Having your first-ever tour opening for one of K-pop’s most promising crossover stars might sound daunting, but rising pop duo Loote list nothing but positives after they wrapped up Eric Nam‘s 14-city, 15-show Honestly Tour last month.
“I think we’re going to be spoiled now,” Loote member Jackson Foote reflects to Billboard. “Eric invited us to come along and his fanbase show up four hours early, line up down the block then we open a room of 1,000-1,500 people every single night — he was sharing that with us and that was really special.”
“The entire team of people surrounding the tour, between him, his manager, his dancers, it was everyone’s first big tour,” vocalist Emma “Lov” Block adds. “It felt like we got to have this big milestone together which is something that doesn’t happen a lot. It was really fun because we were all learning the ropes at the same time.”
The Hot 100 Fest performers honored those memories in a new video for the remix of their single “Your Side of the Bed” that features their tourmate, premiering exclusively on Billboard today (July 23).
Watch Nam, Foote and Lov rehearse their duet, play for uber-passionate crowds and hold an Instagram Live session at NYC’s famous Highline park in the visual scrapbook music video — and check out the rest of our Q&A with the duo — below.
How was your first tour experience? I saw on Instagram you shared, “We came into this tour knowing very little about each other and came out as family.”
Jackson Foote: You go into it expecting, “Okay, we’re going to have a learning curve and need to pick up so much.” We realized we’re all in the same boat and we’re picking up stuff from him, he’s asking us stuff — that challenge is what brings people together and makes them family. Eric’s team are incredibly, incredibly kind people. I think we’re going to be spoiled now because this was our first tour we ever did.
Did the idea of opening for an act typically aligned in the K-pop world seem scary? We don’t see many crossover tours like this.
Emma Lov: I was surprised at how warm the reception of us was. We didn’t really know what to expect. Like you said, it’s not really a common thing — you wouldn’t see us going on stage before BTS. But I think Eric Nam falls into this kind of interesting category because he’s not full K-pop all the time, he’s more of a crossover, and I think that’s cool. He’s from Atlanta, he’s an American K-pop guy so he, in and of himself, is a hybrid of these two types of music.
Foote: He’s pushing boundaries and that’s why I think we fit in well. You’re going to these shows and it’s not like you’re seeing a massive crowd of only Korean-speaking K-pop fans — these are just music lovers, pop fans, and fans of Eric that come to see him and his music. They’re from wherever in the U.S. that we’re going, they’re regular music lovers. It didn’t feel like we were trying to win over an audience every night.
Lov: Being an opener, it’s our job to make sure they’re having fun before the headliner gets on and I think that’s really cool. While Jackson said it didn’t really feel like we needed to win them over, at the same time I feel like my job is getting to win them over. Getting to have fun with them, jumping around the stage — we do [Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato single] “No Promises” on stage because we co-wrote it and it’s really fun to hear a bunch of teenage girls screaming the lyrics of the song instead of me.
It seems like Loote is becoming a favorite in the K-pop world. BTS recently used “Your Side of the Bed” to soundtrack a video they shared. What were those 24 hours like after getting that co-sign?
Foote: To put this in perspective: Our Twitter had probably 1,200 followers and a really good tweet would get, like, 75 likes. So, I tweeted at them, “Oh my gosh, BTS. Thank you for using this,” and I checked it later and that tweet had 50,000 likes, 25,000 retweets and our Twitter followers quadrupled. I think we gained a couple thousand Instagram followers, too.
Lov: We started noticing our regular tweets were getting a lot more attention…I was like, “Where is this coming from?” But it was really cool. I went to the Billboard Music Awards, actually, and I ran into three girls taking photos in the bathroom. They were there for the show, but they had BTS everything, cardboard cutouts of their faces — and they recognized me in the bathroom! Which is really cool. I felt strange, but also it was adorable at the same time. We took photos together.
What’s coming up next for Loote?
Foot: We got back from tour and started pumping out a bunch of new songs for, presumably, an album. We have some singles for us and songs to pitch to other artists. I don’t think we can’t speak on it yet, but it looks like we might have a big collab somewhere over the next couple months. It’s not 100 percent confirmed, but it’s a song we wrote that another artist got involved with. We’re not sure if we’re singing it or if they’ll get another person to sing it, but it should be really, really exciting should it happen.