in the past. You had appeared on "Game of Truth" as a regular person in the past so how is it seeing young children like you on "Star King" these days?
Luna: It reminds me a lot about my past. I had gone on that show with the dream that I want to become a singer. So it leads me to think that those people who go on the stage of "Star King" must have the same thoughts that I had in the past and that they are probably working extremely hard to achieve their dream. It has even more significance for me because both shows are recorded on the same set. I remind myself a lot that I should not forget about the determination I had when I first started out in this business.
10: I was shocked seeing you sing Koreana's "Victory" on "Star King." You belted out the high-pitched song from start to finish.
Luna: I had actually heard that song for the first time for that show. (laugh) There weren't supposed to be any high pitches but the flutist gave me the idea so I sang it like that.
Reporter : Choi Ji-Eun five@, Lee Ga-on
Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok two@
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Lee Ji-Hye seven@
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