Q&A: f(x) Reacts to Topping K-Pop Hot 100 & World Albums Chart (Exclusive)

f(x)'s Victoria, Amber, Krystal, Sulli and Luna at KCON 2013

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Backstage at KCON 2013, the K-pop group talks their big year and details filming a Funny or Die skit with Anna Kendrick.

Girl groups were in short supply at KCON 2013. Though, given f(x)'s whirlwind 2013, they likely would have more than sufficed even without a last-minute addition of Crayon Pop at the American K-pop convention.

Despite being away from the K-pop scene for over a year, the female quintet saw their domestic and international popularity maintained with new single "Rum Pum Pum Pum" hitting No. 1 on the K-Pop Hot 100. Meanwhile, its accompanying full-length album, "Pink Tape," not only topped Billboard's World Album chart, but also placed on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart -- meaning a Billboard 200 entry wasn't too far away.

 

Falling in line with past singles such as "Pinocchio (Danger)" and "NU ABO," the 12 tracks on "Pink Tape" also mix fizzy electro-pop, icy harmonies and strange, yet addictive, hooks. One could argue the quirky confections on the LP represent the contrasting personalities of the five f(x) members -- on display as the quintet sit down for an interview with Billboard hours before opening KCON's grand finale K-pop concert.  

Cool and calm, members Sulli and San Francisco-bred Krystal appear guarded at first. However, undeniable f(x) sweetheart Luna wears a huge smile on her face the entire chat and during the KCON concert -- at one point appearing to stray from her group's choreography to wave to fans on the other side of the stage. 26-year-old leader Victoria is nice, but nervous; likely anxious to present her band in the best light possible. Meanwhile, Los Angeles native Amber enters the room like a sledgehammer of confident energy, perhaps from being most comfortable speaking in English and having sister Jackie backstage.

But minutes into talking with f(x), the girls' personalities blend into one with a collective concern for fans and a genuine excitement seeing their hard work result in success -- even reserved Krystal breaks character for a second, loudly exclaiming "Really?!" after a mention that f(x) topped World Albums. Billboard gets f(x)'s reactions on the year so far. 

KCON 2013: 15 Things Seen & Heard

 

Welcome to Los Angeles, f(x). You're here today to perform at KCON 2013, but you made your K-pop debut in 2009. How did you decide what three songs to perform today?

Krystal: We're performing our new song "Rum Pum Pum Pum," "Electric Shock" and "Hot Summer." The reason why we're performing them is that "Rum Pum Pum Pum" is our new song; it's our first time performing it in the States. "Electric Shock" is really noisy. And we're performing "Hot Summer" because it's so hot outside.

 

"Rum Pum Pum Pum" has a lot of layers and harmonies. Are you at all nervous about performing it live tonight?

Sulli: The song is difficult to sing live, but our main concern is that we just want our fans to enjoy our performances.

NEXT: "We were like, 'Dude! It's been a year. How are we going to do?!'"

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