In just the first few seconds of any optimistic, bubbly-pop song by the group woo!ah!, it’s difficult to not be enthralled by their increasingly hypnotic sound. The girl group has been active for just over a year, with three singles (plus a number of B-sides) and their tracks flaunt a positive, youthful style that helps the group relay a trove of music worth savoring.
The five Gen-Z members of woo!ah! have initiated an expressive stage persona that’s corroborated by their ability to employ raw enthusiasm — and that currently involves sharing their gleaming charm through dance music. After getting to establish those roots of profound pop music to the group’s core, they’ve begun to show interest in concepts that bring out components of their various electronic and now hip-hop sub-genre explorations.
With that intense nerve-wracking first year behind them and eight songs out for the world to enjoy, this release feels like it’s the best opportunity to revisit their commitment to music one year later with a new lease on life. If it can be said that the group’s debut to music had a cheerful approach to their artistry, and the second seized dance-heavy elements with a very different posture from the woo!ah! we witnessed months prior — then this third wave of music is a more comfortable, self-assured version of the studious performers.
The avoidance of falling into artistic echoes, with a respect for maintaining the group’s original intentions has helped woo!ah! shine in the new EP, with the lead single “Purple” marking a resilient comeback. Their determination to deliver an absolute K-pop banger is up to par with every previous single from the group, shedding the previous rebellion of “Bad Girl” for a more euphoric, pop-music progression. As if that isn’t enough to appreciate, the bewitching color-twinged visuals that tease the release only offer a taste of the direction they plan on taking woo!ah! next. Getting to spectate the build-up of a new refined era (one year later) with new songs, new visuals, and a promise to facilitate a more mature woo!ah! suggests the group is moving at an encouraging pace.
Just ahead of the release of WISH, we spoke to woo!ah! about a new side of the group, debuting during a global pandemic, and everything we need to know about the group’s third studio release.
You’re about to drop WISH and it’s your first release of the year so far, so congratulations are in order! What are your current feelings going into the reveal of WISH?
NANA: We always prepared hard for each album, but more effort and strength went into this 3rd album. Perhaps that is why I am excited and curious about the reaction of the fans, especially [our fans] “wow.”
WOOYEON: I am happy to release our third album WISH, which contains important messages by us. Also, we worked really hard to prepare this album and that is why I am so excited and nervous.
SORA: First of all, I would like to thank our fans who have been waiting for this album and please stay tuned, as this album contains various new songs!
LUCY: We have prepared hard for this third single album WISH to show our fans how we have improved ourselves for this new album. Please stay tuned! I am so excited and nervous.
MINSEO: It is our first comeback in 2021 and I am so excited to see how the public will react to our new album. We will try our best for this comeback era as well.
You have a music video for “Purple” as well. Was there anything about this video that was either more challenging or more rewarding than your previous music video experiences?
NANA: It was the first time for me to take a photograph with equipment [a floating chair in the photo frame] and I was nervous, as I have acrophobia [a fear of heights]. However, It was a new experience and ended up being meaningful to me.
WOOYEON: We had our first outdoor shoot to film our group dance scene and there was a fabulous set and lots of staff dedicated to this scene. It was a very meaningful filming session.
SORA: I filmed a vlog in Japanese while filming our music video and I believe it would be a precious memory to retrieve in the future since I filmed lots of behind-the-scenes content of me and our members.
LUCY: Compared to the previous album’s music video, I felt like we filmed more individual and choreography scenes! It was tough to manage all within two days but I learned a lot!
MINSEO: Even though I am not the one who filmed the scene personally, I would say when NANA Unni filmed the scene on the floating chair in the photo frame, it was the greatest challenge! Moreover, lots of people were dedicated to this music video, and it was really meaningful.
In comparison to your other music, how would you say WISH fits in with your current discography?
NANA: In the early stage of our debut, we were focusing more on the trendy, charming, and girly side but after that, we are now focusing more on showing mature girls with brilliant and exciting energy.
WOOYEON: Each of the three different songs has its own identity, and we focused more on keeping a brilliant and fresh feeling in addition to woo!ah!’s exclusive uniqueness and boldness.
SORA: I would say it’s similarly cool, but a fresh style!
LUCY: It is a slightly different storyline from previous title songs! I’m sure this is a little more bouncy and has an obvious color to it.
MINSEO: If you listen to our previous songs released till now, you could find each song has a different style. I would say songs in the WISH album have a new style as well.
Now that you have the chance to enjoy the final product, what would you each say you’re most proud of about the WISH release?
NANA: Rather than picking a specific part, I am proud that we have prepared it well overall including songs, performance, music video, and more.
WOOYEON: woo!ah!’s exclusive performance feeling and details within the songs!
SORA: I’m proud that we have two different kinds of [physical releases for] WISH!
LUCY: I would say our group performance!
MINSEO: First of all, I love all songs in this new album and proud to have woo!ah!’s exclusive color, style of each member, and visuals.
In terms of your B-side tracks on WISH, how would you describe the vibe of your new song “겁쟁이 (SCAREDY CAT)”?
NANA: It is a hip-hop-based song but lyrics and melodies are fresh and bouncy! It should be a great song for the weather nowadays.
WOOYEON: I would say “SCAREDY CAT” is the best song to listen to under the current [summertime] weather. This is a bouncy song with our confidence and cute charm.
SORA: The rhythm of “SCAREDY CAT” is superlative and it’s just really nice for summer!
LUCY: In the lyrics, there is a part like “Right now, do not hesitate and come over to me” and I would say this is a straightforward song for woo!ah!.
MINSEO: It is a song that expresses honest feelings towards a crush in an exciting and cheerful way!
I know this is probably subject to change, but If you were each going to pick your current favorite song on the third single album, what would you choose and why?
NANA: I love the song “Purple” because I personally think this song expresses the identity of woo!ah! very well and addictive to sing along together.
WOOYEON: I love all of the songs in the album but especially the song “Purple.” It’s the best because I am a purple lover and I fell in love with this song after listening just once.
SORA: I love “겁쟁이 (SCAREDY CAT).” To be honest, It was difficult for me to choose the best among the three songs but since this song suits summer and the weather is getting hotter, our fans would love to listen to this song.
LUCY: For me, I love the title song “Purple” because it has an addictive and bouncy theme and these align well with woo!ah!
MINSEO: I love all songs in this album, but I would choose “Purple” as the best because “Purple” contains an exclusive color of woo!ah!
I’m so excited that you’ve reached your first anniversary as a group, and this new release essentially commemorates that! Looking back at that time, how would you say your sound and style have changed (if at all) since debuting?
NANA: As we are launching more albums, we have been trying to add more “hip” points and at the same time grasping the high-teen feeling of our generation.
WOOYEON: Our debut song was very bouncy and energetic like a teenager. However, we have been maintaining this energy but added more “hip” points to show confidence and boldness and make a sound even stronger.
SORA: It’s been a year-long and short, and when I debuted, I’ve been saying “I want to show you the color of woo!ah!” a lot, and it seems we are actually visualizing that.
LUCY: There were lots of changes, but as we are moving forward, each of us is discovering the best style or fit, and getting to mature as well.
MINSEO: I can’t really believe it’s the first anniversary since our debut, but I think each of us has grown a lot more than when we debuted. It seems like we’re all trying to show a lot of talents on stage.
In the last year, there have been a lot of challenges in the world, and you’ve channeled a lot of passion into your craft, but I can imagine that it wasn’t the easiest time to debut. With that being said, your music brought many people (myself included) a lot of joy in a trying time. What would you say was the biggest takeaway from your first year as a group?
NANA: We all know that it was a tough year and we can not blame anybody for having a hard time. Yet, when we think this in a positive way, we could feel the sincere love and support from those who have been loving us too.
WOOYEON: I think it is the value of our fans. This is the first anniversary of our debut, and we felt the importance of our fans and audiences as we had less experience on stage. Also, we hope that through this album, we can give strong energy and happiness to many people during these tough times!
SORA: Teamwork and love from “wow”! There were a lot of regrets and there must have been times when you were disappointed, but the power and love of the fans remained unchanged. Our members also helped each other and talked a lot so we could overcome this situation. Love you, “wow” and our members! love you all so much!
LUCY: It seems to be the most valuable thing that we have grown up by, is introducing our music to the public, letting us know, and receiving feedback, interest, and love from our fans!
MINSEO: It seemed like it was a valuable time just for gaining strength, and I’m happy you’re liking us in a really difficult time. I hope you will gain energy and hope through our album WISH too!