The K-pop industry is at an all-time high for competition, meaning starting on the right note is more important than ever. Lucky for EVERGLOW, the new girl group made an impact from the get-go and are taking those promising signs as inspiration towards an even more ambitious future.
EVERGLOW is the new, six-member girl group under Yueha Entertainment (the Beijing-based label that co-manages girl group WJSN with Starship Entertainment and house Chinese-Korean boy band UNIQ) and hit the K-pop scene in late March with their three-song bundle, Arrival of Everglow, which included their debut track “Bon Bon Chocolat.” The frenetically fierce electro-pop cut saw the group delivering a confident energy with a healthy side of quirkiness in the buzzy beat-flip-into-chant chorus.
The “Bon Bon Chocolat” music video earned more than 35 million views to date, and peaked at No. 5 on Billboard‘s World Digital Song Sales chart. The accomplishment made them just the sixth K-pop girl group to land their debut single that high, joining current chart juggernauts like BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, (G)I-DLE and more, and putting them in a promising position for the future.
Fans were excited to see their first stateside performance at the 2019 KCON USA dates, but “unexpected visa issues” have kept them from America (the label declined to make a statement on the matter to Billboard). But ahead of their impending return to the scene with their second release, EVERGLOW took some time to react to their first Billboard moment and let fans get to know them a bit better.
Billboard: Do you remember where you were when you heard the news “Bon Bon Chocolat” debuted on the charts?
E:U: Yes! We definitely remember because it was the happiest moment. We were having dance lessons in our studio, our staff told us about the Billboard chart so we checked out all the articles about it online — then we got so excited! We kept asking each other “Really? Really?!?” We have been watching the Billboard charts and listening to and dancing to that music [on them] since we were trainees, so it was very big honor for us. We made up our mind to try our best because of all the love that our fans gave us. Thank you all for the love that you showed us even though EVERGLOW is still a rookie. We will return with better music and performances soon!
Not only did you successfully send “Bon Bon Chocolat” to the charts, but you had one of the highest debuts for a girl group’s first single. What was your reaction to the news?
Sihyeon: It still makes us smile because we are still so happy about it. We could not believe that “Bon Bon Chocolat” made into the Billboard charts, so we pinched our cheek to make sure it wasn’t a dream. We kept asking each other if it’s real then we grabbed our hands and ran around the dance studio and screamed. It is our dream comes true.
Aisha: We keep saying it, but we were really dumbfounded and jumping and screaming in happiness. “No. 5 of the Billboard chart! And the sixth best K-pop girl group to do it?” “Huh?” “Really?” “Billboard?” “YAY!!!” I think that was our exact reaction.” Even more so because the No. 2 song [on the Billboard Hot 100] at that time was Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” which has consistently been in the No. 1 spot since. A lot of girl groups are making names for themselves with the rise of K-pop, and the fact that we are even mentioned alongside the names of respected artists made us happy. We still remember this comment that said, EVERGLOW is the “next generation of global girl group to follow the footsteps of BLACKPINK,” and I think that gave us more joy because we didn’t expect this much attention and love before making our debut.
It’s true that the chart performance of your debut single puts you alongside artist like BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, (G)I-DLE, ITZY and LOONA. Are you fans of any of them?
Mia: We’re happy and honored to even be mentioned with such respected artists, and our members are especially huge fans of BLACKPINK and Red Velvet. We’ve been monitoring and admiring BLACKPINK and Red Velvet’s music videos, songs, stage performances since our trainee days. But not only that, we also practiced singing with their songs — we handpicked the songs to feature in our promotional video before our debut which has a Red Velvet song. Along with other respected K-pop artists, we’re going to do our best so that K-pop is even more loved globally.
Why do you think “Bon Bon Chocolat” connected international audiences so strongly?
E:U: The proper mix of hip-hop and EDM, which are popular genres worldwide, along with performance, stage clothes, storytelling, and visual aspects…but also, we believe the body of work that other respected K-pop artists have set and are being loved for worldwide is another factor.
I see “Bon Bon Chocolat” as a really empowering track. What were your goals with this song?
Yiren: While it was our debut song, we wanted to make a name for ourselves as the rookie girl group to represent 2019 with a really strong impression. We want the fans to remember EVERGLOW for our music and performance, and hope they can relieve some stress when watching us.
Taking inspiration from the title of your new song, can each member share her favorite dessert or sweet?
E:U: I’m into bubble teas these days. I especially like the brown sugar milk tea because it’s very sweet and delicious. You guys should try it!
Yiren: I like French fries and pancakes, but especially French fries!
Sihyeon: Cake, chocolate, hmm…there’s honestly too many. I like pancakes with whipped cream and syrup on top the most.
Mia: I really really like chocolate — chocolate is love. Any food with chocolate in it is always good!
Aisha: I really enjoy macarons. But really, I like all sweet candies.
Onda: I love sweet ice creams, just like “Bon Bon Chocolat,” but chocolate ice cream, in particular!
So readers can learn a bit more about EVERGLOW from EVERGLOW, can you introduce and share something special about another member in your own words?
E:U on Sihyeon: Full of happy and positive energy! She is a lively person that brings joy to the other members and just being with her makes me happy. Also, Sihyeon’s voice is very attractive and just hearing her unique tone uplifts my mood.
Mia on Yiren: Just her presence alone is very lovely. Along with her loveliness, her caring and meticulous personality is really the best.
Sihyeon on Onda: Fans may know this already, but she is the cutest among the members. I think just looking at Onda’s smile on pretty face makes me happy. [She] always has a positive mindset.
Yiren on Aisha: Attractive eyes and body, plus loveliness! I think those words perfectly describe Aisha. Those are the charms that no one can emulate.
Onda on Mia: Mia is usually quiet and lovely…like a baby, but the way she completely changes on stage and takes over with her performance and facial expressions is quite something. Even though we are the same age, I really admire her. I think she’s awesome. She’s earned her nickname, “Genius on Stage.”
Aisha on E:U: She’s the mother figure of EVERGLOW, she’s our leader and she’s awesome. She always pays attention to what we have to say and takes care of others before herself. Her contributions were great during our “Bon Bon Chocolat” album promotions, but behind her chic and perfectionist personality is a different personality of a cool and fun leader that we can always rely on.
Anything else to add?
E:U: I want to say thank you again. Thanks to everyone, all the members of EVERGLOW have just begun experiencing their dreams turn into reality. Every day we are happy and grateful for the love and support we received through “Bon Bon Chocolat.” And to respond to the love and support, we are working harder to come back even better for our next album and improving…EVERGLOW will always be with our fans. We will be back soon with unique music and performance so please stay tuned. Please “ever-glow” with us forever.