The members of TWICE have spent more than a half-decade refining their sound, collecting fans and helping K-pop reach a global audience. With the release of new mini-album Taste of Love on Friday (June 11), the collective continues its artistic evolution, while also attempting to best the No. 72 peak on the Billboard 200 albums chart that the group achieved with last year’s Eyes Wide Open full-length. Performing new single “Alcohol-Free” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and unveiling a music video for the track, has helped promote the new project.
To mark their new mini-album, the members of TWICE answered Billboard’s 20 questions about its sound, their musical upbringings, karaoke picks and more:
1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
JEONGYEON: I bought Charlie Puth’s Nine Track Mind album on vinyl. Charlie Puth was the first singer that popped up in my mind when I found my interest in vinyl, because I wanted to hear his beautiful voice through that new format!
MOMO: I think it was a Japanese artist’s CD! Because it was such a long time ago, I can’t quite remember which album it was, but I remember the feeling of being excited to have my own CD. Having and owning my own piece of music was a completely different experience from just listening to it.
2. What was the first concert you saw?
DAHYUN: The first day I became a JYP trainee, which was July 7th, 2012, I attended a Wonder Girls concert. Being in the audience as a trainee further strengthened and enhanced my dream to become a tremendous artist like Wonder Girls. I still remember the chills from that day.
JEONGYEON: I went to PSY’s concert. His concert tickets are usually sold out in a few seconds due to the concert’s high popularity, but I was lucky enough to get a ticket from my teacher, who was PSY’s dancer. I remember having so much fun dancing and feeling my heart beat the whole time while I was at the concert.
3. Which artist did you grow up idolizing?
SANA: I grew up idolizing Michael Jackson and Ne-Yo. I still love and listen to their music. The wide variety of music styles they each have made me want to become an artist who can also take on and try different music styles.
CHAEYOUNG: I grew up idolizing Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Wonder Girls. Their music and performances inspired me to want to become an artist myself.
4. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?
NAYEON: Myself and the people around me! I constantly reminded myself that I can be whatever I put my mind to, and the people around me always supported my decision and helped me find a way to achieve my dream to become an artist.
TZUYU: I was lucky enough to get advice from various JYPE artists. Their honest and wise advice helped me think deeply about my path and where it would take me from different viewpoints.
5. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?
JIHYO: Working hard and dreaming big until the day everyone knows TWICE and our music. I hope our music can bring happiness and brightness to people all around the world who need someone to cheer them on.
NAYEON: One day, I’d like to host a concert with every ONCE from all around the world, in one venue. It might be possible with an online concert, but think about how amazing it would be in an offline concert! First we need to find a venue big enough to hold all our fans!
6. Which current artist is your fashion inspiration?
CHAEYOUNG: I love the glamorous styles of Zoë Kravitz and Lady Gaga. The colorfulness, and the courage to try something new, strikes me every time and inspires me. I would love to become a fashion icon like them one day. However, from time to time, I also like funky and bohemian styles that are minimal and basic.
MINA Kendall Jenner is my current fashion inspiration. I love her chic but lovely fashion. I try to replicate it but also add my own taste and style into it.
7. What’s the last song you listened to?
MOMO: I just listened to one of our soon-to-come Japanese album tracks! I can’t wait for our fans to hear it when it comes out.
JIHYO: I listened to the title track of our 10th EP, “Alcohol-Free,” and “Zombie” by DAY6. “Alcohol-Free” and all the tracks on Taste of Love just get better the more you listen to it. I hope our fans enjoy it as much as we do!
8. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?
MINA: I would love to attend the concerts of Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars. I listen to their music often, and always wonder what it would feel like to experience their music through a live performance. I’m sure I’ll get chills just by being in the same room as them!
SANA: Ne-Yo, and I would have loved to see Michael Jackson in concert! I would love to be immersed in the moment with other fans, listening to their music and watching them perform live. I’m sure people miss these moments as much as I do.
9. Which TV show have you binge-watched recently?
TZUYU: I have been watching TV shows that feature various K-pop groups’ performances. These shows help in brainstorming what kind of performances I want to present to our fans in the future. I can relate to the passion and energy they spend onstage for their fans, so I enjoy watching and imagining what it would be like if I performed in their styles.
10. How has the pandemic affected your creative process?
NAYEON: I was able to come up with things I can do to cheer others up in dark times like this. I also learned to be grateful for what we took for granted. I’m sure we’ll all be able to return to our normal lives, but until then, I will keep on cheering you all up through TWICE’s music and performances!
CHAEYOUNG: I usually receive inspiration from the outdoors and the experiences that follow, but because of COVID-19, I wasn’t able to be as immersed in the outdoors as much as before. So I try to seek inspiration from other sources, such as movies or photos, that I can enjoy safely.
11. How did Taste of Love come together?
DAHYUN: “Alcohol-Free” was written by J. Y. Park, and many of our members, including myself, also participated in writing the lyrics for other tracks on Taste of Love. I wrote the lyrics for “Scandal” and “SOS,” imagining what each song would try to tell us about the taste of love. I hope our fans can enjoy this album, listening to the lyrics and voices of TWICE!
SANA: Summer Nights, our album released in the summer of 2018, had the title track “Dance The Night Away,” which was a song that fans could listen to and enjoy the summer while dancing energetically. Taste of Love, which has a similar concept of summer, consists of songs that I imagine fans can sway freely from side to side to, and enjoy the relaxing summer.
12. What’s the biggest difference between Taste of Love and Eyes Wide Open?
CHAEYOUNG: Eyes Wide Open had a heavier and more mature atmosphere compared to Taste of Love. Taste of Love has a more chill vibe that you can enjoy while relaxing. The songs of Taste of Love, especially “Alcohol-Free,” feel like a cool breeze in the warm sun that relieves stress.
JEONGYEON: The season: winter and summer. Eyes Wide Open consists of songs that fit the winter atmosphere, while Taste of Love has songs that give off a summer vibe!
13. Eyes Wide Open scored the highest peak of the group’s career on the Billboard 200 chart last year. What did that mean for the group?
JIHYO: It felt amazing and unbelievable to know that there were so many people out there who know us and listen to our songs; it was more than I had realized! I also felt inspired to keep delivering high-quality music and performances, as we love our fans and are so thankful for the K-pop phenomenon!
MINA: I don’t think it would’ve been possible if it wasn’t for ONCE. ONCEs all around the world cheered for us and kept us going forward and higher, so I am very grateful and proud of our fans. We hope they love this new mini-album just as much.
14. TWICE has been part of the global K-pop phenomenon. What’s it been like experiencing the genre’s worldwide success over the past few years?
SANA: I feel extremely happy and proud to experience this moment as TWICE, alongside ONCE all around the world. It’s not something that happens to everyone, so I wake up everyday thankful for ONCE for being by our side.
NAYEON: I was touched and proud of the fact that there are so many people who love K-pop. Realizing this made me dream bigger and aim higher. We never know how long this phenomenon will last so I constantly remind myself to fully enjoy each day.
15. Which song from Taste of Love are you most excited to eventually perform live?
MINA: As of now, I would say “First Time,” because it matches the weather right now, like the fresh and warm temperature of early summer. I would love to perform this track outdoors, by the river on a warm summer night!
MOMO: I would love to perform our track “Alcohol-Free” with ONCE’s fan chant filling the whole stadium. I’m excited to see our fan’s reaction to this song. Hope the day when we can perform live in front of ONCE comes soon!
16. What’s your list of karaoke go-to?
MOMO: I don’t go to karaoke often, but I love singing along to TWICE’s music while I’m hanging around with fellow members in my room. Now that it’s summer, I have to update my list to summer songs like “Dance The Night Away”!
JIHYO: “Twenty Five, Twenty One” by Jaurim. I can’t stop singing along to this song, because not only is the melody wonderful, but the lyrics are also magical. This song is a healing song for youth, so I want to recommend this to all youth around the world.
17. What’s one thing TWICE’s most devoted fans don’t know about the group?
JEONGYEON: The power of our teamwork! Even our most devoted fans are always surprised by how our teamwork gets stronger and stronger each year. I think that’s the reason why, whenever all nine of us are together, we create synergy and produce some fun and touching moments.
TZUYU: That you have to look deeper and longer to see the hidden beauty of TWICE! Regardless of how many years ONCEs have known us, there are so many more fun and new sides of TWICE, so I’ll leave this question up to ONCEs for them to discover!
18. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?
TZUYU: Whenever I listen to our fan-song, “ONE IN A MILLION,” I remember the voices and faces of ONCE singing along, and the memory makes me tear up. I miss each and every one of our fans.
MINA: Les Misérables always makes me cry. The scenes in the movie are so powerful and touching. Every time I watch it, the overwhelming feeling lingers on me for a while.
19. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
DAHYUN: Because my eyesight is really bad right now, I would like to advise my younger self to take care of my eyes and vision. Another piece of advice I want to give is that, because the past never returns, live life to the fullest and appreciate the moment.
JEONGYEON: Dear Younger Jeongyeon, you are going to grow up to be a magnificent and wonderful person, so don’t worry too much about the future and be free from your burden! Enjoy each moment and keep on going! Your Biggest Supporter, Jeongyeon.
20. What do you hope to accomplish or experience by the end of 2021?
SANA: I would love to participate in the Melody Project by the end of 2021, which is a video series of TWICE members covering the songs of other artists. Check out Melody Project by our other TWICE members on our YouTube channel in the meantime!
NAYEON: Seeing ONCEs in person and presenting them with an awesome performance that makes up for the time we couldn’t meet each other face-to-face. I want to let ONCEs know that as much as you are waiting for this moment, all of TWICE members are also looking forward to this day, so please hang on and stay healthy until then!
soul, classic soul, motown,