Lightsum may be a rookie K-pop group, having debuted just nearly a month ago, but half of the all-female act’s members are no strangers to the spotlight.
Leader Juhyeon participated in the survival program “The Unit” in 2017, while Chowon, Nayoung and Yujeong competed in the wildly popular “Produce 48” the following year.
Fast forward to June 10, 2021, the girls — joined by Sangah, Hina, Huiyeon and Jian — were finally launched into the K-pop scene as the latest girl group from Cube Entertainment.
“I’ve been waiting for this debut for a long time so every stage [performance] is always exciting,” Juhyeon said in a recent interview with ABS-CBN News.
“I’m nervous too, but thanks to the fans watching us, I’m always having fun doing broadcasts,” she said, referring to the live music shows where K-pop groups regularly promote their releases.
Juhyeon explained that the team’s name was a combination of the words “light” and “sum,” and reflects the group’s goal to bring positivity to its listeners.
“It means a group of bright lights coming together as one sum to illuminate everyone in this world and bring more positive energy to people through our message of hope,” she said.
Lightsum debuted with “Vanilla,” a cheerful song with a catchy chorus and some marching band instrumentation.
The song talks about the excitement that comes with new beginnings, likening the feeling to “the sweet moment of falling in love,” according to Cube.
The debut was well-received, with the music video for “Vanilla” amassing over 17 million views on YouTube as of writing.
But the members admitted that the road to debuting wasn’t easy.
“I think finding my own [rap] style was the hardest challenge. I listened to various genres of songs and raps to find my own style,” said Jian, the group’s rapper and maknae (youngest member).
Huiyeon said she had a hard time improving her singing.
“After I joined the company, I wanted to sing well like Nayoung and Chowon, but I didn’t know how to do the practice by myself,” she said.
“I remember being thankful that Juhyeon taught me how to practice,” she added.
The members who participated in K-pop competitions, meanwhile, said the shows also helped them prepare for their debut.
“I think that helped me on stage because I experienced how to use in-ears or find cameras,” said Yujeong.
“Through survival programs, I learned how to approach and get close to people. Even after Lightsum was formed, I think it helped me get close with members quickly,” said Chowon.
With its debut, Lightsum joins the roster of acts under Cube, a company known for having idols who produce their own music. These include groups like BTOB, Pentagon, CLC, and (G)I-DLE.
“Many of the artists in Cube Entertainment are said to be excellent in skills, and we want to hear that too,” Juhyeon said.
“I think it’s cool to write lyrics and compose their own songs and find their own team’s colors,” Sanga said.
Jian even named (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon and BTOB’s Minhyuk as artists that she looks up to.
As the girls continue to promote on Korean music shows, they also expressed frustration over the absence of audiences, which prevents them from meeting their fans.
The members said they want to perform for fans once COVID-19 restrictions loosen.
“Once the pandemic is over, I want to perform on the stage with fans,” said Huiyeon.
“I really want to have a concert. I also want to have overseas concerts to meet foreign fans… and I want to travel with the members,” Chowon added.
Video editing by Reya Buenaventura, ABS-CBN News
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