Latin Grammys 2018

AOA Reveal Confidence Tips & Who's the Best Lacrosse Player at KCON 2015 L.A.: Exclusive

Courtesy of CJ E&M America
AOA Live at KCON 2015

KCON 2015 Los Angeles marked AOA's first U.S. performance, and backstage at the Staples Center the girl group was unmistakably filled with a nervous energy.

Whether those nerves took the form of loud laughing (best seen by leader Jimin) or what appeared to be actual nerves (Seolhyun sat quietly as youngest member Chanmi offered her comforting rubs on the arm), any type of anxiety seemed to melt away when the gals hit the stage in flirty lacrosse uniforms for what earned one of the most fervent responses from the concert that night as they moved through hits like "Miniskirt," "Like a Cat" and their latest summer smash "Heart Attack."

The reaction likely gave the girls even more confidence when they hit the KCON stage again a week later for the inaugural KCON New York. Billboard got a snapshot of what was going through the ladies' minds in a chat that touches on everything from their confidence tips to celebrity crushes and more.

How are you feeling ahead of this huge performance at the Staples Center?

Jimin: It's our first time performing in the U.S. and we were really nervous when we were doing rehearsals. But we're looking forward to it We met fans this morning and now we'll perform for them.

I heard a lot of fans came out to see you at the airport. Did you expect to see them?

Mina: We thought no one was going to be at the airport. We didn't even put our makeup on on the way out! But then there were fans. We even got a present from fans, which was one more than we expected.

What was the present?

Choa: It was a letter and it was in Korean.

Heart Attack has been your biggest success on the Billboard charts yet. Do you feel your international fanbase growing or notice more fans?

AOA: We feel it extending past Korea and to here. We hope we can turn that into our own concert here one day. Even when we do our fan meetings, even in Korea, we notice a lot of non-Korean fans attending so we feel there's a strong international fandom.

How's your trip been so far? What kind of foods have you tried?

AOA: We had In-N-Out Burger yesterday, but we heard Shake Shack [in New York] is better and we're excited to try.

"Heart Attack" highlighted, again, the sexy side of the group. How do you get the confidence to do that on stage?

Hyejeong: We practiced a lot, spending a lot of time looking in the mirror. It started on our previous single "Confused" and we changed the way we looked at the camera. We'd film it and watch it back. Every album we practice that so now performing in a sexy way feels more natural. We take the lyrics and try to express them as a group and make it our own.

You actually were playing lacrosse in your "Heart Attack" music video. Who was the best lacrosse player?

Group: [All point to Chanmi]

Jimin: When we were filming the music video, Korea's national lacrosse team was there. Chanmi was so good that they tried to recruit her to come to their team. She's still talking to the team, but we don't want to lose her.

Along with lacrosse players, you've tried out quite a few concepts to date. What can we expect in the future?

AOA: When we made our debut, a reporter called us the transforming idols. We'll soon show us doing songs in units. We plan to show even more diverse sides our ourselves.

Who are some of your celebrity crushes -- whether that's someone you love or admire as a celebrity, or actually is your ideal type?

Jimin: Jay Park! [Laughs] But also Lee Hyori.

Choa: Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige.

Mina: Maria Digby, and Brad Pitt...I love him! 

Seolhyun: Song Joonki.

Hyejeong: Rihanna, I like her voice and her stage presence. And Jeon Jihyun, the actor.