KARD Talks SXSW, International Fame & New Plans: Exclusive

Courtesy of KOCCA


These K-pop stars are garnering fame far beyond their homeland.

Since becoming internationally loved for their infectious hooks and thumping electronic-dancehall sound, KARD has enjoyed some major moments.

The co-ed K-pop group has sold out shows in both North and South America, earned the Best Rookie Awards at 2017 Asia Artist Awards, scored early chart successes (scoring Top 10 albums both in Korea and on Billboard's World Albums chart), and garnered millions of YouTube views for tracks like "Don't Recall" (with 40 million views to date), "Oh NaNa" (30 million), "Hola Hola" (23 million) and more.

Early into 2018, the quartet will add one more milestone: B.M, J.Seph, Somin and Jiwoo will headline the upcoming "Korea Spotlight" showcase at SXSW 2018 on Friday, March 16, at The Belmont in Austin. Ahead of the massively-anticipated performance, KARD talks to Billboard Korea exclusively about their excitement, who they would like to see at SXSW, future music and more.

Billboard: It's your first time at SXSW! How excited are you guys to be headlining "Korea Spotlight" at one of the biggest international music festivals?

B.M: We have no idea how we became a headliner, or if we are even worthy of headlining among a lot of talented artists, but we definitely feel blessed to be able to!

What can your U.S. fans expect from SXSW?

A lot of us just being our crazy goober selves and a lot of turning up! [Laughs.] It's going to be a short set, but extremely energetic and fun. We are going to give it our all.

Are you guys planning to do more international shows this year?

Honestly, we all love traveling and love being in front of our fans everywhere, but we also want to focus on Korea as well [this year]. Hopefully we can do both at the same time.

KARD is gaining legions of fans all across the globe every day. What do you think played a role in KARD's major international success?

We think the type of music we do and the fact that we are a co-ed group is what is really grabbing people's attention. We ‘ve thought about  it and we would be very interested too to see a group of two guys and girls singing, dancing, and rapping altogether.

What shows and artists would you like to see at SXSW?

All of AOMG and H1GHR MUSIC posse. And DPR LIVE. I really hope I can see them, they are some of my biggest inspirations.

You guys are performing along some of the biggest names in K-pop like Lee Hi and Crush. But if you could go on tour with any artist, who would you choose?

Woodie Gochild goes insane at shows. It would be fun to do a show with him!

Is there anything that's been surprising or different to you guys about American audiences, compared to performing anywhere else?

They know how to play: Every show we've had in the States, there was never a dull moment. But honestly, they were all amazing.

What’s next for KARD after SXSW?

Next album, baby! Going straight into grinding! Nothing new before SXSW, but we are working on making a lot of good music.

Korea Spotlight will take place at The Belmont on Friday, March 16. SXSW Platinum and Music badgeholders receive primary access to the event.

Festivals 2018