Rookie girl group PURPLE KISS have made their first comeback with their new mini-album ‘HIDE & SEEK’, alongside its groovy lead single ‘Zombie’. As the second-ever girl group from RBW Entertainment – only after the legendary MAMAMOO – this septet certainly have big shoes to fill. High expectations and pressure to match, PURPLE KISS have certainly proven that they are a multi-talented act who are more than ready to take the fourth generation of K-pop by storm.
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Although they are only six months into their career, the seven-member group – comprising members Park Ji-eun, Na Go-eun, Dosie, Ireh, Yuki, Chaein and Swan – are no strangers to being hands-on in the studio. Even before their official debut, PURPLE KISS had released two singles – the powerful, rock-influenced ‘My Heart Skip A Beat’ and subdued R&B track ‘Can We Talk Again’ – both of which the girl group had helped write, compose and choreograph. And their latest mini-album ‘HIDE & SEEK’ is no exception.
The six-track record features songs such as ‘2am’, a touching self-penned R&B tune dedicated to their fans, and the playful confession ‘So Why’ composed by member Chaein. Between their promotional activities for their new album, PURPLE KISS sat down with NME to chat about writing their own music, what they have learnt from their agency and what fans can expect next.
Hello PURPLE KISS, and congratulations on your second mini-album ‘HIDE & SEEK’. It has been half a year since you made your debut, how does it feel to be back?
Na Go-eun: “Since we had some time between our debut and this new song, we’re really excited to meet our fans in person, and we would really like to show them more of our performances and stages from now on.”
Can you tell us more about your new title track ‘Zombie’ and what inspired the horror theme?
Swan: “‘Zombie’ is a song where it gets more and more exciting as you listen to it from the beginning till the end. Although zombies are seen as part of a horror theme in general, for us, the song is less horror-themed and more fun. In our debut song ‘Ponzona’, which translates to ‘poison’, the message was basically for listeners to fall for PURPLE KISS’ charm. ‘Zombie’ kind of continues that, but this time, it’s more of maintaining that charm.”
PURPLE KISS also wrote the song ‘2am’ from the new album together as a group. Can you tell us more about this song and the inspiration behind it? What was it like writing the song together?
Dosie: “When we were composing ‘2am’, we wrote it as a song for our fans, PLORY. It was all the things that we wanted to say to them, and the thoughts we had at 2am being put into a song. It was put together with warm feelings, and the things we felt like saying to our fans in the middle of the night.”
Chaein, you composed the track ‘So Why’ by yourself. What was your experience working on this song like? Has your confidence as a composer grown since your debut?
Chaein: “Actually, our CEO is a really famous producer, so the fact that we have gotten to work with somebody with so much experience in the industry has given me a lot of confidence. I’ve also realised that I have to work even harder, because we are already really lucky to have someone so experienced working with us.”
Also, Yuki, you have been writing your own rap lyrics even before PURPLE KISS debuted, which is really impressive especially since you are the only non-Korean member in the group! What is your process like for writing lyrics and what difficulties have you run into?
Yuki: “Writing lyrics in Korean is still difficult for me. Since it’s so challenging, I study a lot in order to be able to write good lyrics. There are still a lot of words that I don’t know, but I try to overcome this by reading a lot of books and watching dramas and movies to understand the language better.”
All the members have participated in writing and composing songs for PURPLE KISS, and some of you even wrote your debut single ‘Ponzona’. Not many K-pop artists can say that they debuted with a track they wrote themselves! How does it feel to be so involved in making your own music so early into your career?
Na Go-eun: “When we first debuted, we actually didn’t know that we would end up being so deeply involved in composing and writing our own songs. We’re really happy to have the chance to get so involved in our albums.”
Since PURPLE KISS are quite deeply involved in making your own music, are there any surprises fans can expect to hear from you in the near future?
Park Ji-eun: “As of right now, it might not be out officially, but we would really like to show our ability to challenge different genres on our YouTube channel.”
For now, PURPLE KISS seem to portray a darker and strong girl group image. Do you think you guys will expand or explore other concepts in the future?
Dosie: “We’re a group who don’t really have one set concept that we would like to try specifically. In that sense, our debut track ‘Ponzona’ was much darker, but ‘Zombie’ is a really fun pop song with a kind of teenaged aspect to it.”
Some of the PURPLE KISS members have also participated in survival programmes like Produce 48 and MIXNINE. What do you think you have learned from competing in those programmes, and how have those experiences influenced you in your journey to becoming idols?
Na Go-eun: “It was a new experience, so it was really difficult for us. But those moments are kind of what made us [who we are now]. While working with people from different companies, we were able to learn a lot of new things and it gave us a new perspective.”
PURPLE KISS are just the second girl group to debut under RBW Entertainment after MAMAMOO. Did the members of MAMAMOO give you any memorable words of advice or encouragement when you debuted?
Ireh: “They’ve given us some advice while on broadcasts. But besides that, during our personal time, they actually had some one-on-one time with us. During this time, MAMAMOO told us things that we needed to hear, so we’re really grateful for that.”
PURPLE KISS debuted at a difficult time for the music industry, and there are still rarely any opportunities to perform in front of live audiences. What are you guys most excited to bring to live shows when the time comes?
Yuki: “For live shows, we haven’t really been able to show as much as we want to. We would also love to be able to do song covers and to have our own performances.”
Finally, what would PURPLE KISS like to say to your fans who have been excitedly awaiting your comeback?
Na Go-eun: “As much as PLORY have waited for us, we have missed them as well. Now that we are back with new content and music, let’s do well this comeback and have fun!”
PURPLE KISS’ new mini-album ‘HIDE & SEEK’ is out now.