Lisa from Blackpink says she nearly quit the music business

‘We just endured,’ added bandmate Jennie

Amanda Whiting
Tuesday 24 May 2022 05:15
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Preview of Blackpink's debut single

Lisa, from the powerhouse K-pop quartet Blackpink, has said that she used to consider quitting the music business altogether before the girl group found success.

The Thai singer spent five years as a “trainee” at YG Entertainment before Blackpink released a single. After successfully auditioning in Bangkok as a teenager, Lisa lived away from her family in Seoul, singing and practising dance for more than 12 hours a day.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Lisa – along with her bandmates Jennie, Jisoo, and Rosé – opened up about the toll those years took on her and how single-minded the group had to remain to get through it. “Debut, debut, debut,” Lisa, who didn’t speak Korean when she arrived in Seoul, told the magazine. “That was the only thing on our minds.”

Jennie had been at YG for six years before Blackpink’s debut single “Boombayah” was released in 2016. Jisoo trained for five years and Rosé trained for four years after placing top at a YG audition in Sydney. At the age of 15, she moved from Melbourne to Seoul for the chance to be a pop star.

On top of the demanding rehearsal schedule, there are strict rules for K-pop trainees. According to Rolling Stone, the singers were not allowed to drink, drive a car or date. Each month, the trainees are tested on their performance skills and styling with no guarantee that they’ll ever be given a record deal. “I’d call my mom, wanting to quit, and she’d tell me to hang on just another year, just hang on,” Lisa said.

Lisa and Jisoo from Blackpink

“We just endured,” Jennie told Rolling Stone, though the singers also pointed out that YG also provided mental health support.

Rosé likened the experience to being on “autopilot” for years. “If you told me to do that again, I could never,” she said in the interview.

Blackpink confirmed that their new album, the first since their hit 2020 debut, The Album, will be released this year.

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